The Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA) held its annual state of the industry event, the Asia Video Summit (the Summit), which was supported by Create Hong Kong of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as the Lead Sponsor, on 10 to 12 November 2020 with resounding success as over 1000 delegates from the Asian video industry gathered for the Summit.
With most sessions live and broadcast from the studio to a backdrop of Hong Kong or Singapore, the Summit was produced to a very high standard and caps what has been a successful series of virtual events and webinars for AVIA.
AVIA was honoured to have Mr. Edward Yau, GBS, JP, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region officiated at the Opening Session of the Summit by delivering a speech video-telephonically on the first day of the Summit.
The Summit opened with a macro-economic update from S&P Global Ratings’ Managing Director and Chief Economist, Shaun Roache, who remained upbeat about the economy and how the potential of an early vaccine for COVID-19 could bring recovery forward, with less permanent damage. The way people consume goods and services would also change fundamentally and would be the key thing to watch over the next 1 to 2 years. However, it would take time for economic activity to resurrect, “A dimmer switch rather than a flick of the switch”, commented Shaun.
This fundamental shift is also seen in consumer viewing habits, as the myriad of ways to access content and the development of technology has also revolutionized how consumers view TV and video today, shared Annette Kunst, Regional MD, Southeast Asia and New Zealand, Nielsen Media, during her session on The Fortunes of Free TV.
As more broadcasters embrace change and adapt the models of streaming, the old adage of “Content is King” continues to ring true, as content is what drives people to platforms. With local content being the key connectors to audiences and driving viewership in SEA collaboration, too, becomes key between content providers and producers. And in the pay TV world, this collaboration extends to streamers and partners as well. However, the tone of optimism remains across both free and pay TV, with our panel of industry leaders agreeing that both platforms still have a role to play despite an increasingly fragmented and diversified media landscape.
While content remains king, the title for queen is much contested, as our various panelists had differing views. With Parminder Singh, Chief Commercial and Digital Officer, Mediacorp, distribution is the queen, while according to Ivy Wong, CEO of VS Media “the community is the Queen”. Her experience with local creators showed the importance of not only building content but also the community around it.
This sentiment was also shared by Agnes Rozario, Director of Content, Astro, on her panel on Content Cravings. Agnes reiterated the need to produce content that is relevant and close to the hearts of their viewers through data mining and analytics, to inform decision making on the content piece and to put consumers first in order to engage them.
Data is also the big focus in the world of Premium Advertising. Mitch Waters, SVP of South-East Asia, Australia and New Zealand, The Trade Desk, shared the need to showcase the true scale of consumption, and to have transparent access to data and information, which requires a lot of trust, collaboration and partnership from both the buy and sell sides, to get to programmatic faster.
However, questions remain about Cross Media Measurement and if it will ever happen. Added Nick Burfitt, MD, Asia, Kantar Media, “Audience measurement is now a team sport”, with the issues being both technical and commercial. Anthony Dobson, VP, Media Partners Asia & MD, AMPD Research, commented on his panel, “We have found the holy grail but the goblet is broken, all the innovation and technology is available, it’s missing the will and investment to make it happen.”
Despite all the innovation, technology and data at hand though, Tom Keaveny, Chief Innovation & Information Officer, beIN Media Group, summed it up best at his closing panel, “It’s not old media or new media … it needs to be all media. Great content … will always find its value and the ones who can curate it, treat it, market it and price it the best, will be the ultimate winners.”