WELCOME to the ContentAsia Summit 2021!
This morning we set the scene for the next three days, opening with a spotlight on a Taiwanese agency that's topping the charts in terms of effective industry support; a series of presentations and conversations about content investment, data and analytics and streaming updates; and conversations with local streaming leaders.
At lunchtime, we introduce the first of our ContentAsia Women’s LUNCH WITH… sessions. No-holds-barred conversations with producers, directors and filmmakers in Asia talking about inspiration, motivation and creative influences along with their latest work, triumphs and challenges, what they love, hate and would definitely (or never) do again.
The second part of Day One continues the conversation with Asia's video change makers. We’re spending the rest of the afternoon talking about, among other things, Thai Drama and its chances of developing into a global phenomenon in the footsteps of Korea’s Hallyu; new streaming and free-TV hopes and wishes in Southeast Asia; a look at how distributors and rights holders are changing their game; and, only days away from the end of Fox Networks Group channels, we did down with four of the players that have seen a gap and are going for it.
Explore the Expo Hall with WarnerMedia, chat with distributors of everything from comedy to current affairs, network in the Viu Lounge, discover amazing entertainment at the Dolby Experience Lounge, brush up on who’s who in Asia and get set for three full days of conference sessions.
In the past year alone, Taiwan's two-year-old government-backed agency Taiwan Creative Content Agency (Taicca) has, among many other initiatives, invested in local production house Screenworks Asia, which plans to produce 100 hours of premium content a year; supported a Creative Content Fest that, among other successes, put hundreds of thousands of dollars into LGBTQ+ original productions; built a full-scale medical film studio, complete with waiting rooms and cashiers counters, to fill gaps in the country's locations; and stepped up to fund multiple incubation, development and grants designed to boost Taiwan's film and television output. Set up in mid-2019, TAICCA had by end 2020 seen NT$328.75 million of private funding promoted through its Cultural Content Investment Project, including investment in ContentAsia Awards' winner Studio76, and helped cultural content enterprises raise funding of NT$954.85 million. This has, the agency says, laid the foundation for a forward-looking, innovative and market-orientated ecosystem for Taiwan's content industry. Why now and what's the end game? TAICCA Vice President, Alice Chang, talks to ContentAsia about what the agency is hoping for and how it plans to get there.
Asian content and talent has never been in such high demand around the world. Driven by audience fragmentation and platform consolidation, video entertainment leaders are fighting to stay ahead of shifting audiences’ preferences in order to survive the streaming wars, let alone win them, and an overall view of global opportunities is critical in making expensive high-stakes decisions. In this presentation, Steve Langdon, Regional Director for data science company Parrot Analytics, uses proprietary demand-driven data science and analytics to highlight the platforms and partners that represent the best opportunities for content creators and distributors to export Asian stories to the global stage.
The latest data paints a compelling picture for SVOD and AVOD streaming in Asia, with record investment in local content and clear evidence that consumers will pay and that advertisers are on board. In new research for the ContentAsia Summit, regional analysts Media Partners Asia (MPA) and its research division Ampd delve into what content is helping to build and define the SVOD category in key markets, the use cases for content that helps acquire customers and engage audiences, the challenges, and what future scalability looks like for new genres on SVOD, freemium and AVOD.
Indonesian streaming platform Vidio has more than 60 million active users, has put millions of dollars into original Indonesian drama, and is ramping up in a big way with, for instance, deals with storytelling platform Wattpad, paid off so far with record audiences for shows such as "Turn On" and "Paradise Garden". The Emtek Group-owned platform is also supporting a robust Korean drama acquisitions strategy that includes rights to new series such as "Penthouse", and acquired exclusive digital rights to the Olympics. Plus there's the added mass market attraction of Emtek-group services such as Indosiar and SCTV. We speak to PT Surya Citra Media CEO, Sutanto Hartono, about the seven-year-old platform's hopes, wins and challenges in Southeast Asia's largest market.
Regional streaming platform Viu has overtaken Netflix in Southeast Asia, adding 1.9 million new subscribers in the first half of this year for a total of 7 million paying subs. In a recent report, analysts Media Partners Asia (MPA) also said Viu had 17% of premium online video consumption in Southeast Asia, ahead of rival regionals, WeTV and iQiyi. Earlier in August, Viu reported a 37% year-on-year rise in monthly active users to 49.4 million in the first six months of this year, paid subscribers grew by 62% to over seven million, and revenue was up 47%. The platform is now looking at a strong second half, with a new Korean original, “We Are Breaking Up” starring Song Hye Kyo (“Descendants of the Sun”), a strong slate of Southeast Asian originals, and rights to a slate of premium titles to follow wins such as “Penthouse” and “The Long Ballad”. Janice Lee, Viu’s Chief Executive Officer, and Managing Director of PCCW Media Group, talks about Viu’s Asian content in a much more competitive environment and maintaining the platform’s position as the home of Asian drama.
In just a few days, on 30 August 2021, Taiwan adds a new voice to its long-running campaign to promote freedom, equality, human rights, openness and innovation. Funded by the people of Taiwan, the new digital service – Taiwan+ – is the nation’s first English-language video news and programming platform targeting users around the world. CEO Joanne Tsai introduces the fledgling service and talks about giving Taiwan a bigger voice on the international stage, flying the flag for credible and independent news along with a Taiwanese perspective for international audiences.
Fazila Allana is perhaps best known for long-running celebrity talk show Koffee with Karan, which she produced for 15 years for STAR India. She also produced romantic drama Kahaan Hum Kahaan Tum, which ran from 2017 to 2020, among many others. Her latest show is Amazon Original series LOL – Hasse Toh Phasse, a reality duel between comedians to see who can keep a straight face the longest. Fazila along with Kamna Menezes, founded Sol Productions in January 2003. Over the past 18 years, they have produced more than 100 shows across 40+ platforms. Along with her inspiration, motivation, creative influences, Fazila joins us at ContentAsia’s first “Lunch with...” session to talk about secrets to keeping long-running shows going, about crossing from music to sports to high drama to laughing out loud, her favourite series, and what she’s most looking forward to.
Migo Founder and CEO, Barrett Comiskey, talks about bringing free-to-air scale to personal on-demand entertainment. “Migo ," he tell us, "is the durian of telecom / media distribution – a bit funky, strangely shaped, hard for foreigners to understand... but surprisingly well-suited to Southeast Asian consumer taste and habits.”
Laura Abril, Head of ViacomCBS International Studios (VIS) EMEA & Asia, talks about Asia's place in a global content landscape that is increasingly open to stories and ideas from different parts of the world.
In the past six months, JKN Global Media has added a free-TV channel to its portfolio along with a range of beauty products, and has expanded its original production scope. CEO Anne Jakkaphong Jakrajutatip talks about the value of free, why she's upsized her commitment to original content, and, having been instrumental in driving Thai drama to its highest profile ever in the region, what she sees happening next.
Thai content sales in the region have exploded in the past three years, driven by bold bets being made by JKN Global Media and BEC World, a greater willingness by Thai creators and rights owners to speak about their strengths, the rise of streaming platforms and the halo effect created by greater awareness of Lakorn, its story lines and its stars. As Thai drama makes its way around the region and the world, we discuss its challenges and advantages and look at what Thailand could or should be doing to follow in the footsteps of Korea's Hallyu?
When we're talking about impact on Asia's acquisition/distribution environment, Covid-19 of course looms large. ContentAsia's new distribution survey also shows a wide range of other factors that are turning programme syndication on its head, sometimes in a good way. These include the rise of streaming platforms, major shifts in windowing, a leap in demand for library titles, the changing pay-TV landscape, production delays, the dip in ad revenues, travel restrictions... In this session, we talk to global distributors about what they're seeing in Asia.
With a month to go until Disney shutters 18 linear channels in Asia, programmers from around the world are stepping into what they think is a viable gap for linear and related content offerings. In a series of separate conversations, we speak to three people whose companies are gathering resources to upsize their Asia operations and their relationships with local platforms.