Branded entertainment: Opportunity knocks in Asia

Mike Rich
GroupM Singapore

Across Asia, scheduled TV choice is limited, creating new prospects for brands to fill the gap with branded content for mass audiences, says GroupM Singapore's Mike Rich

The television industry is changing at a fast pace, and no faster than in the vast continent of Asia. The effect of globalisation, the power of the internet and the cross-pollination of cultural trends means that people are more connected than ever before. The tastes, wants and needs of Asian audiences are changing, becoming more advanced and multicultural. In particular, the young, educated segment of this economically booming continent is more outward-looking in its search for entertainment, creating a perfect storm for savvy advertisers.

Asian audiences now want more than just the staple formats and content they have been fed for decades. These audiences are cashed up, and are spending more and more money on entertainment and media. According to PWC, entertainment and media spending in Asia-Pacific will increase at a projected 9.3% compound annual rate during the next five years, excluding Japan. China is fourth globally in value, at $86 billion. Despite this growth in spending, across South-East Asia, for example, an average of only two to three broadcasters per market account for 80% of the TV eyeballs. This narrow window of access has led the content supply of many markets to under-deliver against consumer wants. For example, in Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia, audience demand for drama, reality and game show programming is more than double that of the available supply.