Mediaweek Asia: NewsAsia, Hits TV, Hooq, SPH, iflix, Go-Jek and more

Mediaweek’s Peter Olszewski rounds up the latest media news from Asia.

New portal launched by Channel NewsAsia

Mediacorp’s Channel NewsAsia has launched a new lifestyle portal targeted at professionals. The site,, will focus on food, travel, fashion in Singapore and lifestyle trends throughout Asia. Material culled from the site will eventually appear on most of Mediacorp’s TV and radio outlets. Phin Wong, CNA Lifestyle supervising editor, said, “Lifestyle categories such as entertainment, dining, and wellness consistently rank among the Top 10 areas of interests of CNA’s audience.” Serene Seow, deputy editor of Elle Singapore, is the site’s style editor, and Aaron de Silva, formerly of the Robb Report Singapore and Men’s Folio, will be the site luxury editor.

China’s ByteDance planning long-form video streaming

Beijing ByteDance Technology, operator of popular news aggregator Jinri Toutiao and short video app Tik Tok, plans to run long-form content in China’s video streaming market to compete head-to-head with industry leaders iQiyi, Tencent Video and Youku Tudou. ByteDance plans to buy exclusive rights to programs and films and to also produce its own original films and drama for an app called Xigua Video, scheduled for launch late this year or early next year, possibly as a paid subscription service.

Thailand to launch its first interactive live game show

Line Thailand and Thai TV presenter Woody Milintachinda have partnered for Thailand’s first interactive live mobile game show, Ten Ten. The show, which will rely on ad market revenue, will launch in October with cash and prizes being given away daily.

Hits TV to launch in Vietnam

Singapore-based Rewind Networks’ Hits TV will launch in Vietnam on October 1, on K+, a Vietnamese-language pay-TV service owned by French company Canal+, which in turn is owned by Vivendi. Hits will be exclusively broadcast on K+’s DTH service in Vietnam. This is Rewind’s second deal with Canal+, with Hits having launched on Canal + Myanmar in February.

Hooq nominated for Academy Awards gong

Singapore-based premium video-on-demand service Hooq’s original production Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts, directed by filmmaker Mouly Surya, has been selected to represent Indonesia as its entry for the Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film.

Hooq has also appointed Michael Fleisher as its general counsel, and Lawrence Basillio as its regional director of customer service operations. Fleisher has over 20 years of legal and commercial media experience with leading companies, including BBC Worldwide, BBC News, NBCUniversal, Channel 4 and Nickelodeon. Lawrence Basillio is a customer service operations expert with more than 18 years of experience with multinationals.

SPH appoints digital analytics agency

Singapore Press Holdings has appointed Happy Marketer as its digital analytics agency to assist help implement Google Analytics 360. Happy Marketer, established in 2009, will work closely with SPH’s 17 newspaper titles, 80 magazine titles and different units to make sure all data can be organised and be able to be used by editors, marketers and data teams.

iflix partners with afro urban specialist Trace

KL-based streamer iflix has partnered with global Afro urban specialist media group Trace which will make two of its premium channels available freely to iflix users, specifically to cater to the company’s younger audience. The two channels to appear on iflix has part of this new partnership are Trace Urban and Trace Sports Stars. Trace Urban is the leading international urban music channel, focusing on hip hop, pop and R&B hits, as well exclusive interviews of celebrities, magazine shows and documentaries related to urban artists and culture. Trace Sports Stars is the leading sport channel exclusively dedicated to the lives of sports celebrities, through factual, reality, lifestyle, magazine, gossip and top TV shows. It also features original programs with rights available for syndication, globally.

Singapore beauty and fashion mag’s AR cover

Nüyou, a bilingual Singapore-based monthly fashion and beauty magazine for bilingual career women, has unleashed Moomoko, a beauty junkie and a well-travelled fashionista with an adventurous streak who is in fact a virtual character which, thanks to Augmented Reality, literally leaps out of the cover of the September 2018 Nüyou issue along with her best friend, local star Rebecca Lim. NüYou publisher, SPH Magazine, says, “Moomoko is the first virtual character to be created by a local magazine and we are thrilled about how AR can open up new ways for us to engage our readers through immersive storytelling. Numerous brands such as Sephora and Magnum are already leveraging AR to drive tangible business outcomes in Singapore. Research shows that the best AR campaigns increase dwell time by more than 85 seconds, interaction rates by up to 20% and click-through rates of 33%.”

Asian video industry reports on Vietnam market

The Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA) hosted the Vietnam in View conference in Ho Chi Minh City earlier this month. At the conference, Vu Tu Thanh, Vietnam consultant for AVIA and deputy regional managing director and Vietnam senior representative for US-Asean Business Council, gave a market overview, saying, “The Vietnam market has high growth and a rising demand for premium content coupled with low ARPU. With a pay-TV penetration rate of just under 50%, there are still untapped households, especially in non-urban areas.” The conference heard OTT services in Vietnam are proliferating with the growth of the internet, smartphones and smart TVs. Esther Nguyen, founder and CEO of POPS Worldwide, noted that short-form, or bite-sized, content is very popular now in Vietnam and predicted that branded content would play a key role soon. She also noted that subscription revenue for OTT services was very low, but she predicted growth.

Ride-hailing company invests in online content

Indonesian ride-hailing and online payment company Go-Jek has invested in Jakarta-based digital media startup Kumparan as part of its expansion into online content. Kumparan is a hybrid news and social media site that enables users to create content, makes crowd-sourcing possible and enables interaction between journalists and readers. Go-Jek plans to become an online multimedia content provider for Indonesia, producing original films, in partnership with local film production houses. Go-Jek also bought an adtech startup – Promogo – this month to challenge Grab’s advertising initiative GrabAds. Promogo is an OOH ad platform that installs ads on private vehicles like cars and motorcycles.

Mediaweek Asia: In Brief

• Leading Filipino broadcaster ABS-CBN has this month opened ABS-CBN Studio Experience or Studio XP, an indoor “amusement park”, with 15 attractions divided into three studios – Fantasy, Reality, and Retail.

• Astro has secured the Premier League broadcast rights in Malaysia for the next three seasons from 2019/20 to 2021/22.
• The judges for the 2019 season three of Asia’s Got Talent were announced last week and include seasoned judges David Foster, Anggun and Jay Park. Two hosts from season two – Alan Wong and Justin Bratton – will also adjudicate in the Sony Pictures Television Networks Asia series, scheduled to kick off on AXN early next year.
• China’s biggest music-streaming company, the Tencent Music Entertainment Group, has halved the amount it plans to raise in a US listing to about US$2 billion, in what will be one of the biggest listings this year in New York by a Chinese company.
• Chinese mobile news aggregator app NewsDog is expanding its Indian presence. It currently has two offices in Indian cities and 50 employees. It will now double the number of employees and set up offices in all major Indian cities by year-end, hoping to attract 100 million users a day over the next two years.
• The Condé Nast Center of Fashion & Design in Shanghai has appointed Reuter Communications as its agency in China.
• US esports live streaming video streaming platform Twitch has been banned in China after its website became unavailable last week. Speculation is this happened after the Amazon-owned streaming service had a surge in viewers tuning in to the Asian Games in Indonesia where an esports competition took place as a demonstration sport.
• Philippines OOH media company IDOOH has partnered with Voyager to deploy Voyager content through freenet on IDOOH in-vehicle screens, providing passengers access to in-vehicle shopping, entertainment, news, games, sports and lifestyle content.

• BBC iconic brand Doctor Who made an appearance at the Taobao Maker Festival in Hangzhou, China, on September 13-16. Organised by Taobao, China’s largest mobile commerce destination developed by Alibaba Group, the four-day festival is a celebration of China’s young entrepreneurs.

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