Avusa Media has officially launched LIVE (www.timeslive.co.za), the new digital home of the Sunday Times and The Times. Times LIVE combines a new look and feel together with a new web content management system and replaces the existing TheTimes.co.za web domain.
“We recognise that there are several news services out there offering breaking news and information. We know our readers depend on us to provide this but we also have a rich heritage of journalism and a daily supply of content from our newspapers that we can add to this mix, not to mention our cutting-edge multimedia content which provides a richer news experience for our audience,” says Elan Lohmann, GM Avusa Media Digital.
“By revamping and rebranding The Times website to Times LIVE, we are laying the groundwork to become the number one digital destination for South African and African news.”
The website design was a collaboration between an in-house design team and internationally renowned web design consultants Roger Black Studios. The design process also incorporated key findings from audience research and insights projects conducted on the site.
“From a base of just over 240 000 unique users in September 2007, our audience has grown 180% to 691,571 unique users, according to July’s Nielsen Market Intelligence results. We’re currently SA’s third biggest news site and our next milestone is to surpass 1-million unique monthly users. With our new look site, a stand-alone digital brand and a world-class web publishing platform; we feel this is firmly within our grasp,” explains Lohmann.
Times LIVE is built on the Escenic web content management system, used by other major international publications including The Telegraph, Aftonbladet, The Schibsted group and The Sun.
Other Avusa titles will roll out on the content management system soon, signalling the intent of the group to continue to invest and innovate in the digital space. Existing digital businesses of I-Net Bridge, Career Junction and MapIT contributed 23% of the Avusa Group’s 2009 EBIT (earnings before interest and tax).
Further steps to monetise its digital properties has seen the creation of a dedicated digital sales company, Avusa Media Digital Sales, tasked to grow revenues across the group’s digital properties.
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