Sanook.com doubles up
Mweb (Thailand), a subsidiary of Netherlands-based MIH Group and the operator of www.sanook.com, witnessed a doubling of visitors last year to 280,000 unique visitors, up from 140,000 in 2005.
Political turmoil and economic uncertainty throughout the year were major factors.
Chief executive Torboon Puangmaha added that the site had 1.2 million users with eight million page-views per day.
Since there were many exciting developments in politics and the economy, the website had to be updated frequently. This was much easier to do than at other media, such as newspapers and even TV channels, where every change requires about four steps before the news can be published. Also, Internet fees are cheaper than before and the Net is a channel where people can express what they think to knowledgeable and sometimes powerful readers.
Another disadvantage of traditional media is that they can be more easily blocked by the authorities than information on the Internet.
The significant growth in viewers attracted more advertisers. Torboon said advertising revenue doubled while the whole advertising industry saw growth of only 5 to 6 per cent.
He says advertisers can easily follow how many viewers have clicked on their advertisements and have to pay only according to the number of clicks. They know exactly how many viewers enter particular websites and how many times their ads are viewed, at much lower cost than at other media, especially television.
Advertisers with low budgets can build awareness among targeted customers by going to sites that have the same targets. On a website, people can select the ads they want to see rather than being passive viewers and listeners, as in TV and radio.
Torboon said sanook.com was about to get a bank as an advertiser.
Half of the site's content is user-generated and half is supplied by more than 100 partners, including media and news agencies, leading entertainment companies such as RS, ring-tone and logo providers from abroad and search-engine providers such as Google.
He says user-generated content at www.sanook.com is strong because viewers are eager to present their ideas and even to upload video clips.