Hong Kong Pushing investments in relevant local content and newly emerging markets was the focus on the first day of the CASBAA Convention 2012, highlighting the key trends facing the industry today.

Emmy and Golden Globe winner and Founder & Chairman of Electus, Ben Silverman, highlighted significant innovations around local content production that are occurring, while Ross Martin, EVP of Scratch/Viacom Media Networks noted that social media is being used to continue and further improve engagement.

Ye Htut, Myanmar’s Deputy Minister of Information, commented that a concentration on local content  is creating opportunities in emerging SEA markets such as Myanmar, where the median age of the population is under 30-years-old. He said the Myanmar broadcast industry is ready to welcome foreign investment in pay-TV when a new regulatory framework is completed. He added that with over 100 ethnic minorities, his government is looking to the interests of diverse groups represented through local content.

Diego Reck of FOX International Channels in Latin America highlighted the integration of a newly engaged audience commentary during live sports events while Gautam Anand, Director of Google Content Partnerships in Asia-Pacific pointed to massive increases in the use of social media. Meanwhile, Kenneth Lee, Director of Media Networks Technology, The Walt Disney Company, highlighted his company’s efforts to insert advertising into the Watch Disney app.

Monetising social media efforts spurred debate. Jonathan Ellis, CEO of TMS in Hong Kong, argued that “you should not drive people from a broadcast media into a social platform without understanding why. You need to own the social data that is being created and use it. That’s where the value lies.”