AsiaOne is a top 5 website that industry players would most willingly pay for advertising.
In a strong testimony of its popularity, the award-winning, free access news and lifestyle portal of media giant Singapore Press Holdings, was ranked within the top five places in three categories in the Marketing magazine's inaugural Online Media of the Year rankings, which include heavyweights like Google, Yahoo, MSN, CNet Asia, Wikipedia and BBC.
Three other SPH websites - Hardware Zone (www.hardwarezone.com), The Straits Times online (www.straitstimes.com) and The Business Times online (www.businesstimes.com) - also made it to the Top 10 list in search and general news, business and finance, and IT news.
Overall, AsiaOne (www.asiaone.com) was named one of the versatile and popular websites for securing spots in the Top Five list for all three categories.
It took the No. 2 spot in the category of business and finance news, after CNA, beating the likes of CNN and Yahoo. The Business Times and The Straits Times onlines were in 5th and 10th spots respectively.
Noted the survey report: "As a business and finance site, AsiaOne enjoyed strong support locally, which is evident from the tremendous vote count from local respondents, as well as its higher level of popularity with local companies than with foreign companies.
"Despite AsiaOne's popularity with the locals, more marketeers with regional responsibilities voted for AsiaOne than those with local responsibilities, although more voters ranked the website in 1st place than in 2nd or 3rd place.
"Respondents from the advertising - both creative and media buying - and financial services sectors reflected the most desire to advertise with AsiaOne."
In search and general news, AsiaOne was the most popular local site. It ranked 4th, after Google, Yahoo and MSN - all foreign sites - but was ahead of Channel NewsAsia, Yellow Pages and CNet Asia.
Local respondents gave AsiaOne more votes than foreign respondents did, with the majority of Singaporeans selecting AsiaOne as Number 1 while most foreign respondents placed it third.
AsiaOne, which draws over 100 million page views a month from six million unique browsers, made up primarily of PMEBs, was also favoured by more client-side respondents than the agency-side.
The latest accolades for AsiaOne came just over a week after it picked up an award at the inaugural Phoenix Award. AsiaOne won a Bronze award for its online commercial to brand its revamped site last September.
AsiaOne Editor Irene Ngoo says: "My team is delighted to be among the top five sites in all the three categories, alongside the big boys such as Google, Yahoo and MSN. Most of all, it is gratifying to know that AsiaOne is seen as advertiser and marketing friendly. We are committed to being pro-sales and pro-marketing to help advertisers reach their target audiences by creating opportunities for them."
"We will continue to improve the site and pursue excellence across all the sections in AsiaOne. This recognition is a tribute to the dedication and support of many people across the AsiaOne portal, Internet Sales Unit and Marketing Division in SPH," adds Ms Ngoo.
Hardware Zone shines as the top destination for IT news, ahead of CNet, Channel News Asia (CNA) and Yahoo. AsiaOne is placed 5th in this category.
On Hardware Zone's unbeatable leadership in IT news, Marketing magazine noted that it offered exclusive coverage of the latest technology gears, reviews for anything from hardcore PC components to lifestyle gadgets, updated technology news as well as educational and buying guides.
"As an IT community portal, hardwarezone.com has the clout of 200,000 members to date, backing its claim as one of the largest of its kind on the internet, no less," says Marketing magazine whose survey revealed that it enjoyed a slightly stronger local than foreign fan base. It received 63 votes from respondents from companies of local origins against 54 from foreign ones, a strong indication of its growing popularity in the international arena.
Hardware Zone, a wholly owned subsidiary of SPH Magazines Pte Ltd, has been a consistent winner of Internet awards in recent years. In June, it was tops again in three categories of awards presented by Hitwise online competitive intelligence service. In all, it has won 14 Hitwise awards over the past five years.
Dr Jackie Lee, CEO of Hardware Zone says: "We are so happy that HardwareZone is the No 1 portal for IT News and we thank our supporters for believing in our strategy. We will continue to strive for even more newsy and exciting material to constantly engage our viewers."
Marketing magazine, which is published in Singapore and Hong Kong, is a leading source of advertising and marketing industry information.
The publication's Online Media of the Year survey was carried out earlier this year by BDM Intelligence using its database of media professionals, creative, public relations and media planning and buying agencies and clients from across all industries.
The website rankings were determined by the number of votes each site garnered overall from local as well as overseas respondents.
Of the 1,189 valid responses, 759 were from client-side respondents, 430 from agency-side, of which 292 were from creative agencies, 70 from media planning and buying agencies and 68 from PR consultancies, says Marketing magazine which featured the winners in a special annual edition.