SCMP: the successful “attention seeker” in the information overloaded world

by Holly Chik and Michelle Ng

SCMP: the successful “attention seeker” in the information overloaded world

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Korey Lee, director of analytics & insights of South China Morning Post, the major English newspaper in Hong Kong,  started his speech by a quote from TS Elliot, “Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?”

Lee was one of the speakers at the sixth annual Big Data & AI for Media  conference in Hong Kong from 7-8 December.

Most Americans are exposed to around 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements per day, he said. Provided that many information is cheap and readily available, people can easily lose focus, said Lee.

He said people used to read news from cover to cover, but most people are just scrolling down the news feed for information now.

The digital media model also faces changes through the year, he added, news content used to go straight from editor to the news website and then being shared to the social media platforms.


Nowadays, there is a more complex model, where content are embedded in different platforms, e.g. blogs, social media, apps etc

Catching up with the trend, SCMP now distributes their news through their website, social media platforms, mobile application, notifications, aggregated news, etc.,  according to Lee.


Because of the distributed media model nowaday, disintermediated sources requires the company to gather data from many platforms to actually get a full picture of their overall performance, Lee explained.

Therefore, to stand out in the attention economy, SCMP collects, cleans and interprets data so that they could generate recommendations on improvements in the following areas:

  1. Mobile first
  2. Loyalty and stickiness
  3. Delivery and packaging, for example, machine learning, AI, AR or VR

His speech ended with the word “purpose”, which he further explains the reason why media organizations exist is to improve people’s life by reading content, and all these companies have to use data to serve its purpose.

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