Four-day event received 5,713 delegates
SINGAPORE – The 20th Asia TV Forum & Market, Asia’s leading entertainment content and conference, closed off on a strong note on 6 December 2019, with a congregation of more than 5,700 content players from 60 countries and regions. Against a backdrop of changing tides, this continued growth reflects industry confidence in the annual affair, which was co-located with the 9th ScreenSingapore.
Yeow Hui Leng, Group Project Director of ATF and ScreenSingapore said, “With the ever-changing industry landscape and consumption patterns, coupled with the rise of Asia, this year’s theme – ‘Streaming the Future’, serves as a timely reminder that content remains king in the new digital era of streaming platforms. ATF is committed to put out the best in class content where delegates can gain fresh insights and partnerships to navigate the dynamic entertainment content landscape.“
Continued growth at ATF and ScreenSingapore even amid industry changes
Compared to 2018, the event saw a 5% growth in size. Key Asian brands and major international studios in attendance included CBS Studios International, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Television, The Walt Disney Company, Viacom International Studios and Warner Bros. International Television Distribution. In line with the theme of “Streaming the Future”, there was a huge increase in the number of digital platforms participating at ATF, such as Alibaba Youku, Baidu Haokan, Google Play, Hoichoi, HOOQ, iQIYI, Netflix, Viu and Youtube.
To bring in-development projects and co-productions to fruition, ATF introduced “Speed Dating with Commissioners” this year, where producers and production companies had a chance to share their concepts for animation, factual entertainment, scripted fiction and short-form with commissioners seeking fresh programmes. This new initiative is part of ATF’s commitment to pave the way for opportunities and facilitate business dealings.
Underpinning ATF and ScreenSingapore’s position as an important platform where deals are sealed, the market was abuzz with a host of deals and partnerships. The announcements include:
- 108 Media’s joint venture with B.Water Animation Studios to establish B.Water Asia, which presented “CRAYONS” as the first part of a top-tier slate of children’s programming in fast-track development and pre-production
- HBO GO rolled out in the Philippines as a standalone OTT service
- IMDA and Tencent inked a partnership to identify and groom promising Singapore digital content creators, media and technology SMEs/ early start-ups to meet the demands of Tencent’s Southeast Asia expansion plans while working with Singapore content creators to access the market in China through a series of training initiatives
- Mediacorp and ViuTV sealed a two-title drama deal, with the first drama series slated for release in 2020
- Nippon TV and The Story Lab entered a new partnership to create and develop non-scripted formats for international sales
- Parade Media and Outdoor Channel signed a partnership for Asia, in which Outdoor Channel will license several hundred hours of Parade Media’s content while Parade Media will become a strategic equity partner in the Outdoor Channel
- Robot Playground Media and The R&D Studio to co-produce SPECTRUM, an original animated anthology inspired by the shared heritage, culture and imagination from Singapore and Malaysia
Delegates from the market floor, comprising exhibitors, buyers and participants, provided positive reviews about the event:
- Dato Hans Isaac, Chairman, National Film Development Corporation (Finas) (Malaysia): Everyone – including newcomers – can build, sell and monetise their content. But it’s extremely important for content to travel and to do so, relationships need to be built. So, coming here (to ATF) and creating relationships is key for the business of content. ATF provides a platform for hundreds of companies – content providers or buyers – to do this so that deals can be sealed in future.
- Nick Tanner, Director of Sales & Co-Productions, Passion Distribution: APAC has always been an important region for Passion and ATF is the showcase event for this region. The scale of the event and quality of attendees seem to improve year-on-year so it is an essential part of our calendar.
- Anne Jakrajutatip, CEO, JKN Global Media: ATF is fantastic – there are a lot of people here; this is the biggest content market in Asia. The connections that we make at every ATF are so valuable. This year, we closed a deal with Korea, which is very exciting for us. This in addition to others that we have sealed with buyers from Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore and Indonesia.
- Soumya Mukherjee, Head of Revenue & Strategy, Hoichoi Technologies Pte Ltd: ATF is one of the biggest markets in Asia and a very good platform to bring Bengali content to an international forum – that’s one of the key drivers for Hoichoi to be here.
- Uttam Pal Singh, Head, Discovery Kids: Discovery Kids is looking for content that can resonate with our audience. This year’s ATF has been interesting in terms of understanding what resonates with kids – there was some great research and new knowledge shared about the content that the region is taking to, and how the region is taking to streaming platforms.
- Andri Detulong, Head of Program and Acquisition, Onevision Entertainment: ATF is the biggest market for Southeast Asia, so it is a good place to find content for our market (Indonesia). This year’s ATF is much more crowded, and the organisers have arranged for many matchmaking meetings. This really helped us to find a suitable partner.
- Dennis Young, CEO, Glocal: I have attended ATF for almost 20 years. It’s still the leading marketplace for Asian content – there’s nothing else like it.
Over 110 industry experts delivered insights at ATF conference
ATF and ScreenSingapore 2019 commenced with the ATF Leaders’ Summit (3 December), where opinion leaders shared insights about the digital future of entertainment content, and how Asia Pacific continues to keep up. Keynote speakers included Gong Yu, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of iQIYI, Shibasish Sarkar, Group CEO of Reliance Entertainment and Giorgio Stock, President, WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks, Distribution & Advertising Sales (EMEA & APAC).
Content Connection (4 December) placed the spotlight on scripted and unscripted formats up for deals by top sellers. Asian and international buyers caught a glimpse of the best Asia has to offer, with sessions focusing on fresh content from countries such as China, India and Korea, as well as the appearance of Thai superstar, actor, singer and model, James Jirayu, for the JKN Showcase: Thailand’s Big Hits session.
Production Day (5 December) saw a discussion that addressed production capabilities, where real issues and user cases were highlighted and presented to pave the way for capabilities advancement. Industry experts who shed light on the topic at the event include Deepak Dhar, CEO & Founder of Banijay and Quark Henares, Head of Globe Studios, who shared about co-production and financing; Vivek Bhutyani, CEO of Lattu Kids, Michel Rodrigue, CEO & Partner of The Format People and Leslie Lee, Vice President – Kids, WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks.
Opening doors to Asia and beyond for up-and-coming talents
In line with ATF and ScreenSingapore’s commitment to nurturing Asian talent, the ATF Animation, Chinese and Formats Pitches, along with the SAFF Project Market, made their comeback this year and named 11 projects as winners. These were backed by industry players and associations such as G.H.Y Culture & Media (ATF Chinese Pitch), Gold Green Animation Pvt Ltd (ATF Animation Pitch) and the Southeast Asian Audio-Visual Association (SAFF Project Market).
|ATF Animation Pitch||Weatherville by Riki Group (China)|
|ATF Chinese Pitch||Online Drama Series
The Lost Phone 《更衣室里谁的手机》by Ang Yee Sen (Malaysia)
|ATF Formats Pitch||Don’t Block The Numbers by Gamaliel Paulus S. (Indonesia)|
|SAFF Project Market||108 Media Award
KL Post / SuperNova Award
ACE Pictures Award
SALT Media Award
Under the umbrella of Singapore Media Festival, the next edition of ATF and ScreenSingapore is slated to return from 1 to 4 December 2020.