Broadcast Asia 2017, held in Singapore from 23-25 May 2017, gathered industry experts to share insights on strategies and solutions for businesses to cater to the changing ways of media consumption. CommunicAsia, and EnterpriseIT were the two other events that were held by the same organiser on the same dates. Together, three exhibitions span 65,000 square metres across Marina Bay Sands and Suntec Singapore, hosting 1,800 exhibitors from 62 countries.
Key digital video related takeaways from Broadcast Asia included:
- Application of AI (Artificial Intelligence) by media companies to improve user experience and as a cost effective way to invest in business development.
- Partnerships are important for companies, including broadcasters, payTV and OTT companies in the media industry to succeed in the market.
- Exclusive or original content is a key differentiator for video platforms in the region.
Singapore’s media company Mediacorp talked about its content strategy on providing different content for its audience across multiple platforms – traditional TV and OTT. Mediacorp stressed the importance of investing in branded, quality content and personalised content recommendation to viewer’s preference. The company also shared its view on future of content and how AI will impact the content creative space. AI application is still in nascent stage, however some companies have already started the implementation of AI: IBM created first movie trailer by AI, Washington Post has been using AI software, Heliograf to create reports, Forbes and ESPN are using Wibbitz, AI-powered video creation platform, to create video content from text. AI can also assist businesses to communicate and engage with their customers using chat bots, personalising content recommendation and advertising.
Most of the video consumption in Asia is happening on mobile phones. Industry players, including studios, online video service providers, broadcasters, pay TV and mobile operators, are adapting to the change in the consumption patterns as people are shifting away from traditional television. Partnerships among these companies are now common across the video supply chain as industry players are aware of the importance of complementing each other’s propositions in the market. One of the best examples is Netflix, where the company has established partnerships across the industry from co-production deals with studios, broadcasters, , to network and billing partnership with pay TV and mobile operators, as well as partnerships with CE manufacturers to pre-install its app on smartphones and smart TVs.
iflix shared notes on its business strategy and distributor partnerships with mobile operators in the keynote session. The two-year-old OTT service provider envisions expanding to the total of 30 countries in near future. Iflix sees potential in countries with low pay TV penetration, like Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Pakistan. In these countries where household broadband connection is low and uncompetitive pricing strategy by payTV, iflix is able to leverage its partnership with mobile operator to provide its video streaming service and compete with payTV.
HOOQ talked about its strategy of investing in original content by launching Filmmakers Guild competition. HOOQ claimed that it was inspired by Amazon Studios that it allows filmmakers to submit movie and TV series scripts and ideas. HOOQ will be bringing similar opportunity to content creators in Southeast Asia, choosing five best scripts and providing filmmakers with a funding of USD 30,000 each to produce a pilot episode of the show. Chosen content will debut on HOOQ’s platform. HOOQ has also co-produced original TV series, On The Job with the Philippines mobile operator, Globe.
IHS Markit agrees with the panels that the future of the market is in personalised experience. More companies will be using AI to improve their service, such as better communicate with their customers and able to leverage the big data collected by mobile operators and service providers. Even though advertising-based video on demand service will remain big in the APAC region, the market is slowly moving towards paid-for model.