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Cable & broadcast biggies discuss issues on day 1 of CASBAA Convention

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MACAU: The CASBAA Convention 2017 in Macau kicked off on 7 November 2017 with welcoming remarks from 21st Century Fox CASBAA Board Chairman and SVP Public Affairs Asia Joe Welch, during which he highlighted the association’s escalating efforts to curb the on-going regional revenue leakage caused by piracy.

“Most importantly”, said Welch, “CASBAA recently launched the Coalition Against Piracy, funded by 18 of the region’s content players and distribution partners”.

In the meantime, CASBAA CEO Christopher Slaughter, emphasised the yet to be fully-realised digital dividends for the Asia Pacific.

According to CASBAA, TV production quality is soaring across Asia. Audiences are engaging as never before. New ways of video distribution such as over-the-top (OTT) broadband services are reaching millions of additional customers across a CASBAA footprint that reaches from India and Pakistan to Japan and Korea, from China and Mongolia to Australia and New Zealand.

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.

Some noteworthy points mentioned through the day:

New Wine, New Bottles: Astro COO Henry Tan said,“We need to expand beyond our domestic market, it would be foolhardy to be satisfied, with 75 per cent 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 per cent market share, how to do that? Home shopping, eCommerce. We have to see ourselves as a consumer care company, our biggest asset is our customer base.”

On Piracy:

Premier League Kevin Plumb said,“In the past 18 months the illegal broadcasting of live Premier League matches in pubs in the UK has been decimated.”

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

Federation Aganst Copyright Theft (FACT) Kieron Sharp said,“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.”

UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) Ros Lynch said,“The UKIPO provides intelligence and evidence to industry and the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) in London who then take enforcement actions. We first heard about the issues with ISDs from TVB in Hong Kong and we then consulted the UK rights holders who responded that it wasn’t a problem. Two years later the issue just exploded.”

On New Content New Platforms:

Vice Media Hosi Simon said, “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.”

The Death Of Television?:

The Promotion Fix @ The Drum Sam Scott said,“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 per cent. 81 per cent of marketers use Twitter. Everyone else, 22 per cent.”

“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.”

On C-band and Satellite:

APT Satellite Huang Baozhong: “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.”

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

On OTT:

BrightCove Greg Armshaw said, “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...”

Fox Network Group Rohit d’Silva said, “Data science is now front and centre 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.”

Sony India Uday Sodhi said,“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.”

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