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ST.com hits new highs - Apr 03, 2009 (ST)

BackApr 03, 2009

The Straits Times / The Business Times News On SPH

ST.com hits new highs

Page views up 24.4% last month; other SPH sites also log record numbers.


Apr 03, 2009
The Straits Times

THE Straits Times online website set new records last month, hitting an all-time high in both page views and unique visitors.

Latest independent figures from Nielsen's Site Census confirm that Singapore Press Holding's (SPH) Internet strategy of investing in, and occupying, new-media space is making gains.

The StraitsTimes.com (ST.com), relaunched last August with a free breaking news section, saw its month-on-month page views grow 24.4 per cent to 22.64 million; while unique visitors jumped 48 per cent to 1.5 million.

The average reader is also spending 20 per cent more time at ST.com.

ST.com editor Joanne Lee said the numbers have more than doubled since August. She added that the team will launch a new microsite detailing the economic crises next week.

Most of SPH's other websites also logged record numbers. The AsiaOne news portal, that aggregates the entire suite of the company's websites, saw a 20 per cent rise in page views to 16.8 million and 13.5 per cent climb to 1.4 million unique visitors.

Mr Adrian Tay, AsiaOne editor, said: 'Part of our strategy is to identify niche audiences and cater specially to their interests. Our luxury site, Plush, is one example of how we managed to target a certain demographic and cover news they want to read.'

Stomp, a citizen journalism website which features issues and videos generated by readers, also recorded an 11 per cent rise in both page views and unique visitors.

Said digital media editor Felix Soh: 'The robust growth of our websites, and StraitsTimes.com in particular, establishes our pole position as the media group with the best Singaporean and Asian online products.

'The growth figures speak volumes about the resonance that our websites have with the online community in Singapore and the rest of the world,' he added.

'We are the only media company with the full gamut of online services to engage our audiences - from breaking news to citizen journalism to social networking.'

SPH, however, does not intend to just ride the Internet growth trend. Plans are in place to bring the news to the reader, rather than wait for the reader to visit the sites.

In January, ST.com launched an application for the iPhone and iPod Touch which allows users to access breaking news on the devices for free.

In the three months since its launch, iPhone application page views have risen 130 per cent, while the number of users has grown by 44 per cent. Over the next few months, SPH will also be rolling out Razor TV and Stomp iPhone applications.

SPH's Digital Media Unit is also working on similar applications for all mobile operating systems, so non-Apple users can enjoy their SPH news on the go.

Said Mr Raymond Teoh, the assistant vice-president of SPH's Internet Business Unit: 'We are constantly working on introducing the new media platforms to advertisers to position their message to their target demographic.'