Jacky Yap  |  SG
Published 2014-02-18 10:30:55

Malaysia seems to be undergoing an Internet revolution now. Shortly after we wrote that the national Pay TV Astro is introducing home shopping to the their subscribers, another news came in from the 28 million populated country.

Four of Malaysia’s newspaper, The Malay Mail (English), Sinar-Harian (Malay), Oriental Daily News (Chinese) and Makkal Osai (Tamil) has entered into a partnership with device manufacturers Huawei and Samsung, to launch a package deal comprising of free tablets and one-year subscriptions to the print edition of the four main papers. The deal also comes with 11 other community, sports, contest and entertainment apps, which includes Table App, a restaurant reservation site in Malaysia.

The Huawei package will cost RM288 for a one-year subscription and comes with a Huawei MediaPad 7 Youth ‘phablet’ (phone-tablet), in a deal which The Malay Mail executives said was worth a total of RM1,700.

huawei MediaPad 7 Youth ‘phablet’
Huawei MediaPad 7 Youth ‘phablet’

For the Samsung package, which comes with a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 seven-inch phablet, costs RM538.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 seven-inch phablet
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 seven-inch phablet

According to Digital News Asia, the subscription price does not include newspaper vendor delivery charges, which would be billed to readers directly by their newspaper vendors.

“According to our device partners, this coming together of four different newspaper companies to offer readers a converged package has not been done anywhere else in the world. It’s not just about the convergence of digital and print, it’s about giving all the newspapers greater reach as well.  Since we were not nationwide newspapers, we decided to pool our resources together to provide coverage of the election.” said The Malay Mail editor-in-chief Wong Sai Wan.

Various publications launched in Malaysia

As Digital News Asia pointed out, earlier this year, Pay-TV operator Astro launched their own Astro Digital Publications, with six inaugural titles under the brand. Following that, regional publication The Edge Review also launched in Malaysia. Recently, Business Insider, a global publication with 40 million monthly pageviews too launched its service in Malaysia, in a licensing partnership with Rev Asia.

All these points to the rise of digital consumption as the nation’s newspaper readership declines. According to Nielsen’s Consumer and Media View report for the second quarter of 2013, the total readership of 15 newspapers fell 7.1% to 9.12 million from 9.81 million in the same period the previous year.

Digital revolution malaysia

Huge opportunities in the online space

Internet penetration as a whole is going up everyday in Malaysia and Southeast Asia, and we are consuming more content than ever before, thanks to access to mobile. As more people are getting access to Internet, the absolute online traffic will only continue to grow, especially in Asia, where internet penetration is growing faster than anywhere around the world.

All of these new traffic source is looking for reliable news site to consume content, providing ample opportunities for the online media space. This is why various publications are going digital and increasing their presence in Malaysia.

Also read: Singapore’s main newspaper Straits Times is now on Instagram

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