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.”
Participants also explored the opportunities surrounding OTT. Sam Blackman, CEO, Elemental observed that OTT is now being used to enter markets where there is no other presence. However, Dennis Rose, VP, Asia-Pacific, Brightcove cautioned that complexity is not going away. Even so, all panelists agreed that OTT is a tool that can unleash enormous market potential and will be left to enterprising pirates if it not seized.
Piracy was a key concern for all attendees, with Irdeto CTO Andrew Wajs saying that tracking and monitoring is vital for combating hackers, who are becoming more creative. “The idea is to make it as uncomfortable and inconvenient to view pirated content and drive viewers to legitimate sources,” he said.
At the opening ceremony for CASBAA 2012, Eliza Lee, the Director-General of Communications of the Office of the Communications Authority, noted that “to cope with the challenges of convergence of telecommunications and broadcasting, the Communications Authority was formed early this year as a single unified regulatory body for the entire electronic communications sector.”
For a third year leading sponsor CreateHK has also shown its support for the CASBAA Convention by sponsoring a Community Outreach Programme. Complimentary passes have been offered to local SMEs in the TV sector and tertiary students of relevant courses to attend the event for networking and knowledge exchange. CreateHK is the dedicated office set up by the Hong Kong SAR Government to promote local creative industries.