Date
25 September 2017
BuzzFeed reaches out to readers with lists, stories and videos. Photo: BuzzFeed
BuzzFeed reaches out to readers with lists, stories and videos. Photo: BuzzFeed

Toughing it out on the new-media front line

Traditional media may be finding the going tough but new media also face challenges, including over-reliance on social media, the struggle to establish reputation, a lack of interaction with readers and a lack of mobile data support, Apple Daily reported Tuesday.

Christina Lo, the head of Apple Daily’s digital strategy, said new media often rely on social media, and can lose traffic and advertising income to sites such as Facebook. She said that if the Facebook page of a news outlet is more popular than the outlet’s own site, advertisers will only spend their money on Facebook. “Some media have sent 70 percent of their traffic to Facebook,” Lo was quoted as saying.

KK Tsang, chief executive of marketing agency The Bees Group, said the top three choices for online advertising are Apple Daily, TVB and Yahoo because they are well-positioned in the mass market while new media are still in their infancy. Tsang also said advertisers can be deterred by outlets taking a strong stand on an issue.

The report said a lack of staff is another limitation for new media, prompting outlets like digital platform 852 Post to focus on breaking views. This limitation is compounded when new media are denied interview requests and access to press conferences, making it difficult to report on some issues.

BuzzFeed international vice president Scott Lamb said new media in Hong Kong should try to increase user engagement instead of just getting people to leave messages on Facebook. One way of doing this is to package information in tests, ranking or charts, the report added.

According to the Office of the Communications Authority, average mobile data usage has fallen since October as service providers have capped previously unlimited data packages. In the last five months, usage has dropped 13 percent, suggesting that people are more selective about the videos they watch.

Apple Daily’s video clips are generally 5 megabytes to 10 MB in size, translating to about 680 clips for a 5 gigabyte monthly package, the report added.

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