World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

New businesses, new opportunities

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

New businesses, new opportunities


The Karangkraf Media Group took to diversification of the family business as a way of dealing with the challenges any publisher faces today. KK is Malaysia’s largest privately held, family-run publishing group. To remain relevant to new audiences, this publishing company took its magazine business into a joint venture with the country’s pay-TV operator, Astro.

Karangkraf’s COO Syamil Fahim Muhamad Fahim described it as a “journey of divesting and creating a new company, a new partner that we have not done before – a broadcast company with a print media company.” Astro comes with 21 million viewers while KK had its own 15 million magazine readers. Syamil says the company has this simple mantra in place: create ideas, create content, innovate, create solutions and revolutionise mass media. And they did that by producing content for Astro using Augmented Reality and 360-degree content. The partnership proved to be a match made in heaven, says Syamil.

Alliances and the “banding together” of publishers were also uppermost on the mind of CEO of Singapore Media Exchange, Hari Shankar. Such an alliance resulted in the country’s first programmatic advertising exchange known as Singapore Media Exchange. A consortium was formed between MediaCorp - with its wide range of media platforms in Singapore - and Singapore Press Holdings with its core business of publishing newspapers, magazines, books, in both print and digital editions, and other digital products, online classifieds, radio stations and outdoor media.

Shankar emphasised that SMX provides programmatic solutions that are designed to deliver greater audience engagement and impact. Unravelling further what SMX sets out to do, Shankar said it is all about publishers working together to create an alternative market scale that does not need to depend on an external technology. In short Shankar highlights that a premium programmatic exchange is one that is “by the publishers, for the publishers, of the publishers.” He added that the very core of a successful consortium is an alternative market place - consolidated banding together, with trust, proper governance in terms of publishers, a game plan, rules of engagement and commitment. While many working in digital space are acutely aware that programmatic advertising is the new frontier, mastering it is another ballgame altogether.

The third speaker, Sonny Kwon, boldly declared that all media will be tokenized in the next five years and then went on to elaborate on how his Seoul-based company will help make this possible. As the founder and CEO of PUBLISH Inc and Managing Editor of EconoTimes and TokenPost, his mission is to provide innovative solutions for the next generation of publishers.

 PUBLISH Inc has created a cutting-edge blockchain-based content management system which comprises three parts. First, the PUBLISH protocol, which is a patented and blockchain-based; secondly, it is an alliance of publishers, academicians, institutions and companies. Thirdly, PUBLISH is an end-to-end publishing system. “You can think of it as WordPress but for newspapers,” said Kwon.

Still, he adds, the future of it all rests on the use of tokens. While mindful of the pitfalls – what he dubs as “noise” surrounding bitcoins and cryptocurrency – he is hopeful that there will be at least 10,000 news outlets using blockchain technology and tokens as well by 2020.  Kwon points out that having a sustainable token economy will be key.



About the author: Shobi Pereira is the MD of Shobi Pereira Communications and a former civil servant and news presenter with Bloomberg, Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, CNN, Television Corporation of Singapore and Singapore Broadcasting Corporation.


Kimberly Lim's picture

Kimberly Lim


2019-05-14 12:24

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