International round-up: US readers turn to digital

State of the News Media

The Pew Research Center’s latest State of the News Media report has been released, with figures showing the majority of Americans say they get their news through a digital platform.

“In 2013, 82 per cent of Americans said they got news on a desktop or laptop and 54 per cent said they got news on a mobile device,” the report said. “Beyond that, 35 per cent reported that they get news in this way ‘frequently’ on their desktop or laptop, and 21 per cent on a mobile device (cellphone or tablet).

The report said that although print ad revenues are in decline, “traditional advertising from print and television still accounts for more than half of the total revenue supporting news.”

Social developments and mobile use are bringing consumers into the process and are “change the dynamics of the process”, according to the report.

“Fifty per cent of social network users share or repost news stories, images or videos while nearly as many (46 per cent) discuss news issues or events on social network sites,” it said.

Pew noted that for newspapers adding a digital subscription product and combined print and digital packages, it is often the case that “the biggest paywall gains tend to come in the first year with revenues flattening in following years.”

Straits Times launches Myanmar edition  

Singapore-based English-language daily The Straits Times has launched a Myanmar edition, with an initial circulation of 5000 copies.

RVi Group has been licensed by publisher Singapore Press Holding Ltd (SPH) to print and distribute the paper, with distribution to be concentrated in major cities Yangon, Naypyidaw and Mandalay, with an audience focus of local and foreign businessman.

Editor of The Straits Times Warren Fernandez said: “We have watched the re-emergence of Myanmar as part of the regional community with great interest, as part of The Straits Times‘ commitment to covering the Asian story for our readers in Singapore and around the world.

“So we are happy indeed to be able to serve readers in Myanmar as well.”

Chua Wee Phong, the executive vice-president of circulation for SPH, said that the paper would keep local readers informed of important regional and international news and that the publisher was “honoured to be part of Myanmar’s continuing rapid development”.

The Straits Times will become the largest international newspaper by circulation in Myanmar.

Sunday Times top UK app

The Sunday Times’ tablet edition was the UK’s most popular newspaper tablet app in February, according to the latest data from Britain’s  Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC).

Of the paper’s 88,080 “active views per week” average, 79,455 were on iPads, with 8625 on Android devices.

The next most read tablet edition was that for The Times (79,455), with The Mirror weekdays’ app (46,916), The Daily Mail’s Mail Plus app (18,887) and The Mirror’s weekend app (7,117) all registering much lower figures.

IPO looms for Vice Media

Online and magazine juggernaut Vice Media is considering taking the company public, with CEO Shane Smith hinting at an IPO in an interview with Bloomberg TV.

Mr Smith said in the interview that the company “would be stupid” not to test the market and that “there’s a lot of money sloshing around in the system, obviously valuations are high.”

Vice started in 1994 as a small magazine based in Montreal and has since morphed into an international media powerhouse, with a significant online presence and a YouTube channel that boasts almost 4.5 million subscribers and more than 400 million views.

Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox announced that it had purchased a 5 per cent stake in the company in August last year for US$70 million, valuing the company at US$1.4 billion.

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