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SPH sharpens competitive edge in newspaper market

  • Launch of Eyeball and Streats to capture new markets
  • Chinese newspapers to lift circulation with more editions

June 7, 2000 - Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) Limited, Singapore’s leading newspaper publisher, is adding two brand new English language products to its stable of 10 daily news publications as part of its continuing efforts to better serve its customers. Project Eyeball is an integrated print and cyberspace news publication. The print version of Project Eyeball, and the other new product, Streats, are both morning tabloids targeted to capture new segments of the newspaper market.

Project Eyeball targets the net-savvy young professionals, and Streats focuses on the commuting public. Their debut complements The Straits Times, the group’s flagship morning news title, and The Business Times, the premier English language business paper in the English language market. Details of these products are announced on 6 and 7 June, respectively.

Noon editions of Lianhe Wanbao (LHWB) and Shin Min Daily News (SMDN) will also be launched in early July. The new editions will be circulated by late morning to serve the lunch time information needs of the Chinese readership. There will be about 40% difference in editorial content between the combined first and second editions, to provide timely and wider news coverage for the readers.

The combined circulation of LHWB and SMDN have grown 12% over the last 5 years, from 241,000 in 1995 to 270,000 copies today. We expect their circulation to grow even higher with the latest initiatives.

The new titles and editions are the latest in a series of product upgrade and innovations SPH has taken to serve its readers and advertisers better. Over the last two years, efforts to refresh the look and feel, and repackaging of edition content were undertaken for the Straits Time, Business Times, Lianhe Zaobao (and Fukan section into zbNOW), Berita Harian, Berita Minggu, Tamil Murasu and Shin Min Daily News. (See attached list.)

With the public listing of AsiaOne, intense marketing efforts will be deployed to promote SPH’s online newspapers - which include The Straits Times Interactive, Zaobao Online, The Business Times Online, The Electric New Paper, CyBerita and Tamil Murasu Online - and brand AsiaOne as a leading Asian news and information portal.

Said Mr Tham Khai Wor, Executive Vice President of SPH, "In today’s media business, the real competition is for the time and attention of consumers and readers who have so many choices from newspapers to TV, radio, magazines and of course the internet."

"To stay competitive in this business, SPH has continually improved our products to suit the information and lifestyle needs of our readers, and offer value-added solutions to our advertisers to maximise visibility and effectiveness in projecting their brands and products," added Mr Tham.

The liberalisation of the media industry will see more competition in the newspaper market, but it would also lead to a larger advertising market, where currently the annual advertising expenditure is only 0.9% of GDP. Compared to Japan and the US where the percentage is 1.8% to 2.0%, there is room for advertising spending to grow as the economy continues to improve.

For more information, please contact:

Liew Kim Siong
Senior Manager
Corporate Communications
Tel 7401216
Ong Yuin Ling (Ms)
Assistant Manager
Corporate Communications
Tel 7401001

Main board listed Singapore Press Holdings Limited is the leading newspaper publisher in Singapore, with one of the region’s most advanced printing assets. It produces 10 newspapers in four languages, and six periodicals. SPH newspapers reach a daily readership of 3.8 million with a combined circulation of 1.1 million. SPH holds stakes in MobileOne (M1) mobile phone and paging service provider, and in Singapore Cable Vision (SCV) cable TV and broadband access operator. Its public listed subsidiary AsiaOne provides internet portal services with online news and e-commerce facilities, while its wholly-owned subsidiary SPH MediaWorks, leads the Group’s foray into the broadcasting business.