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Malaysian online news site boosts engagement and subscriptions

Creating a thriving community to drive engagement and revenue

The challenge

Launched in 1999, Malaysiakini is a Malaysian online news site published in four languages – English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil – reaching over 2.5 million readers every month.

Malaysiakini wanted to increase engagement with its readers and subscribers. To achieve this, it launched ‘Kini Community’ in collaboration with the Google News Initiative (GNI). The platform introduces a points and awards-based subscription loyalty scheme to drive subscriptions and incentivize its readers to engage productively with the website’s content.

The first job for Malaysiakini was to define the scope and goals of the project, determining the user experience interface and features required. Then, they could build prototypes and mockups of these features.

Based on these, a team of engineers started the process of building and refining details of the Kini Community platform. Meanwhile, the marketing team prepared materials for the launch that were distributed to readers via the website, social media channels, and newsletters. All this meant Kini Community was set up for success.

For Malaysiakini to thrive in the industry today, it is critical for us to attract and retain our readers by constantly communicating with them, identifying their unique needs and producing high-quality, engaging and relevant content. It is also critical to form partnerships and collaborations with other organizations to share resources and expertise, and to expand our reach and impact - just like we do with Google!
Tham Seenhau
Digital Editor, Malaysiakini
  • 40% of current subscribers adopted ‘Kini Community’ features
  • 3,000+ uses of the ‘Bookmark’ feature
  • 1,100+ ‘Friendship Transactions’

The results

Following the launch of Kini Community, Malaysiakini saw 40% of their subscribers adopt ‘Kini Community’ features and over 3,000 uses of their ‘bookmark’ feature, where readers can save content to enjoy later. And in the true community spirit, there were 1,100+ ‘Friendship Transactions’, when a community member follows another member.

Based on the success of Kini Community, Malaysiakini plans to integrate their subscription business more closely with the newsroom.

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