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Exploring the Growth of Asia’s Media Industry

The Jakarta Globe. According to the McKinsey Global Media Report 2015, global spending on media has shifted from traditional products and services to digital services. By 2019, digital spending is expected to reach 50 percent of total media spending.It is also estimated there will be about 194 million internet users in member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations by 2020.

Globally, markets in developing countries play an important role in the growth of global media, not just because the traditional media in the region is getting stronger, but also because Asian markets are adaptable to rapid economic development and have stable growth, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. It is no wonder that the media market in Asia Pacific is believed to be the main source for global industry growth for the next five years.

Singapore as Asia Pacific’s Media Hub

Global media practitioners have started to look for opportunities to expand their business networks to Asia’s industry. Why? Singapore is the center of the development of the media industry. A total of 7,000 media companies have entered Singapore and set up a head office or branch office there.

Around 14 out of 15 global communications service companies have opened their regional offices in Singapore. The city-state’s reputation as having the most qualified networks proves that it deserves to be the base of leading digital media services for international media companies.

As Asia Pacific’s content-production center, Singapore is the second home to the global media players, such as ESPN, Discovery Asia, BBC World, Walt Disney Television and Discovery Asia. There are also the Namco Bandai and Ubisoft, not to mention digital media giants, such as Lucasfilm and Double Negative.

Uniting Influential Media Practitioners in Singapore

Advanced digital infrastructure, diverse cultural backgrounds, as well as the penetration of cutting-edge technology have enabled Singapore to become the center of global content production and Asia. Starting in December, the Asian Storytelling will return at the Singapore Media Festival followed by equally engaging series of events.

A selection of exclusive themes and stories from Indonesia will be showcased at Singapore International Film Festival(SGIFF) from Nov 23-Dec 4.You may find familiar names on the list, such as Joko Anwar with a short film “Art through the Eyes,” Garin Nugroho with “A Woman from Java,” and the Mo Brothers with “Headshot.”

Riri Riza’s cult romance “What’s With Love 2” and Usmar Ismail’s legendary musical film “Three Maidens” will also hit the screens. “Three Sassy Sisters” by Nia Dinata, which is adapted from Ismail’s film, has been selected as one of SGIFF’s three special presentation films. This latest musical features singing and songwriting legend Titiek Puspa, returning on screen after a 30-year absence.

Attendees can also marvel at the works by independent filmmakers such as Wregas Bhanuteja’s Cannes-winning “In the Year of the Monkey,” Loeloe Hendra’s “Lost Wonders” and Wicaksono Wisnu Legowo’s debut feature “Turah.” SGIFF also invites you to have a conversation with internationally acclaimed director Darren Aronofsky, known for his dark and edgy films centered on characters with obsessive and self-destructive personalities. Among his award-winning titles are “Requiem for a Dream” (2008), “The Wrestler” (2008), and “Black Swan” (2010).

The Asian Television Awards from Dec. 1 to 2 is the most important and extravagant event of Asia’s film industry. The event will feature the best programs, production and performances. This year, the Asian Television Awards will celebrate its 20th anniversary, which will feature 40 categories and 1,300 contents representing best works by the industry players in the entire region. Indonesia received 16 nominations in total. Sitcom “Tetangga Masa Gitu (“Weird Neighbors”) featuring actress Chelsea Islan is nominated for Best Comedy Program.

“Celebrity Lip Sync Battle Indonesia” also got nominated for Best Adaptation of an Existing Format, as it successfully adapted “Lip Sync Battle” featuring Chrissy Teigen and LL Cool J. This year’s ATA will feature acclaimed Singaporean Mandopop singer-songwriter, JJ Lin, and international pop phenomenon Charli XCX. The awards ceremony is open to the public and expected to reach territories from Singapore, Malaysia to China, totaling more than 350 million viewers. Another event is the Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF) on Dec. 6 to 9, which will bring together at least 5,000 global content buyers and sellers in a single platform to buy, sell, co-create, and set up a distribution network.

The ATF will introduce its inaugural Digital Corridor workshop with experts such as France-based AGAT Films & Cie/ExNihilo producer Arnaud Colinart. The ATF’s summit with the theme “Managing the Business of Disruptors” will see C-suite executives from Asia and beyond, including Big Frame chief operating officer Chris Erwin, Viki Inc. senior partnerships and programming vice president Joanne Waage, Telekom Malaysia chief executive Jeremy Kung, and PLDT Group chief strategy officer Winston Damarillo.

An experimental virtual reality zone will allow attendees to immerse themselves in virtual reality through screenings, including Sundance-winning “Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness” where viewers position themselves in the eyes of the blind. In addition, industry players, filmmakers, producers, distributors, donors, and film buyers will seek joint production and funding opportunities at Screen Singapore on Dec. 7 to 9.

This year, Screen Singapore will showcase the Southeast Asian Film Financing (SAFF) Project Market, connecting filmmakers with investors and partners to co-produce films. SAFF will introduce 15 fiction and nonfiction feature-length projects to go through selection process by an esteemed panel of experts including Kathy Morgan, executive producer of Oscar-winning “The Danish Girl.”

Relaxing After Work

Spend most of your time in the city after work. Visit several entertainment and nightlife venues in Clarke Quay. Don’t forget to explore the shopping centers on Orchard Road. Have a taste of the local delights on the prestigious Bib Gourmands list awarded by Michelin food inspectors.

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