The report observes that multi-platform offerings of legitimate programming are rapidly multiplying in the city-state, the majority coming from established content providers and pay-TV platforms such as StarHub and SingTel’s mio TV – sometimes separately and sometimes in partnership – while options not connected with existing players are still few. The other good news for consumers is that 44% of the offerings covered in the report and which appear in the directory are available free of charge.
John Medeiros, Chief Policy Officer, CASBAA, said: “Singapore’s combination of high broadband connectivity, affluence and multi-lingual population creates a particularly ripe environment for such new content choices.”
Although Singapore offers great opportunities as a market for such digital services, one main challenge remains – content piracy. Singapore has the highest per capita incidence of peer-to-peer infringement of English-language TV shows in the Asia-Pacific region despite its small population. Such piracy makes it difficult for new content players to enter the market, and for existing players to justify investments in new platforms.
Another issue is the regulatory ’tilted playing field’ which favours foreign and illegitimate offerings over domestic options. In particular, domestic providers need to comply with various censorship rules which mean that, even when consumers can obtain the same content at the same time from Singapore-based providers, they are choosing to access uncut versions through other sources.
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