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SPH launches next-generation newsstands called “buzz pods”


Singapore, 20 October 2006 - Consumers stepping into Singapore Press Holdings´ next-generation newsstands can enjoy a comprehensive news service and unique shopping experience from 20 October 2006 with the opening of the first two outlets.

Called "buzz pods", the small structures may be unassuming in scale, but to catch people´s attention, they are built to be striking with their novel design and their new "buzz" logo in bold orange while their neat and attractive product displays and layout are designed to be consumer-friendly.

The eye-catching kiosks will also embrace new technologies that will appeal to a new era of busy consumers.

A digital display on each buzz pod will stream breaking news, headlines and other information throughout the day. On top of that, the pods will boast a "Bluetooth" zone where consumers coming within a 50-m radius can download news and information on promotions to their mobile phones for free.

To enhance their shopping experience, consumers will be entertained with music from Radio 91.3 and Radio 100.3. To cap this positive experience, consumers who spend at least $5 at a buzz pod will be given complimentary Nescafe coffee.

These unique, value-added services are part of a break-through concept developed by mainboard listed Singapore Press Holdings Limited (SPH), the leading media company in Singapore.

SPH is launching its first two buzz pods ? at the Singapore Post Centre and Hougang Point on October 20, 2006. Another two buzz pods ? at Suntec City and Sun Plaza ? will open by the end of October

The innovative buzz pods, which will replace the traditional Buzz Kiosks over time, are designed to be in step and in style with changing consumer habits and new technologies to maximise consumer satisfaction.

SPH has noticed that, increasingly, young people with busy lifestyles prefer to buy SPH publications at newsstands. Hence, the buzz pods will be set up in bustling, well-trafficked public places such as bus depots, MRT train stations, supermarkets and commercial buildings to offer shopping convenience to those in a rush, whether they are busy executives or students.

What does a buzz pod offer?
On sale at the buzz pods are not only a whole range of SPH newspapers and magazines but also non-SPH titles distributed by SPH, and a wide array of consumer goods from key partners such as F&N Coca Cola, Nescafe, Unilever ? distributor of popular Ben & Jerry´s ice creams ? and a host of other popular snacks.

Advertisers and SPH´s business partners will be delighted to know that the buzz pods have been designed to provide an integrated marketing service. They can promote their new products and services to consumers using the light-box advertising panels, plasma TV screens (which will be installed at the buzz pods over the next three months), the digital news display or the Bluetooth service.

Says SPH CEO Alan Chan: “The revamp and expansion of SPH´s buzz pods are part of our latest efforts to stay in tune with our readers´ busy lifestyles. Besides providing a comprehensive retail experience for our readers and patrons, we have not forgotten our advertisers and business partners – with the value-added advertising opportunities that the new kiosks provide.”

SPH Unionworks, a SPH subsidiary, will also provide broadcasts by its two entertainment radio stations, Radio 100.3 in Chinese and Radio 91.3 in English, at the buzz pods.

New franchise opportunities with buzz pods
On the franchise model that has been adopted to help grow the network of buzz pods, Mr Chua Wee Phong, Senior Vice President of SPH Circulation department, says: “Besides staying relevant to today´s ever changing lifestyle, this is an excellent opportunity to develop and expand our existing network of distribution of our products to everyone. I am confident that with our new franchise model, we will be able to grow our number of kiosks to 60 kiosks in two to three years´ time.”

Under the franchise arrangement, a franchisee can expect to benefit from SPH´s strong media advertising and branding support. Exclusive marketing and promotional activities as well as marketing campaigns will also be organised to generate greater awareness of the buzz pods. The franchise offers fair compensation terms and franchisees are expected to break even within two years.

Launch of buzz pod at Singapore Post Centre
SPH will launch the opening of the buzz pod at Singapore Post Centre with a series of activities and special promotions from 20 October morning.

Special-edition ‘buzz´ coffee mugs will be given to the first 150 customers who buy a SPH newspaper and a SPH magazine. Those who purchase any SPH publication will be given redemption giveaways. There will be prizes for people taking part in games and quizzes. Roller-blading promoters and ‘newspaper boys´ will distribute flyers and encourage the public to activate the Bluetooth function on their mobile phones.

More goodies for opening celebration
For two weeks starting 20 October, customers will have even more reasons to make the buzz pod their daily stop! They can enjoy giveaways of Ben & Jerry´s ice-creams, Famous Amos Cookies, Spinelli and Nescafe coffees, F&N drinks and other products when they purchase a SPH newspaper. There will also be gifts when they buy a SPH magazine. During the same period, buzz pod customers also stand to win movie passes to the new GV VivoCity when they spend a minimum of $10.

Promotional blitz
Advertisements will appear in all SPH papers and selected magazines from 20 October to 30 November to promote the new buzz pods. A series of radio trailer commercials will be broadcast on Radio 91.3 and Radio 100.3. Colourful publicity materials will also be put in the vicinity of a buzz pod. They will carry the same message - Make the buzz pod a must stop, anytime, any day!

The press is invited to cover the launch of the buzz pod at the open area of Singapore Post Centre (near the bus stop at Eunos Road, next to Paya Lebar MRT Station) on 20 October, 2006 at 11am. There will be photo opportunities.

The attachment below shows an ad on the buzz pod:

Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Limited
Co. Regn. No: 198402868E

For more information, please contact:

Elaine Chia
Senior Manager
Circulation Marketing
Office Tel: 6319 1696
HP: 9625 9962.

Janice Lum
Circulation Marketing
Office Tel: 6319 2306
HP: 9746 0945

Chen Jingwen
Assistant Manager
Corporate Communications
Office Tel: 6319 1226
HP: 9743 5503

About Singapore Press Holdings Limited
Main board listed Singapore Press Holdings Limited is the leading media company in Singapore, in the print, Internet and broadcasting platforms. It publishes 14 newspapers in the four official languages, including Singapore’s first free Chinese newspaper, My Paper, and over 80 magazine titles. Everyday, 2.7 million individuals, or 83 per cent of the people above 15 years old, read one of the SPH publications. Its Internet Business Unit manages the online editio=s of SPH’s major newspapers, which enjoy over 100 million pageviews from 6 million unique visitors every month. More recent online additions are the classified website, ST701, and STOMP (Straits Times Online Mobile Print), a portal that connects, engages and interacts with readers on the Internet and via mobile messaging.

SPH owns and operates Paragon, the prime shopping and office building in the heart of Orchard Road. Paragon features international brands and luxury goods, restaurants serving wide-ranging cuisines and lifestyle facilities such as spas and a fitness club.

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 SPH UnionWorks, which operates two entertainment radio channels, Radio 100.3 in Chinese and Radio 91.3 in English. In addition, SPH holds an 80% stake in SPH MediaBoxOffice Pte Ltd, Singapore’s largest LED network media company, and a 35% stake in TOM Outdoor Media Group, a leading outdoor advertising company in China.