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Best of digital works recognised at
Asian Digital Media Awards 2016 in Singapore

Recognising excellences and competencies of Asian news publishers using digital media and mobile strategies as part of their product offering to meet the major changes in how readers consume news and information, WAN-IFRA has recently awarded some of the leading news media firms in the continent at Asian Digital Media Awards 2016 held on November 09 in Singapore.

Jointly presented by WAN-IFRA (The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers) and Google, Asian Digital Media Awards 2016 drew media experts and executives from Asia and other parts of the world discussing on a string of issues that are currently reshaping the digital media business. The awards were designed to recognise outstanding work of Asian news media companies in the diverse fields of online video, data visualisation, digital advertising campaigns, mobile services, websites, tablet publishing, new products and reader engagement.

Celebrated winners

As the news media industry is undergoing constant transformation, Asian Digital Media Awards are a unique tool for publishers to motivate their digital teams and benchmark their achievements. Though the awards event is a regional competition, all top winners automatically compete in WAN-IFRA’s World Digital Awards, with Asian news media companies regularly triumphing over prestigious global media brands and peers from America, Europe, India or the Middle-East.

Among the celebrated winners this year, The Star Media Group’s R.AGE news and lifestyle platform clinched the Asia Digital Media Awards 2016 for Best New Product; the company was also awarded in another global competition, The World’s Young Prize 2016. All entries to the Asian awards were evaluated by a panel of 23 judges from over 10 different countries, including media professionals currently working in prestigious publications such as The Guardian, The Economist or Die Welt. The winners are listed as follow.

Best Data Visualisation Project: (Animals Crossing by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd; The Day the Mountain Shook by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd; Formula One season by Thomson Reuters Asia Pte Ltd).

Best Digital Advertising Campaign: (OHI (Obviously Harith Iskander) by Astro Awani Network Sdn Bhd; Brand Insider/SPH Razor: Canon - From a Mother to a Mother by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd; Go Around Japan with KIT KAT by Next Mobile Limited).

Best in Tablet Publishing: (The Age tablet app by The Age Company Limited; A Gallery of Old and New by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd; ZIP (Zon Interaktif Pesona) by The New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Bhd).

Best News Mobile Service: (Inquirer Chat Apps by Philippine Daily Inquirer/Megamobile; Stomp's WhatsApp Service by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd; SCMP Mobile Edition by South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd).\

Best News Website: (Fleeing to Survive by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd; by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd; by Bloomberg Media).

Best Lifestyle Website: (OHI (Obviously Harith Iskander) by Astro Awani Network Sdn Bhd; A Gallery of Old and New by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd; by Edipresse Media Asia Limited).

Best New Product: R.AGE TV by Star Media Group Berhad; TODAY's Mobile App by Mediacorp Press Ltd; TODAY ask ST by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd).

Best Reader Engagement: (2015 District Council Election Minisite by Apple Daily Ltd; Inquirer Guyito Stickers Campaign by Philippine Daily Inquirer/Megamobile; Stomp by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd).

Best Use of Online Video: (Left-behind Children: Orphans with Parents, the Tragedies of 70 Million by Apple Daily Ltd; Kupu-Kupu Malam: Indonesia's Night Butterflies by Mediacorp Pte Ltd, Channel NewsAsia (Digital News)

Digital priorities

Five main topics which speakers from some of the leading media organisations discoursed at the award event consisted of: i) Putting audience attention data into action; ii) Beyond distributed content; iii) Direct responses to ad blocking; iv) The end of display advertising 1.0; and v) Riding the live video and VR wave.

Some of the keynote speakers present at the awards event included: Nick Petrie, deputy head of digital, The Times & Sunday Times, UK; Tan Lee Chin, chief content officer, MCIL Multimedia, Malaysia; Indraneel Ganguli, SVP & global head, brand & field marketing, Tech Mahindra, India; Jonny Wright, MD, The Wall Street Journal; Ben Shaw, global head advisory services, WAN-IFRA, Germany; Dushyant Khare, head - global partnerships Southeast Asia & India, Google, among others.

The league of recognised Asian and international speakers talked about boosting digital revenues, creating innovative digital products in the sessions, stressing on a deep understanding of the specific nature and challenges of the Asian market. According to Scott Anthony, a managing partner at Singapore-based Innosight consulting firm, who has recently co-authored Dual Transformation with Clark Gilbert, a book which proposes a practical and sustainable approach for transforming one’s business in the face of imminent disruption, news media companies can come out of a market shift stronger and more profitable.

In Asia, companies like Singapore-based MediaCorp, one of the leading broadcasting companies, have taken inspiration from Dual Transformation model. Clark Gilbert, a Harvard Business School professor and former CEO of Deseret Media (USA), remarked that news publishing companies must split their digital and print operations in order to thrive in the digital age—this implies to conduct two transformations: the evolution of the legacy business and a new business that encompasses, beyond digital advertising.

Since its inception in 2009, Digital Media Asia conference has grown to become one of the largest digital events dedicated to the publishing industry in Asia.


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