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Interactive Newspapers Ads - Putting the Magic in Print

Singapore, 27 April 2016 -  While it may still take some years before tech companies come up with paper thin and flexible electronic screens that could make such interactive newspapers a reality, a bit of that magic is already happening to The Straits Times and My Paper.   

When subscribers read the “PDF” or electronic version of the newspaper on their smart phones or tablets, they will notice  some of the advertisements on the paper actually move.  That’s not all.  When readers touch the advertisements on their screens, the ad will respond and immediately produce several call- to-action buttons that will allow readers to call, message or go to advertisers’ websites. Readers can also share the app easily via emails, phone messages or through their social media account. To top it all, if readers want to search for other similar ads that appear in the day’s newspapers, they can also do this easily.

The first phase of the interactive newspaper journey for The Straits Times has already started for all its print display and classified ads. By simply touching the selected image on the advertisement, readers can either choose to call the vendor directly or share the ad over viral channels, email, or save the advertisement into the photo album. These features are  available for the iOS version of the app and will be available on the Android at a later date. 

Soon, even the news stories and pictures can be interactive, making the whole newspaper look alive on smart devices. This innovation is the brainchild of a team of enterprising staff at Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) which publishes The Straits Times. The team has even secured a patent for the interactive newspaper, making it a breakthrough technology for the 171-year-old broadsheet.

Ms Elsie Chua, Executive Vice-President and Head, Marketing Division at SPH, said: "We are pleased to introduce these new features to our advertisers and readers. With these new functions, advertisers can reach out to a wider target group more effectively and for the readers, the user-friendly functions definitely provide an efficient platform for them to get connected to the vendors or suppliers. We will be rolling out more features in the coming months and look forward to further enhance the user experience.“

Currently the print  advertisements in The Straits Times have gone beyond the reach of 1.2 million readers daily through new features in its e-paper version, chalking up another 150,000* reach daily from readers who are accessing the print replica through their smartphones and tablets. For My Paper, the reach in print is 227,000, with additional opportunity to reach out more in its e-paper version as 100,000 has been downloaded on its app.

The SPH’s interactive newspaper technology is unique because it enabled the interactive and animation features to be incorporated in the newspapers without the need to deploy many creative designers. This is important because newspapers are published daily. In addition, its interactive features enable readers to do what they would have done on a print product but in a more convenience way digitally. Readers could do “paper clippings” digitally, search and share advertisements digitally, as well as contact advertisers via one-touch call, messaging, email or go directly to advertisers’ websites. The digital replica is presented in exactly the same manner as its print copy, allowing online readers to do a quick one-glance page overview as well as offering pleasant reading and browsing experience. In other words, the technology mimics what readers would have done when reading newspapers on print, and to engage readers with animated advertisements, and to enable the advertisements to reach a much wider audience online when readers share the advertisements digitally through social media, email, messaging, and so on.  

Mr Tan Ooi Boon, Head of Integrated Sales and Print Classified, noted that his team had been testing these features on the free Classified mobile app since last year and every month, thousands of users would use it to call and message the advertisers directly from their mobile phones with just a touch. He hoped that all advertisers would take advantage of these features as it only requires simple adjustments to how they create the ad copy to make it interactive on SPH’s platforms.

“Newspapers are no longer static. When viewed on smart devices, they move, like how they do in the Harry Potter movies. Such features will greatly attract our readers and when they get excited, they will surely respond and get in touch with the advertisers. We look forward to working closely with all our advertisers so that their newspaper ads become even more effective and impactful in connecting with their customers,” he said.

* Nielsen Media Index 2015


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

For more information, please contact:

Deror Wong (Mr)
Assistant Manager
Corporate Communications & CSR
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
DID: 6319 1226

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.


The English/Malay/Tamil Media group comprises the print and digital operations of The Straits Times, The Business Times, The New Paper, Berita Harian, My Paper (English section) and two student publications IN and Little Red Dot. It also consists of Tamil Murasu Ltd, which publishes Tamil Murasu and tabla!; book publishing arm Straits Times Press; SPH Data Services, which licenses the use of the Straits Times Index, in partnership with the Singapore Exchange and FTSE Ltd; financial data company ShareInvestor; and the two English stations of SPH Radio - Kiss92 and ONE FM 91.3. 

The Chinese Media group publishes three Chinese newspapers - Lianhe Zaobao, Lianhe Wanbao and Shin Min Daily News; the digital editions of Lianhe Zaobao and Lianhe Wanbao, four student weeklies - zbCOMMA, Thumbs Up, Thumbs Up Junior and Thumbs Up Little Junior, ZBBZ Newsgazine and My Paper (Chinese section). It also operates SPH Radio's Chinese radio station, UFM100.3, and Focus Publishing, which produces a range of books and magazines including U-Weekly. 

SPH's other new media initiatives include AsiaOne, Stomp, and SPH Razor. 

On an average day, 2.8 million* individuals or 68 per cent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH's news publications in print copies or one of our digital platforms. (* Nielsen Media Index 2015, Monday-Sunday, read any SPH newspapers in print or digital format)

SPH Magazines, SPH's wholly-owned subsidiary, publishes and produces more than 100 magazine titles and has various online sites, like and in Singapore and the region, covering a broad range of interests from lifestyle to information technology. It has also invested in digital newsstand Magzter.

SPH also provides out-of-home (OOH) advertising options where it manages large format screens and static billboards at key locations in the Central Business District, Orchard Road, City Fringe as well as major heartland hubs.

SPH Buzz is a modern retail convenience chain with a network of stores around the island.

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.


SPH REIT is a Singapore-based REIT established to invest in a portfolio of income-producing real estate primarily for retail purposes. SPH REIT comprises Paragon, a premier upscale retail mall and medical suite/office property in Orchard Road and The Clementi Mall, a mid-market suburban mall in the centre of Clementi town.

The Seletar Mall, located in Sengkang, is SPH's latest retail development. 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.

Other Businesses

Online Classified

SPH’s online classifieds include the leading online marketplace for jobs (STJobs, FastJobs), property (STProperty), cars (STCars) and general classifieds (STClassifieds,Trezo), sgCarMart and StreetSine.
SPH's regional joint venture online classified business has a number of leading online classified sites in the region.

Events and Exhibitions

Sphere Exhibits, Sphere Conferences, Exhibits Inc and Bizlink Exhibition Services organise innovative consumer and trade events and exhibitions as well as large scale conferences in Singapore and the region. 


SPH has a 22 per cent stake in preschool and enrichment provider MindChamps.

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