Vivek Couto, Executive DirectorAsia’s media and entertainment business will convene in Bali, Indonesia for the 6th edition of Asia-Pacific Video Operators summit this April, with several key topics up for discussion. The pinnacle comes well appropriate as the shift in the industry is being felt well beyond what’s on screen. On top of that, 2016 thus has seen an unprecedented level of shakeups at the top management levels of the pan-regional groups and, many new kids in the block. Vivek Couto, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Media Partners Asia (MPA), the industry veteran with strong analytical background and a powerful global network shares how APOS was conceptualised together with co-founder Rupert Wilkinson.

“We started out looking into the cable and satellite and telco industries with in depth research reports and publishing. When we launched MPA in 2000-01, it was launched as an integrated business entity to really look at the business of media and telecommunications in the local markets across Asia- pseudo pan regional approaches would be challenging for our business and the industry as a whole. We were very much committed to tracking the markets in local depth, especially on the content, distribution and technology side. Business models could be advertising or subscription funded and we were really looking at pay-TV business, free TV business and the broadband which was starting out in Asia then. We focused on research reports, conferences and consulting. Now all forms of business have taken off well and we want to scale up more in the future. We are very fortunate and remain humble. The business has evolved in a sense that we are now looking at digital video platforms, which includes SVOD and social video” said Vivek.

Founded in March 2001 in Hong Kong by the two media experts with in-depth insight into the Asian landscape, MPA tracks all 16 markets in Asia-Pacific with offices in Singapore, Hong Kong and India.

Vivek explains, “It is very important for us to look at all markets – the big markets like Australia, China, India, Japan and Korea and also South East Asia which is very important to us particularly, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Other important markets in Asia would include India, and Taiwan. We are also hosting small private events in Shanghai, China and Korea later this year.

“We produce digital reports that the community uses with much ease – broadcasters, distribution platforms, investors and the financial community and so forth. And basically we have regional reports and local reports. They look at the pay-TV, free TV, broadband and OTT markets. This would also include VOD, subscription VOD, and advertising VOD. As for emerging market, China is very big on this side today. We launched APOS in 2010 – after 10 years we decided that it would be great to gather and aggregate our knowledge and information and build an ecosystem for the video business looking at pay-TV and OTT in particular as well as broadband via APOS.”

APOS started out in 2010 pay-TV based event but has evolved rapidly to take in all forms of content creation and distribution with APOS focusing on the industry through a commercial lens and investment focus.

“As we evolved, the video segment has taken a broader definition where you have to look at the distribution of content and in various forms. Pay-TV together with the likes of satellite and IPTV business, and some of the players were growing then. We have to look at the OTT market which we are very much looking into at APOS which is distributed to various other platforms. We also have to understand what social platforms- such as Facebook, Google and Twitter- are up to.