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SPH websites hit record highs in March

Singapore, 2 April 2009 - Singapore Press Holdings' online websites broke new records in March, with most of them recording all-time highs in both pageviews and unique visitors.

Latest numbers from Nielsen's Site Census confirm that SPH's Internet strategy of investing in and occupying new-media spaces appears to be on the right track.

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. 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."

ST.com, which was relaunched last August with a free breaking news section, has been attracting new readers. Month-on-month, ST.com’s page views grew 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 specific concerns of its readers.

“By mid-next week, for example, we will have a special microsite called ‘Overcoming the storm with confidence’ which is 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.

ST.com’s sister 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 pageviews and 13.5 per cent climb in unique visitors.

Adrian Tay, AsiaOne Editor, explained: “Part of our strategy is to identify niche audiences and cater specially to their interests. Our luxury site, Plush, is one example of how we managed to target a certain demographic and cover the society news they want to read.”

Stomp, a citizen journalism website which features issues and videos generated by readers, recorded an 11 per cent rise in both pageviews and unique visitors.

The websites, however, don’t 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 phone for 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 Stomp and Razor TV, its new web television initiative, as 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 Interactive Business Unit: “We are constantly working on introducing the new media platforms to advertisers to position their message to their target demographic, and we're definitely seeing more advertisers keen to embrace the Internet.”

NIELSEN Site Census
For March 2009

  Page Views Unique Visitors
ST.com 22,639,649 (up 24.40%) 1,521,028 (up 47.96%)
AsiaOne 16,800,367 (up 19.92%) 1,442,103 (up 13.42%)
Stomp 17,267,785 (up 11.13%) 570,405 (up 11.37%)

 Percentages are on a month-to-month basis.

Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Co. Regn. No. 198402868E

Media contacts:-

Joanne Lee
Editor, Straitstimes.com
DID - 6319 5271
Email - joannel@sph.com.sg

Yeo Siew Chi (Mr)
Assistant Manager
Corporate Communications
DID – 6319 1586
Email – yeosc@sph.com.sg

About Singapore Press Holdings (SPH)

Incorporated in 1984, main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. It is Southeast Asia’s leading media organisation, engaging minds and enriching lives across multiple languages and platforms.

Newspapers and Magazines
In Singapore, SPH publishes 17 newspaper titles in four languages. Every day, 2.9 million individuals or 79 per cent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH's news publications. SPH also publishes and produces more than 100 magazine titles in Singapore and the region, covering a broad range of interests from lifestyle to information technology.

Internet and Mobile
Beyond print, the Internet editions of SPH newspapers enjoy over 150 million pageviews with 9 million unique visitors every month. Apart from SPH AsiaOne portal, SPH's online and new media initiatives include an online marketplace for products, services and employment, ST701; local search and directory engine, rednano.sg; Stomp (Straits Times Online Mobile Print), a portal that connects, engages and interacts with readers on the Web and via mobile phone messaging; omy, a bilingual news and interactive portal and The Straits Times RazorTV, a free access interactive webcast service offering live chat shows and video-on-demand clips.

Broadcasting
SPH has a 20 per cent stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8, U and TV Mobile, and a 40 per cent stake in MediaCorp Press Limited, which publishes the free newspaper, Today. In the radio business, SPH has an 80 per cent stake in SPH UnionWorks Pte Ltd, which operates entertainment stations Radio 100.3 FM in Mandarin and Radio 91.3 FM in English.

Outdoor Advertising
In addition, SPH has ventured into outdoor advertising through its wholly-owned subsidiary, SPH MediaBoxOffice Pte Ltd, Singapore’s largest outdoor motion display advertising network media company and a 35 per cent stake in TOM Outdoor Media Group, a leading outdoor advertising company in China.

Properties
SPH owns and manages Paragon, the prime retail and office complex in the heart of Orchard Road, Singapore's main shopping belt. SPH's wholly-owned subsidiary, Times Development Pte Ltd, is also developing a 43-storey upmarket residential condominium, Sky@eleven, at Thomson Road.

Corporate citizenry
As an industry leader, SPH is an active corporate citizen and supports a wide range of community and charitable causes, ranging from education, arts and culture to conservation and sports. For its contributions to the community, SPH was named the Top Corporate Giver by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre in 2005 and has been bestowed the Distinguished Patron of the Arts award by the National Arts Council every year since 1993. It also received the Partner of Heritage award at the 2008 Patron of the Heritage Awards ceremony organised by the National Heritage Board.