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SPH Digital walked away with the top prize at Digital Media Asia Hack 2014

SPH Digital walked away with the top prize at Digital Media Asia Hack 2014

Singapore, 17 November 2014   After two gruelling days at the Digital Media Asia Hack (DMA.Hack), the idea of "Beans" came out tops in the hackathon organised by World Association of Newspapers and Publishers (WAN-IFRA), SPH Digital and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Newsplex Asia at the Microsoft Auditorium on 16 November. 

The team from SPH Digital consisting of Lim Huishan, Huang Jianwei, Eric Tan, Sue Kah Yong and Yao Dianchen dreamt up Beans  an app that innovatively uses the concept of machine learning to serve readers with news articles. As readers continue to use Beans, it would eventually put together a personalised “playlist” to better suit them as they continue to use the product. 

The team also proposed revenue models for Beans, such as micro-payment for full access 
 where readers can pay a small amount of money to get limited time access to premium content behind the paywall. 

Commending the team on the simplicity of their idea, Mr Alan Soon, Country Manager of Yahoo Singapore and Managing Editor of Yahoo Southeast Asia, said, “The idea of playlists is easy to understand, since everyone knows how a Spotify playlist work. Apart from the playlist, their revenue model was clear and complete with their future expansion plans. They even made a logo that had a clear corporate identity.”  

Recounting the team’s experience, Ms Lim Huishan, team leader of Beans and Business Intelligence Manager at SPH Digital, said: “It was an interesting experience to see all the different teams having different interpretations of what the ‘Search and Discovery’ theme meant. We were honoured to be accorded the top prize, but the energy and vitality of everyone really surprised us.” 

While Ms Tan Su-Lin, Deputy Head of SPH Digital and a member on the judging panel, abstained from voting for all three SPH Digital teams which entered in the competition, she said: “It was refreshing to see how some teams dreamt up of new ways to treat an old business. For two days, the participants sat in the driver’s seat in terms of innovation instead of being in the back seat consuming news products. As for Beans, their idea was different from the crowd and practical in terms of execution, although more work would need to go into polishing the product.” 

The winning team walked away with prizes including $2,500 worth of shopping vouchers, Amazon Web Services Activate Portfolio Package and a chance to pitch their idea with venture capitalist Golden Gate Ventures. The top three teams will also be demonstrating their winning solution at the Digital Media Asia conference on 19 November.  

The judging panel for DMA.Hack consists of:

● Mr Gilles Demptos, Director, Asia, WAN-IFRA, Singapore
● Ms Tan Su-Lin, Deputy Head, SPH Digital, Singapore 
● Mr Alan Soon, Managing Editor, Yahoo! Southeast Asia, Singapore 
● Mr Kim Svendsen, Marketing Manager, CCI Europe, Sweden 
● Mr Lennon Teng, Co-founder, Notiφ (Notiphi), Singapore 

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

For more information, please contact:

Angelia Tay
Manager, Marketing and Communications
Digital Division
Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
DID : 6319 1516
Email :

Gary Goh
Executive, Marketing and Communications
Digital Division
Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
DID: 6319 8968


Adrian Cheong
Corporate Communications & CSR Division
Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
DID: 6319 2261

About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

Incorporated in 1984, main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is Asia’s leading media organisation, engaging minds and enriching lives across multiple languages and platforms.

Newspapers, Magazines and Book Publishing

SPH has 19 titles licensed under the Newspaper Printing and Presses Act, of which nine are daily newspapers across four languages. On an average day, 2.8 million individuals or 69 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. SPH's subsidiaries, Straits Times Press and Focus Publishing, produce quality books and periodicals in English and Chinese.

Internet and Mobile

Beyond print, SPH's suite of digital products includes online editions of newspapers and magazines, as well as mobile applications. Our online products enjoy 360 million page views with 23 million unique browsers every month. Apart from AsiaOne, SPH’s online and new media initiatives include ST701, the leading online marketplace for jobs (STJobs), property (STProperty), cars (STCars) and general classifieds (STClassifieds); Stomp, and SPH Razor. Besides print, SPH newspapers are also available on online, smartphone and tablet platforms.


In the radio business, SPH Radio Pte Ltd operates entertainment stations UFM 100.3 in Mandarin, as well as Kiss92 and HOT FM91.3 in English. SPH has a 20 per cent stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8 and U, and a 40 per cent stake in MediaCorp Press Limited, which publishes the free newspaper, Today.

Events and Out-of-Home Advertising

SPH’s events arm Sphere Exhibits organises innovative consumer and trade events and exhibitions as well as large scale conferences in Singapore and the region. In addition, SPH has ventured into out-of-home (OOH) advertising through its digital out-of-home platform SPHMBO.


SPH REIT is a Singapore-based REIT established principally to invest, directly or indirectly, in a portfolio of income-producing real estate which is used primarily for retail purposes in Asia-Pacific, as well as real estate-related assets. SPH REIT is managed by SPH REIT Management Pte Ltd, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings Limited.

The initial portfolio of SPH REIT comprises the following two high quality and well located commercial properties in Singapore:
· Paragon, a premier upscale retail mall and medical suite/office property, well known for its upscale mall housing many luxury brands, located in the heart of Orchard Road; and 
· The Clementi Mall, a mid-market suburban mall located in the centre of Clementi town, an established residential estate in the west of Singapore.
The Seletar Mall is SPH's latest retail development and is expected to open at the end of 2014. This property is a potential asset to be injected into SPH REIT. SPH’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Times Development Pte Ltd, also developed a 43-storey upmarket residential condominium, Sky@eleven, at Thomson Road.

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