#CASBAACON Day 1: CASBAA declares war on illegal streaming boxes

CASBAA piracy
The Coalition Against Piracy members toast the launch of CAP (from left): Jason Chan, CAP; Paras Sharma, Viacom International Media Networks; Laila Saat, ASTRO; Malobika Banerji, A&E Networks; Kevin Plumb, Premier League; Nirav Haji, Sony Pictures Television Networks Asia; Lawrence Yuen, HBO Asia; Joe Welch, CASBAA Chairman; Birathon Kasemsri, True Visions; Amit Malhotra, The Walt Disney Company; Alexandre Muller, TV5MONDE; Rohit d'Silva, Fox Networks Group; Neil Gane, CAP; Chih Yeong Voo, Turner Asia-Pacific; Mike Kerr, beIN Asia; Keith Huang, PCCW Media; Erwin Galang, Cignal TV; Gidon Freeman, NBCUniversal; Jake Smart, National Basketball Association and John Medeiros, CASBAA. Not represented on stage were BBC Worldwide and Media Partners Asia. Image credit: CASBAA

The CASBAA Convention 2017 in Macau kicked off on Tuesday with, among other things, the official launch of CASBAA’s new Coalition Against Piracy (CAP), which aims to combat ‘illicit streaming devices’ (ISDs) in Southeast Asia and the app networks that underpin them.

According to CASBAA, ISDs have become a major drag on both traditional pay-TV and ‘new media’ OTT markets in Asia. A recent market survey reported that 14% of consumers in Singapore, for example, admit to regularly using an ISD. And those numbers are believed to be growing.

A coalition approach is the only way to effectively combat use of such devices, said Birathon Kasemsri, chief commercial officer of True Visions Group

“Piracy is an international issue that cannot be dealt with by a single entity or country alone. It cannot be dealt with by a single platform alone,” he said. “It must be a coordinated, integrated effort. We need to create an environment where we can grow and prosper.”

CAP general manager Neil Gane outlined CAP’s key priorities: “Two immediate priorities will be the disruption of the ISD ecosystem at its source and enhanced intermediary engagement with both e-commerce platforms and financial processors to disrupt transactions at the point of sale. Disrupting illicit commercial transactions is a key component of any anti-piracy strategy.”

Meanwhile, Day 1 of the CASBAA Convention saw keynote speakers focused on the growing opportunities for TV and video across Asia as TV production quality soars and audiences engage with TV as never before.

Operator workshops and conference sessions such as “New Ecosystems: Myanmar & Cambodia” and “OTT in China” showcased the plus side, while digital negatives were highlighted during sessions such as “Under Attack” and “the ISD Battle”, as well as clear-eyed examinations of the India market and new content offerings both domestic and international.

Piracy was a recurring topic throughout the day, some of it positive. For example, Premier League’s Kevin Plumb said, “In the past 18 months the illegal broadcasting of live Premier League matches in pubs in the UK has been decimated.”

Matthew Hibbert of Sky UK, noted that “site-blocking has moved the goalposts significantly. In the UK you cannot watch pirated live Premier League content any more.”

Kieron Sharp of Federation Aganst Copyright Theft (FACT): “The most successful thing we’ve done to combat piracy has been to undertake criminal prosecutions against ISD piracy. Everyone is pleading guilty to these offences.”

Other notable quotes from the CASBAA stage somewhere deep in the heart of Macau’s Studio City:

New wine, new bottles

Henry Tan, COO Astro: “We need to expand beyond our domestic market, it would be foolhardy to be satisfied, with 75% of Malaysian Households. The way the world is going, is mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships …

“Last year at the CASBAA Conventions I met with Group M’s Irwin Gotlieb; he told me: ‘Bet on transactions’. Since we have 75% market share, how to do that? Home shopping, e-commerce. We have to see ourselves as a consumer care company, our biggest asset is our customer base.”

New content, new platforms

Hosi Simon, Vice Media: “The business isn’t in some regional office where people send out emails, it’s about local offices building local content.”

“What Vice trades in is being able to identify emerging trends – artists, music, movements – that young people care about. We trade on an understanding about cultural diversity and nuance, and we don’t believe there is just one global lens, the excitement is about the local story.”

Media companies need better security

Mallory Delaporte-Bernues, TV5Monde: “Media companies, do not have the same security measures, as the financial industry which makes them low-hanging fruit for hackers … You know that black screen you never want to see in your office? When we turned our network back on, that’s what happened … You shouldn’t let your company do anything new until you’ve covered security.”

Matt Pollins, CMS: “It’s not a question of if it will happen, but when it will happen. The key is how you respond to it when it happens … You shouldn’t be afraid of adopting new technologies, but be aware of the risks involved and plan accordingly.”

The death Of television(?)

Sam Scott: The Promotion Fix @ The Drum: “As ad contrarian Bob Hoffman said, we need to counter the falsehood that TV is dying by pointing out that it’s having babies …

“Marketers are not normal people. We love social media, but most people do not. 93% of marketers are on LinkedIn. Among everyone else, it’s 14%. 81% of marketers use Twitter. Everyone else, 22% …

“The marketing industry has its own ‘fake news’ problem. Too many marketers – especially in digital marketing – accept what is said in our industry’s echo chamber without thinking critically or asking for evidence …

“Don’t let those who are biased towards digital mediums and tactics frame the debate.”

C-band broadcast is doomed

Huang Baozhong, APT Satellite: “With complementary OTT services, we add value instead of lowering prices …

“If other countries will follow [the US/FCC]: Japan, Europe, Australia, Korea and others … this will completely destroy the broadcasting industry in C-band.”

Raymond Chow, ABS: “C-band is a precious resource, not only for broadcast, but also mission-critical for military applications.”

Know your OTT

Greg Armshaw, BrightCove: “Really start understanding your customer base is the essential to selling OTT … Even though there are free offers, not everyone is signing up to it, so personalised offers, being flexible about bundling and looking at marketing partnerships are key…”

Rohit d’Silva, Fox Network Group: “Data science is now front and center for a multitude of industries. In the media industry the sooner they understand that data science is a huge part their operations, then they won’t get left behind.”

Uday Sodh: Sony India: “There is a huge mindset change required, when you move from traditional the broadcast business, to digital platforms. You have to deal with the huge explosion of data that you develop.”

Disruptive.Asia is an official media partner of CASBAA Convention 2017

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