What do you think are the factors driving Asia’s pay-TV market?
Ricky: At one stage, the TV industry could be likened to a taxi service. For years, consumers were happy to be picked up like passengers and driven to where they wanted to go in vehicles steered by broadcasters and networks. Viewers these days increasingly want to be in the driving seat.
Turner has responded to this shift in power by providing more localised content, more Asian content and more first-run shows delivered at speed using a multiplatform approach. But now, the customer experience is just as important and will play a vital role in driving the industry forward.
At Turner, we’ve been consistently reacting to consumer demand and improving our offerings accordingly; by building brand extensions like apps and even theme parks. That way, the customer experience is improved beyond the TV screen.
We are committed to the pay-TV ecosystem and it is a mechanism that is a proven success. As such, we’ll continue to ensure that our own content – for example, Cartoon Network originals and new truTV series – premieres on our own channel first and exclusively via Turner’s traditional, curated and branded platforms. With some consumers now wanting to pay for content online, and expecting a different viewing experience, the industry now has to cater for both sets of requirements.
Is Turner still looking for new opportunities within APAC? Are you happy with your 2015?
Ricky: If I could pick out one success story of the past 12 months, it would be the rise of our second global flagship kids’ brand. Boomerang was completely revamped at the end of 2014, and since then has seen distribution growth across the region.
It’s not difficult to see why. Boomerang is the ultimate kids and family channel, boasting familiar and recognisable franchises than any other. There aren’t many parents or kids who haven’t at one stage laughed out loud at Tom and Jerry, Scooby-Doo, Mr Bean and Looney Tunes. It’s a vibrant and colourful channel built on a strong pipeline of premium acquisitions and our content agreement signed with Warner Bros. earlier this year.
The growth of household distribution has been impressive, especially on the basic tier in many markets, but we have also invested on the digital front by launching a powerful new app called Boomerang Watch and Play that hosts both video and gaming content.
Growing the Boomerang brand further into Asia is a big priority for Turner as we move into 2016. Along with Toonami, they are the perfect complement to Cartoon Network.
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