December 14, 2016
By TVA Editorial
Singapore’s media sector has been performing strongly, posting a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8%. In 2010, the industry contributed S$6.4 billion in value-added (VA) and S$23.9 billion revenue to the economy and employed some 66,000 workers. Singapore’s media sector consists of several industries, including TV broadcast and production; publishing and printing; film; music; as well as interactive and digital media. Interactive and Digital Media – which includes video games, animation, online/mobile media and new forms of digital entertainment – has skyrocketed into a multi-billion dollar business.
The global video games industry (excluding hardware sales) is expected to swell from US$56 billion in 2010 to US$82 billion by 2015, with Asia registering the fastest growth, according to the PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ Global Entertainment & Media Outlook. Singapore’s animation and games industries are seeing rapid expansion. Singapore is seeing an influx of leading digital media companies such as Tecmo-Koei, Lucasfilm, Double Negative, Electronic Arts and Ubisoft. Local companies like Ratloop Asia, Sparky Animation and Scrawl Studios have also responded eagerly too, producing original content for export and entering strategic partnerships with international distributors. According to Deloitte, Singapore’s games and animation industries, together with online/mobile media, have demonstrated robust growth, posting a CAGR of 26% from 2006- 2010. In 2010 it contributed $1.2 billion in VA and $1.5 billion revenue to the economy and employed an estimated 11,000 workers. Singapore is an ideal location for creating and deploying new content and for managing intellectual property (IP), as it has the best IP protection in Asia and a large, multilingual talent pool in both traditional and new media. Development and animation studios and companies which provide game hosting will also find Singapore attractive due to the island’s large pool of graduates in IT and programming.
For companies in the printing and publishing sector, Singapore is a nexus for Asian financial and professional news, and a cost-effective printing and distribution hub. Singapore offers proximity and excellent connectivity to regional markets – markets that have a tremendous appetite for interactive media and digital media entertainment. As a cosmopolitan, urbanised Asian city-state, it offers a unique blend of Eastern and Western cultural influences. The government has also put in place policies to attract and retain talent from all over the world, creating a melting pot of creative talent for companies to tap into. Since the 1990s, Singapore has attracted a number of global broadcasters to its shores. There are now a large number of major broadcasting networks up linking their channels from Singapore to their regional audiences. These include Discovery Networks Asia Pacific, CNBC Asia Pacific and ESPN Star Sports. From broadcast, the sector has progressed into content production. One example is the 2011 AXN reality series Cash Cab Asia. Produced by AZN, the project was filmed in Singapore, with post-production work undertaken by Active TV. Over the years, Singapore-made TV content has gained recognition, winning international awards and entertaining audiences from some 70 countries around the world. Award winning content from Singapore includes factual entertainment series Very!’s Chasing Happiness, which won a Rockie at the BANFF World Media Festival in 2013; and The Great Elephant Gathering by Beach House Pictures, which reaped a Silver Medal Award for the Nature & Wildlife category at the New York Festivals 2013.
Moving from providing services-forhire to co-owning and creating original content, Singapore media companies have also proven to be strong co-production partners. An example is Serangoon Road, where Singapore-based Infinite Studios partnered with HBO Asia, Australia Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and Western Australia to co-produce HBO Asia’s first original series. Serangoon Road is a ten episode hour-long detective series set against the tumultuous backdrop of 1960s Singapore. Other recent co-productions include Kakadu, a documentary series on Kakadu National Park in Australia by Beach House Pictures, Northern Pictures and ABC. Beyond producing content for television, more producers are exploring transmedia storytelling and new formats, extending the TV experience to multiple platforms. Notable multi-media content created include Mediacorp’s drama 96°C Café and Beach House Pictures’ Hidden Cities Extreme, a travel and adventure series. 96°C Café was fi rst telecast online on xinmsn.com and continued its run as a 20-episode series on free-to- air (FTA) TV; while Hidden Cities Extreme had viewers engaged on its Facebook page which shared videos, images and upcoming episodes of the programme. In addition, being strategically located in Asia, with excellent content production, aggregation, distribution and broadcasting capabilities and a burgeoning creative community, Singapore has become the natural home and springboard to other parts of Asia for some of the world’s most established global media companies. They include AXN, BBC, CNBC Asia, Discovery Asia, FremantleMedia Enterprises, HBO Asia, MTV Asia, Nickelodeon and Walt Disney Television.
Increasing initiatives to improve industry standards
Recognising the industry’s need to better understand pay-TV viewing and its reach, StarHub partnered Nielsen to launch StarHub SmarTAM, Singapore’s first Television Audience Measurement system using Return Path Data (RPD) technology, late September 2015. StarHub has also commissioned Nielsen to support the subscription and sales of SmarTAM data.The TV audience measurement system tracks both real-time and time-shift viewing of TV content and advertising spots across more than 200 StarHub TV channels. StarHub SmarTAM has the ability to provide highly accurate and dynamic audience segmentation, track specific media consumption habits and facilitates advertising campaign re-targeting beyond TV in real-time. The Beijing Film Academy (BFA) and Singapore Media Academy (SMA) announced in October 2015, the launch of the prestigious curriculum of the Diploma in Film-making in Singapore. BFA and SMA are hoping to nurture the next generation of media leaders who are truly international through this cross-cultural collaboration. SMA will accept the first intake of the diploma course in early 2016. The SMF this year has opened up more avenues for strategic partnerships, creative collaborations and investment opportunities into the region. This is most evident from the South-east Asian Film Financing Project Market (SAFF) where 10 in development fiction and non-fiction feature film projects will be matched with commissioners, investors and co-production partners. The SAFF received an overwhelming response with a total of 148 project submissions from 22 countries as at 30 September this year. ATF 2016 will also host several master classes for budding producers.
On the global-scale