Singapore has been promoting active aging, and when the COVID-19 outbreak hit, it brought a problem that affected seniors across the island. Early in March, the government halted courses usually attended by senior citizens at community clubs. As a result, almost 300,000 seniors have since been unable to continue their learning activities.
Come 'n Live initiative
To minimise the disruption to the daily routines of this audience segment, Singapore Press Holdings’ Chinese Media Group (CMG) specially curated a live streaming programme called Come 'n Live. To attend, audiences can tune in everyday at 7:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 3:00 p.m. to exercise, learn how to cook, and participate in singing sessions — activities that the organisation running the community clubs, People’s Association (PA), have found to be most popular among seniors.
These programmes have struck a chord with seniors in Singapore. In the first three days alone, the three shows garnered a total of 110,000 views. In particular, the fitness programme was very popular, attracting 45,000 views. The cooking programme had 35,000 views.
From March 16 through April 24, each episode raked in average page views of about 50,000. By the last 12 days of this six-week period, that number had risen exponentially, accounting for almost 40% of the total views across all platforms, which reached close to 4 million views.
This is no small feat for a target audience who are non-digital natives and have been used to attending courses like these in person.
Reaching out to an older audience
Since this audience segment had previously relied heavily on print media, we made use of SPH’s newspapers to illustrate how to access the live video streams. Users could also refer to a simple video for more visual instructions.
Airing the shows at specific timings ensured that audiences could effortlessly incorporate Come ‘n Live into their new normal daily routines.
Fresh and engaging, Come ‘n Live has also brought the community together online. While watching, viewers can send in their comments and questions, which are answered in real time. This format was deliberately designed to create a sense of togetherness among the viewers, allowing them to still keep a positive outlook. Official messages and information from the government are also weaved in, keeping the audience updated while being entertained.
After the good feedback from the initial cooking, singing, and workout programming, the series was expanded to include other lessons like opera singing, language learning, and heritage courses, making the whole viewing experience more varied.
To maximise the outreach, Come ‘n Live is streamed simultaneously on various platforms. In addition to zaobao.sg, CMG’s flagship Web site, the live video streams are also available through the daily publications (Lianhe Zaobao, Lianhe Wanbao, and Shin Min Daily News), Facebook pages, and Zaobao’s YouTube channel. With the support and participation of our SPH Radio deejays, listeners of 96.3 HAO FM gain access to Come ‘n Live via the station’s Facebook page as well.
These concerted efforts across our multiple touchpoints have allowed us to continue providing our senior citizens with the right mix of entertainment and information. It has become even more important after the government’s announcement that senior-centric activities continue to be suspended even after Singapore’s lockdown period ended on June 1. Come 'n Live remains a key driver in engaging the seniors and ensuring that they stay active while at home.