Mediaweek’s Peter Olszewski rounds up the latest media news from the Asian market: Friday March 9, 2018.
Multi Channels Asia announces JV
Los Angeles-based TV4 Entertainment, which bills itself as the world leader in streaming channels, has partnered with Singapore media outfit Multi Channels Asia to bring its programming to Asia. The new joint venture, operating under the name Omni Channels Media Asia, will be the exclusive Asian distributor of TV4 Entertainment’s channels, including over 30 specialty targeted brands tipped to expand to 100 brands by 2020. The venture will also acquire Asian content for its channels and secure local production partners for original content development to be packaged and distributed to mobile, OTT and pay-TV carriers.
The initial suite of channels will include Motorland, dedicated to cars and motorcycles; horror films and series from Screambox; end of days movies from Apocalypse; the first global channel dedicated to guitars, the All Guitar Network; and house and garden series on Inside Outside. The portfolio will also include sports networks and networks covering food, cooking and drinking.
South China Morning Post launches inkstone
The Asian media’s obsession with China further cranks up this week, with the South China Morning Post launching inkstone, a daily multimedia look at what’s happening in China. Juliana Liu, previously international correspondent for BBC News in Hong Kong, is the senior editor. She said, “We’re named for actual inkstones, which were invented thousands of years ago in China to grind and store ink for calligraphy.” She noted that the remit is broad and, as well as covering mainland China, inkstone will also report on Hong Kong – where the inkstone core team is based – plus Macau and self-ruled Taiwan.
CNBC boosts Hong Kong bureau
CNBC will strengthen its Hong Kong operations to service increasing international interest in the Chinese market. Anchor Akiko Fujita moves from the network’s Asia headquarters in Singapore to join Bernie Lo in hosting CNBC’s flagship morning show Squawk Box in Hong Kong.
Multimedia journalist Uptin Saiidi, who fronts many of the network’s digital video series on its digital and social platforms, will also move from Singapore to Hong Kong. Kelly Gerard Olsen, formerly news editor and deputy bureau chief of Agence France-Presse in Tokyo, has also been hired as market correspondent with the Hong Kong digital team and will report to Asia Pacific editor, Everett Rosenfeld. Earlier, Yolande Chee, CNBC’s senior booker and producer, joined the Hong Kong news desk from the network’s Sydney bureau.
Tencent backs Indian music streamer
Chinese internet investment company Tencent Holdings has backed a US$115 million (A$148.2m) funding round in Indian music streaming app Gaana.
The other backer is Times Internet. Gaana is operated by Ganna Gaana Ltd, a Times Internet subsidiary, and this investment gives Tencent a minority stake in Gaana, formerly wholly owned by Times Internet. The capital injection will be used to fund more artificial intelligence-related technology to personalise music choices for consumers and to further develop subscription services for paying users.
Hong Kong ad spend lifts
Hong Kong’s total ad spend for 2017 was HK$41.9 billion, up 4% YOY according to the latest Hong Kong Advertisers Association Advertising Spending Projections 2018 survey, conducted by Nielsen. Nielsen noted that online ad spend continued to drive growth in Hong Kong, with spending on online interactive and mobile accounting for 38% of all advertising spending, compared to 39% for TV and newspaper advertising combined. Interestingly, the survey shows that instead of ad funds shifting from offline to online or mobile channels, 31% of advertisers are now gaining additional funding to support online marketing.
Celestial Tiger zeroes in on combat sports
Hong Kong-based Celestial Tiger Entertainment has launched its Asian Combat Sports on action entertainment channel KIX. Asian Combat Sports presents top Asian-focused mixed martial arts and championship fight events including a new Muay Thai tournament, TopKing World Series, featuring 16 of the best fighters from around the world.
Blue Ant ups its Asian presence with new carriage deal
Canada’s Blue Ant Media has ramped up its Asian presence in a new carriage deal with satellite operator MEASAT, which is now distributing six Blue Ant media channels in the region. The six channels – Entertainment HD, Extreme HD, Entertainment Philippines SD, ZooMoo HD, Love Nature 4K and Love Nature HD – are now available to pay-TV operators in the region.
The news comes this week after the group bought Australian Geographic from Bauer Media.
ABS-CBN #1 in Philippines
ABS-CBN was the most watched free-to-air TV channel in the Philippines in January with an average audience share of 46%, according to data from Kantar Media. This placed ABS-CBN 12 points higher than its closest competitor, GMA, which had a 34% share. ABS-CBN also hosted the top nine most-watched programs in the Philippines for January, with the local version of talent franchise Pilipinas Got Talent, now in its sixth season, clinching the second spot with an average national rating of 38.1%.
Mobile ads dominate in the Philippines
Mobile advertising dominated digital ad campaigns in the Philippines, while on-target mobile ad performance outpaced digital ads served via desktop and digital in 2017. Digital ads targeting the 18-49-year-olds age bracket reached their intended audience 81% of the time for mobile, 77% and 59% for total digital and desktop respectively.
Global media heavyweights at APOS
Media APOS 2018, which focuses on how broadband connectivity is combining with local economies and ecosystems to transform prospects for the production, distribution and monetisation of content, games and IP in Asia-Pacific, will be held in Bali from April 24 to 26. Key speakers at one of this year’s APOS themes – Race To Scale: Local Challenges For Global Leaders – include Bob Bakish, President and CEO, Viacom; Uday Shankar, President, 21st Century Fox Asia; JB Perrette, President and CEO, Discovery Networks International; Ricky Ow, President, Turner International Asia Pacific; Mahesh Samat, SVP and MD, The Walt Disney Company, South Asia; Gina Brogi, President of Global Distribution, Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution; and Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO, Viacom18 Media.
Mediaweek Asia In Brief
• Thailand’s online media value is estimated to increase from US$800 million to $1.5 billion in 2025, according to research titled Google and Temasek e-Conomy Southeast Asia. The report adds that in 2020, there will be 59 million Thai internet users, compared to 38 million in 2015. The number of Southeast Asian internet users in 2020 is forecast to be 480 million, up from e 260 million in 2015.
• Australia’s Fatfish Internet Group-backed Cloudaron, a Singapore-based IT solutions company listed in Malaysia, is acquiring Realtors8, a subsidiary of ASX-listed 8common Ltd that owns SaaS provider Ubertor, for S$4.23 million (A$4.13 milion)$3.2 million).
• China’s big tech Baidu video streaming service iQiyi has now filed for an IPO in the US, with an offering size of $1.5 billion (A$1.94 billion), an initial placeholder amount that is likely to change.
• The New York Times Company has appointed Glo Media Limited, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based digital marketing agency Guru Online, to represent its advertising in China. Glo Media will be overseen by Alice So, regional advertising manager, Asia Pacific, and she will work closely with The Times’ in-house sales team in Hong Kong.
• Twitter has signed a landmark deal with Formula E to live stream races for Japanese audiences who follow Formula E.
• NHK’s international broadcasting service NHK World will have a name change in April to NHK World-Japan, to gain wider recognition of the service’s Japanese roots in readiness for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
• Workpoint Digital TV’s The Mask Singer, a weekly Thai music reality TV show featuring performing masked celebrities, has become a big hit via social media. A YouTube clip from the show’s second season topped YouTube’s global trending videos in 2017 with over 217 million views. Workpoint Digital TV was the first Thai media company to simulcast on TV, YouTube and social media, building a big fan base on multiple digital channels and video platforms.