Paul Fisher
Aug 7, 2014

Media sector enduring unprecedented change

SECTOR REPORT: Technology and cross-screen engagement make this a time of upheaval for the media sector.

Media sector enduring unprecedented change

The media industry across Asia Pacific is being powered by consumers’ voracious appetite for content, services and entertainment, technology manufacturers’ ever increasing production of clever, attractive devices on which to consume, and the increase in internet access and speeds coupled with greater affordability for the region’s burgeoning consumer class.

Across such a diverse region, we see an expanding and more engaged audience, particularly when it comes to television, with content ranging from telenovelas to live sport to local versions of big international shows such as The Voice. Supplementing the popular mode of consuming these marquee television events live, is an array of digital ‘catch up’ platforms created by technology providers and embraced by content distributors and broadcasters to capture incremental audiences and enhance that first touch point experience on the big screen.

Online video consumption is growing across the region as more and more broadcasters place more content on their own online platforms, and whilst to some extent much of this consumption is in internet cafes and other public access places, it is the rise of the mobile device that is providing both consumers and broadcasters with the greatest opportunities.

Most mobile video consumption is occurring in mobile applications and a growing number of so-called ‘traditional’ television broadcasters, such as ABS-CBN in the Philippines, are creating their own mobile apps for consumers to access both catch up video content and video content created specifically for the ‘snacking’ mobile consumer, such as highlights packages, interviews, short clips and promotions.

Funding this expansive variety of content on multiple devices is challenging the media sector, essentially they support their content creation and acquisitions with either advertising or subscriptions, rarely both. Fortunately for consumers and media owners, the video (TV and digital) advertising markets are growing at a reasonable if not spectacular rate in most Asia Pacific markets, and generally outperforming print and other media in terms of advertising expenditure and share of total advertising expenditure.

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Digital display and mobile advertising continues to grow the fastest, often from a low base, and as more consumers watch, listen to and read more content digitally the digital advertising sector will continue to grow. In years to come digital advertising will eventually surpass the volume and share of advertising currently commanded by print and TV, as it has in the US, UK, some European markets and Australia.

Further powering this double-digit annual growth in digital advertising will be technology such as programmatic trading which is enabling buyers and sellers of media inventory to trade within automated platforms applying complex and sophisticated algorithms to both value inventory and find audiences.

The application of multiple data sets—so-called ‘big data’—to advertising and marketing is an emerging trend in the media sector that many believe will emerge as the most dominant and impactful single change to media this decade. For years the adage of “I know only half of my advertising works, I just don’t know which half" will be replaced by a trend away from mass reach campaign advertising to highly targeted messaging and content to consumer segments and even individuals. Whilst this gives rise to warranted concerns about consumer privacy, an issue the industry must address as a priority, the gains for consumers will be exponential, with content and marketing more relevant to their behaviours and/or declared or inferred interests. This in turn will reap rewards for those media and technology companies who understand their consumers best, and deliver the content, services and advertising that are most relevant to their customers’ interests and needs.

All in all, this is the most exciting period in the history of media and the array of technology, content and services in Asia Pacific provides customers with more choice than ever before.

Paul Fisher is managing director of the Media Industry Group for Southeast Asia, North Asia and Pacific at Nielsen

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