SPH wins 7 awards at Asian Digital Media Awards 2019

Oct 30, 2019

Singapore Press Holdings Limited (SPH) received 7 awards at the Asian Digital Media Awards 2019, presented this evening at the Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott. The Awards is part of Digital Media Asia 2019 organised by World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).

The Asian Digital Media Awards 2019 recognises publishers who have adopted digital media and mobile strategies as part of their total product offerings to meet the major changes in how people consume news and information today. The 15 judges of this year’s Asian Digital Media Awards hail from the USA and Europe, judging 151 entries submitted from 24 media companies in 11 countries.

SPH won a total of 7 awards, including 3 Golds, 2 Silvers and 2 Bronzes.

The Straits Times (ST) Instagram: News Challenge won Gold for Best in Social Media Engagement. Conceptualised as a fun, interactive way to engage the younger audience, the weekly Instagram quiz features a series of multiple-choice questions on the week’s headlines. There is also an option to swipe up so users can read the related stories on straitstimes.com. The popular quiz has helped to grow ST’s Instagram account, which has increased its follower base by over 60% this year.

Garage, a portal by The Business Times (BT), which provides news and analysis about the region’s booming startup ecosystem, clinched Gold for Best Digital News Start-up.

A machine learning-enabled personalised experience for audience engagement and subscriptions won Gold in the Best Paid Content Strategy (incl. pay wall, membership or crowd funding models) category. ST, BT and Lianhe Zaobao have been using machine learning tools to deliver personalised customer journeys to increase both audience engagement and subscriptions. Readers can easily follow news and updates on topics that matter to them, in the form of targeted reads and videos.

ST’s interactive graphic story “War on waste: The dirty (brown) secret about e-commerce” won Silver for Best in Lifestyle, Sports, Entertainment Website or Mobile Services. The story explains how packaging waste is part of a global environmental problem with the rise of online shopping.

SPH also clinched Silver for Best Digital Project to Engage Younger and/or Millennial Audiences for ST and BT podcasts. Both ST and BT have been producing podcasts since March 2018 to expand their range of content offerings to engage new audiences. Their key strategy is to provide useful and practical tips to young listeners.

A news tablet app, which was launched by SPH in March to provide Chinese newspaper readers with a seamless no-login and auto update digital experience, won Bronze in the Best Paid Content Strategy (incl. pay wall, membership or crowd funding models) category.

Subscribers were able to read e-paper editions of Lianhe Zaobao, Lianhe Wanbao and Shin Min Daily News on the app, which is preloaded on the Samsung Galaxy Tab A Wi-Fi tablet with a single subscription. The campaign has gained over 10,000 sign-ups, of which three-quarters are new subscribers.

Where’s Merly? A National Day game challenge for Singaporeans by ST, clinched a Bronze for Best in Social Media Engagement. ST marked Singapore’s National Day in 2018 with this online interactive game to get readers to look for 53 items – to mark the nation’s 53rd birthday – hidden in an illustration of a packed crowd watching the National Day Parade.

Mr Warren Fernandez, Editor-in-Chief of SPH’s English/ Malay/ Tamil Media Group and Editor of The Straits Times, said: “Ultimately, these awards are about our readers, whom we want to serve well, across all our platforms. Winning these awards shows that we are making good progress as we transform our newsrooms to become more audience centred, data-driven, multimedia operations. We have content that stacks up with the best of our peers in the industry.”

Ms Lee Huay Leng, Head of SPH’s Chinese Media Group, said: “We are proud that our efforts in coming up with a customer-centric product to broaden audience reach are recognised. It removed pain points especially for elderly users, so that they could log on easily to read our e-papers on a tablet wherever they are. We are happy that many of them are on board this digital journey with us.”

The gold award winners are automatically eligible to compete with other top winners from Africa, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, North America and South Asia at the WAN-IFRA’s World Digital Media Awards in Spain in June next year.

List of SPH winners at Asian Digital Media Awards 2019

Best in Social Media Engagement (Gold)
Instagram: News Challenge by The Straits Times, Singapore Press Holdings

Best Digital News Start-up (Gold)
Garage by The Business Times, Singapore Press Holdings

Best Paid Content Strategy (incl. pay wall, membership or crowd funding models) (Gold)
– A machine learning-enabled personalised experience for audience engagement & subscriptions, Singapore Press Holdings

Best in Lifestyle, Sports, Entertainment Website or Mobile Services (Silver)
War on waste: The dirty (brown) secret about e-commerce by The Straits Times, Singapore Press Holdings

Best Digital Project to Engage Younger and/or Millennial Audiences (Silver)
ST & BT Podcasts reach younger audiences by Singapore Press Holdings

Best Paid Content Strategy (incl. pay wall, membership or crowd funding models) (Bronze)
– SPH News Tablet, Singapore Press Holdings

Best in Social Media Engagement (Bronze)
Where’s Merly? A National Day game challenge for Singaporeans by The Straits Times, Singapore Press Holdings

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