THE Straits Times online website broke new records in March, hitting an all-time high in both page views and unique visitors.
Latest numbers from Nielsen's Site Census confirm that Singapore Press Holding's Internet strategy of investing in and occupying new-media spaces is on the right track.
StraitsTimes.com, which was relaunched last August with a free breaking news section, saw its month-on-month page views grow 24.4 per cent, while unique visitors jumped 48 per cent. On average, readers are spending 20 per cent more time on ST.com.
ST.com's Editor Joanne Lee said the numbers have more than doubled since the August relaunch as the website strives to address the concerns of its readers.
"By mid-next week, we will have a special microsite called 'Overcoming the storm with confidence' which is specially tailored to address SME's concerns and help them learn survival strategies from companies who have ridden previous economic crises out successfully," said Ms Lee.
Most of SPH's other websites also logged record numbers. AsiaOne, SPH's news portal that aggregates the entire suite of the company's websites, saw a 20 per cent rise in page views and 13.5 per cent climb in unique visitors. Stomp, a citizen journalism website, saw an 11 per cent jump in both page views and unique visitors.
Said Felix Soh, Digital Media Editor: "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. 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 which allows users to access breaking news stories onto their Apple phones free. In the three months since its launch, iPhone application page views have risen 130 per cent, while users have grown by 44 per cent. Over the next few months, SPH will also be rolling out Razor TV and Stomp iPhone applications.
But that's not all. SPH's Digital Media Unit is currently working on similar applications for all mobile operating systems, so non-Apple users can also enjoy SPH news on-the-go.
Said Raymond Teoh, 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."
Source: The Straits Times