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4 awards for SPH online ventures - Feb 10, 2006 (ST)

BackFeb 10, 2006

The Straits Times / The Business Times News On SPH

4 awards for SPH online ventures

Zaobao Net edition rated top news website; 2 AsiaOne websites win too.

By Jermyn Chow
Feb 10, 2006
The Straits Times

SINGAPORE'S first news podcast has won top honours in the entertainment and multimedia category of the inaugural Hitwise Online Performance Awards.

The podcast, produced by a team at Straits Times Interactive (STI), was launched in August last year.

The podcast award was one of four bagged by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH). The Internet edition of its flagship Chinese daily, zaobao.com, was rated Singapore's No. 1 news website. SPH's asiaone.com won two lifestyle awards for its wineanddine. asiaone.com.sg and zodiac. asiaone.com websites.

SPH chief executive officer Alan Chan said: '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.'

He was also pleased that 'such efforts have paid off'.

STI executive content producer Eugene Leow said his team of five was very proud to have won an award, proving that size does not matter.

'Podcasting has become so popular, we intend to keep engaging and interacting to be part of the Internet community,' he said.

The awards were organised by Hitwise, an online measurement company that monitors daily Internet usage by more than 25 million users of over 500,000 websites in the United States, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Similar awards have been held for Australian and New Zealand websites.

Last night's awards were based on the number of daily visits by 1.5 million Internet users in Singapore, half the number of online users nationwide.

Awards were given out in 122 categories.

zaobao.com is one of the most frequently accessed Chinese news sites in the region, according to international web traffic monitoring agencies.

Its editor, Mr Zheng Wei, said: 'We want to widen our regional influence, especially with increased Internet usage in the greater China market.'

Publisher and editor of AdAsia magazine Allein Moore told The Straits Times many companies are spending up to 15 per cent of their budget on their Internet portals.

'You actually get much closer to the customer at a rather inexpensive cost... being able to talk to them one-to-one and get an instant response makes the Internet an unbeatable media and content provider.'

The STI podcast team is now also adding video news or vodcast clips on its site.

The free STI podcasts and vodcasts are available at podcast.straitstimes.com and vodcast.straitstimes.com