The Straits Times is switching up its digital site with a new look that focuses on multimedia content and trending topics. The revamp refreshes its digital and print products. Meanwhile, its mobile app will also see a revamp.
The move comes shortly after SPH CEO, Ng Yat Chung, said its media business is badly affected by the collapse in advertising. However, the company also saw a 9.4% growth in circulation numbers from its digital products. "We are intensifying our digitalisation efforts to transform the news content business in response to evolving demands from our audience," Ng said, adding that SPH will continue to take a "prudent and disciplined" approach to liquidity and capital management to weather the COVID-19 crisis.
SPH's financial report showed that its revenue for its media business fell by SG$131.7 million to SG$445.1 million. This was largely due to its newspaper print advertisement revenue which declined 32.9% or SG$99.1 million, as COVID-19 intensified the structural decline in the advertising sector. Circulation revenue, however, held steady. SPH saw a 52.5% increase in its daily average newspaper digital sales of 130,598 copies. It is added that its growth in news tablet subscriptions partly compensated for its 12.6% drop in print copies.
To counter the difficult media landscape, SPH also recently established a three-year partnership with News Corp Australia (NCA) that brings NCA’s digital marketing service, News Xtend, to Singapore. With this partnership, SPH expands its advertising network to include a "one-stop outcome-based digital marketing solution" for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), it claims. SMEs can sign up for digital marketing packages through a monthly subscription model, and will have the option for their businesses to be marketed online.
The marketing will be done through channels including SPH digital assets, programmatic advertising, search engine marketing and social media advertising. Businesses may also add on other SPH media assets to their subscription package, and digital performance metrics can be tracked in real-time through a customer dashboard.
In August this year, SPH restructured its media sales and magazines operations where approximately 140 staff from the Media Solutions Division and SPH Magazines were retrenched.
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