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     FrontPage Edition: Wed 28 November 2007

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Review of the Singapore media industry



An Excerpt

One of the new areas where we see enormous growth potential is interactive and digital media and video games.
According to industry reports, the worldwide video game and interactive entertainment industry is expected to grow from about US$29 billion in 2005 to as much as US$44 billion in 2011.
In Singapore, the nascent game industry has grown from a handful just several years ago to some 30 companies today.
Home-grown companies such as Activate Interactive, Boomzap Pte Ltd, NexGen and Mikoishi have made waves internationally. Leading Japanese game developers Koei Entertainment and Genki have also set up their office here to develop content for the global market generating more buzz for our IDM sector.
International relations
Singapore has forged several international co-production agreements and media MOUs with Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and various ASEAN countries. Several MOUs will be inked at this AMF.
Just yesterday, Singapore and the Philippines signed an agreement for media cooperation. The areas covered include media policy and information exchange, training and HR development, co-production and distribution and mutual exchanges.
Tomorrow, MDA will sign an MOU with Canal France International to facilitate digital broadcasting training collaborations and potential co-production projects between Singapore and France.
Last year, we signed an MOU with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). This MOU led to the launch the CROSS-MEDIA CHALLENGE - a competition to develop innovative projects that harness the advantages of new technologies such as mobile and broadband, for cross-platform delivery and multi-faceted audience engagement. The winner will be announced at MIPTV in 2008.
We hope that such international collaborations will inspire the production and distribution of more quality media content that appeals to a global audience. We are interested to forge more co-production agreements with like-minded countries. We also hope that trade participants attending AMF will make good use of this opportunity to build win-win business partnerships.
HDTV, Mobile TV and Asia Factual Forum
Singapore adopts a pro-enterprise outlook to encourage industry players - both local and international - to test-bed and deploy innovative media technologies and services here.
Early last year, MDA worked with industry players to successfully kick-off a series of trials on High Definition TV. Today, HDTV is available to Singapore households over free-to-air, cable and Internet Protocol or IPTV.
We view the delivery of digital TV services to mobile devices as a promising new way to deliver media services to consumers anytime, anywhere. Hence, MDA has proposed a policy framework to enable the early deployment of commercial mobile broadcasting.
MDA has launched a public consultation on the proposed framework covering issues such as technology and service standards.
Of course, carriage is nothing without compelling content. A key strategy for MDA is to support the local media industry to produce quality content for our home audience as well as export.
The result is a growing slate of made-by-Singapore content at international media markets like MIPTV and MIPCOM such as Kylie Kwong: My China, Little Big Dreams, Festive Asia, and Path of Typhoon. I must point out that most of these offerings are in HDTV format.
The superior quality and sound offered by HDTV lends itself well to the production of documentaries and factual programmes. In fact, the growing factual industry presents opportunities for Asian producers and documentary makers to interpret and tell stories mined from our rich heritage and ancient civilisations.
I am therefore glad to note that one of the highlights of AMF this year includes the inaugural Asia Factual Forum (AFF). The AFF is a showcase of the latest, finest and richest content in the documentary genre. It provides a platform for professional development and business networking. AFF can help to develop Singapore as a regional hub for co-production of factual content.
Centre for Content Protection
With digitalisation of content, intellectual property protection will become increasingly critical, particularly in safeguarding the rich cultural diversity and creative output in Asia...
Seen from this perspective, the agreement between the MDA and Motion Pictures Association (MPA) to establish Asia's first Centre for Content Protection (CCP), in Singapore, is a positive development.
The CCP is Asia's first technical organisation devoted to content protection technologies, policies and standards. It is envisioned to be a clearinghouse of information for all aspects and information regarding digital distribution and content protection.
The CCP is a testament to Singapore's standing as a secure media hub which respects intellectual property. It will further enhance our value proposition as a trusted media partner.
Upgrading capabilities
As the media industry grows, it is important to enlarge our talent pool to meet the needs of the media ecosystem.
One programme to address this issue is the William Morris Agency-MDA’s Masterclass Series. Leveraging on William Morris Agency's (WMA) global resources and relationships, this Masterclass Series will see renowned media personalities and professionals coming to Singapore to share their knowledge, experience and expertise with our local media industry players.
We are pleased to be partnering WMA as it reputed to be the largest and most diversified talent and literary agency in the world.
Financing for new growth
Another critical component of the media ecosystem is funding. Attracting private funds is imperative to sustaining long-term industry growth and we are actively working with industry and financial institutions to bring in private capital and investment into the Singapore media industry.
For example, we have attracted Australian-based Arclight Films to open a local office Easternlight Film Productions, to finance, produce and distribute international projects. Its debut film project Dance of the Dragon, stars home-grown actress Fann Wong as the female lead, and is currently in production.

Full Text of Speech

Source: Media Release 28 Nov 2007

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Public Holidays HARI RAYA HAJI is the next public holiday. It falls on 20 December 2007.