Digital media gears up

Digital media gears up
A group of women with copies of The New Paper. The paper's first revamped issue will hit the news-stands on 3 October 2013. This is the paper's first major revamp since 2008.

The pace of readers shifting from print to digital platforms for news has quickened, a trend underscored by the survey findings of the 2013 Nielsen Singapore Media Index Report.

And The New Paper's audience - made up largely of the youngest and most Internet-savvy readers in Singapore - is no different.

Nielsen's survey on readership reported a dip of 2.5 per cent. Last year, TNP's readership grew from 11.8 per cent to 12.1 per cent.

The latest survey, conducted from July last year to June this year, found readership to have dipped from 459,000 to 363,000.

The decline was in line with readership findings of all other major newspapers, which experienced readers increasingly moving from print to online.

The Today newspaper, a MediaCorp freesheet, suffered the largest loss of readership among all newspapers at 4.3 per cent.

TNP, which turned 25 this year, remains the second most-read paid English daily. But the worldwide trend of readers increasingly preferring their news on multiple platforms could not be ignored.

According to the report, there is a growth in media consumption via mobile devices, with 12 per cent of the adult population in Singapore reading newspapers via this method. Last year, the figure was 7 per cent.

REVAMP

But even before the latest findings, TNP had embarked on a complete revamp, re-looking its content focus, design and strategy. The process began in November last year and involved reaching out to readers in a comprehensive qualitative survey lasting five months.

The refreshed TNP hit the streets on Oct 3, after the survey period. Next: A major digital initiative due to be launched soon.

TNP editor Dominic Nathan said: "We anticipated the shifting readership trends and responded with our print revamp to make us more local, vocal and social.

"We will roll out our new digital offerings in the coming months to make sure we are available to readers any time and on any device. Football fans can look out for new features on our Football Kaki app as well, all in time for the 2014 World Cup."

Readers' response to the revamped TNP have been positive. Mr Simon Leong, vice-president (corporate services), Singapore Turf Club, is a fan of TNP's new look.

He said: "The layout of the pages is much better and TNP now is much more focused. I especially like the stories that have been coming out, which definitely fits the theme of the paper which is more local, vocal and social.

"I am also looking forward to the digital plans of TNP, that way readers can keep up with the paper even when they are not in the country."

Agreeing, long-time reader Mohd Safri Abbas - a subscriber since 1996 - said the digital offering "will definitely be well received by TNP fans who are now on mobile devices".

"I travel a lot for work so a digital version would help me keep in touch with TNP so I can know what's going on at home, especially in the local football scene," said the 44-year-old sales director.


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