Singapore, 9 February 2006 - SPH clinched four awards at the inaugural “Hitwise Online Performance Awards” held this evening.
The awards celebrate the most popular websites in 2005, based on the market share of visits from Internet users in Singapore.
The award for the number one news website in Singapore went to Zaobao.com, the Internet edition of SPH´s Chinese flagship daily, Lianhe Zaobao. The news portal is also one of the most highly-accessed Chinese news sites in the region.
The Straits Times Interactive (STI) Podcast (podcast.straitstimes.com), launched only last August, was the most popular podcast website in the “Entertainment-Media” category last year.
SPH´s Internet arm, AsiaOne, walked off with two lifestyle awards :
a. AsiaOne Wine and Dine (wineanddine.asiaone.com.sg) ? the one-stop food, restaurant and drink guide ? was the winner in the Food and Beverage category.
b. AsiaOne Horoscopes (zodiac.asiaone.com), which provides daily readings of Chinese zodiacs and Sun Sign horoscopes, clinched the award in the “Lifestyle-New Age” category.
The winners were picked by Hitwise, an intelligence services company that monitors the daily internet usage of over 25 million users across more than 500,000 websites in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore.
“We are proud to be recognised for our high-quality news content and new media ventures. SPH has always been seeking new initiatives to stay relevant with our readers and to meet their changing needs, ” said the CEO of SPH, Alan Chan.
“It is heartening to know that such efforts have paid off, with our websites being the most popular in their respective categories.”
Zaobao.com´s Online Editor Zheng Wei said the team was very proud to have made Lianhe Zaobao the household name that it now is in Singapore and the region.
“We are the only Singapore platform with regional influence, fuelled by the phenomenal growth of Internet usage in the greater China market.”
Noting that “Podcast” was named the word of the year by the New Oxford American Dictionary in 2005, STI´s Executive Content Producer, Eugene Leow, said it was testament to its immense popularity that could not be ignored.
“We intend to keep engaging and interacting to be part of the Internet community.”
AsiaOne´s editor, Paul Jansen said, “We have just begun revamping the portal to give more value to readers and advertisers and incorporate the latest technology such as podcasts and vodcasts, and the awards show that we are right on track."
The awards, sponsored by Yahoo! Southeast Asia and AdAsia, were presented tonight at Rouge. This is the first time that the awards are being held in Singapore. Similar award nights will also be held in Australia and New Zealand.
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Main board listed Singapore Press Holdings Limited is the leading media company in Singapore, in the print, Internet and broadcasting platforms. It publishes 13 newspapers in the four official languages and more than 80 magazine titles. Everyday, 2.8 million individuals, or 88 per cent of the people above 15 years old, read one of the SPH publications. Its Internet Business Unit manages the online editions of SPH’s major newspapers and magazines, which together enjoy over 300 million pageviews a month.
SPH also owns a 20% stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8, U and TV Mobile, and a 40% stake in MediaCorp Press Pte Ltd, which publishes free sheet Today. SPH has a 70% stake in UnionWorks which operates two entertainment radio channels, UFM 100.3 FM in Chinese and WKRZ 91.3 FM in English, and owns an 80% stake in SPH MediaBoxOffice Pte Ltd, Singapore´s largest LED network media company.