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Korea has found its 'Kimchi' for its content needs

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MUMBAI: The Asia TV Forum kicked off proceedings this time around with a keynote by CJ E&M president, media content business DJ Lee speaking about the future of television in Asia and what lies ahead.

CJ E&M has successfully been operating over 17 television channels and also provides nearly 3,000 hours of content - on an annual basis - across diversified platforms. But, what has been interesting in terms of the growth curve for the network, is the fact that there is a lot more of local content being created, which is doing tremendously with the local audience.

“These are some exciting times for content creators globally. With content being consumed anywhere and being platform agnostic, it’s encouraging to see creators pushing the envelope and doing different things or just doing things differently and being able to reach a wider audience for their content,” Lee expressed.

With an ambitious global expansion strategy along with initiatives such as digital-first original production under Lee’s guidance, CJ E&M rechristened its Multi-Channel Network (MCN) this year to DIA TV (Digital Influence & Artist TV) to focus on creating strategic business partnerships and opportunities with digital content creation platforms such as United States’ YouTube, China’s YouKu and France’s DailyMotion. By partnering content creators via the many digital platforms available, Lee also mentioned that the company is hoping to provide independent digital producers the opportunities to market their product by providing them with more support in areas such as funding, programming, digital rights management and cross-promotion.

“Recently we have signed a licensing deal with NBC for our successful showBetter Late Than Never. So I see lot more such innovative formats traveling across the globe. Asia needs to capitalise on its own rich cultural content, while embracing the diversity in the very same culture as well,” Lee said. “South Korea has branded its content, and made it as popular as its delicacy 'Kimchi' and it’s time other Asian countries follow suit as well."

Lee has been a forerunner, pioneer and innovator of the Korean broadcasting industry, bringing Total Variety Network (tvN), the country’s leading content channel, to greater heights and surpassing Free-to-Air (FTA) giants in terms of ratings and advertising revenue. Being the first to bring international formats into Korea to be localised, while also creating the first international Research & Development department.

With local broadcasting networks in Southeast Asia seeking to augment their original content, Lee’s address also provided insights based on his extensive experiences in cable, formats and the digital sphere.

Lee added, “Evolution and Adaptation are two key traits to have in an industry such as ours. Be it the successful localisation of international formats or integrating existing formats into brand new concepts, it is all about providing engaging and contemporary content for your audiences.”

He emphasised on the fact that Asia needs to find its identity and like CJ E&M find its own 'Kimchi' recipe to create a brighter future for the entire content ecosystem of tomorrow. “There will be hurdles like investments and restrictions that will come in your way, but it’s all about having the confidence in your content that will decide the future of your content market and whether it will find space in the hearts of your viewers and money in your pockets from brands who see value in your content,” he said.

CJ E&M's success is also attributed for creating short format content for the digital space as well as heavy digital marketing spends to in turn increase the content consumption on linear platforms as well. “With experience, we experimented using a lot more social marketing and digital content creation to gain eyeballs and then translate those into gaining more viewership on the linear front as well. I believe that digital is the next big thing and all content creators need to tap it as soon as possible. And what's more important is to create a differentiated positioning for both the content,” Lee opined.

This keynote certainly gave some great insights behind the success of one of the largest media groups in Asia. And would help a lot of other content producers to think more locally, while keeping the global audience in mind as well. Guess it’s time for India to think of taking its 'Rajma Chawal' to the world!

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