Kamal: TV has to work harder to say the relevance
June 9, 2017 - tonton
IN a face of a fast-changing media landscape with rising competition, Media Prima Television Networks (MPTN) CEO Datuk Kamal Khalid believes radio is still relevant.
“The premonition that we would give is that TV has to work harder to say a relevance,” he tells The Edge in an disdainful interview.
“Content is really important. Local calm is really important. It has got to be constrained content. You can't take viewers for granted. They are a lot some-more worldly than we cruise they are, generally in this day and age. There’s so most choice accessible to them.
“The faithfulness that normal broadcasters used to suffer is a thing of a past. Today, there are many channels competing for a same audience, essentially. So, there is going to be a certain grade of fragmentation. The pivotal thing for us is to know a audience, know what they wish and furnish calm that resonates with them.”
Kamal points out that a purpose of TV has morphed.
“Traditionally, when we speak about television, we are articulate about a device in a center of a vital room where a family congregates and watches content. About 5 to 7 years ago, a tenure ‘television’ was broadened or altered a tiny bit to meant radio content. Television would be your favourite TV show, either it is a Akasia regretful drama, a football compare or Game of Thrones. But we don’t have to watch it on a TV set, we can watch it on a tiny screen, we can watch it on your laptop or home computer. It’s a content. TV means that — radio content,” he says.
“With a proliferation of Netflix and so on, we cruise that definition, a definition has spin embedded … we don’t have to watch a calm on television. Taking it a step further, now we have people who do not watch normal TV content. You have kids who spin to a net to watch 3 to five-minute videos … things that we wouldn’t cruise to be required TV programmes. But that is a kind of party they consume. And TV, as a business, needs to be wakeful of these changes.”
Kamal shares that his group was wakeful of a changeable landscape progressing on and had “an premonition that a expenditure of TV calm would not sojourn conventional”, so ensuing in a launch of tonton in Aug 2010 — an over-the-top (OTT) streaming service. It was a initial internal video portal in Malaysia.
Last year, it enclosed a subscription income indication for a relaunched tonton video-on-demand services. Today, it boasts 6.8 million users.
“tonton was launched 4 months before a iPad came to Malaysia in 2010 … a timing was really fortunate. The second thing that spurred tonton’s expansion was a high-speed broadband plan that was launched in 2011. Those dual things were outrageous accelerant [factors], and when we started a service, it was giveaway — we didn’t design to make most from it. It was some-more critical to say a aptitude of a free-to-air (FTA) channels. Even 7 to 8 years ago, we were seeing that people were commencement to perspective calm online [and we wanted to] build adult a vast and sincerely constant subscriber base,” he says.
“The initial step for us was to launch tonton. We had an premonition that a expenditure of TV calm would not sojourn required … like what it was when my era was flourishing up. We have to step behind and acknowledge that only entrance adult with a 60-minute play and putting it on atmosphere is not enough. It has to be upheld with a calm ecosystem that is somewhat different, such as a use of together platforms like YouTube and amicable media. As prolonged as we come adult with constrained calm and package it in a approach that people will devour and make it accessible by a smoothness channels that they visit, afterwards we cruise TV is still relevant.”
Kamal says tonton is a hybrid use model. “There is a apportionment that is free, and most of a reward calm in a archive, substantially about 30,000 hours strong, of that 85% is internal — all of that is accessible behind a paywall. It is called a freemium model. Advertising is still an critical member — a income we get from a use — though a subscription indication is a one that we cruise will fuel destiny growth.”
MPTN, a TV section of listed Media Prima Bhd, ventured into Singapore recently by a vital partnership with Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (Singtel) to pierce tonton to a city state. This is tonton’s initial unfamiliar venture.
Kamal says once this try stabilises, a subsequent step is to demeanour during other countries in a segment for identical partnerships.
He says a association has identified several intensity collaborations, though “they are not utterly as distant along as with Singtel”.
“We are carefree of announcing another one before a finish of a year,” he adds.
MPTN operates Malaysia’s 4 heading FTA stations — TV3, that is over 30 years old; TV9; 8TV; and ntv7. Given that it has been in a TV space for over 3 decades, a association does have a first-mover advantage. But a rival landscape has positively strong with pay-TV operators and OTT players, such as Netflix and iflix, entering a field.
With a severe handling landscape and heightening competition, a TV business of Media Prima has positively been hit. According to a group’s FY2016 annual report, a segment’s distinction grant forsaken to 7.4% from 53% a year ago as a gain fell over 90% year on year to RM5.1 million notwithstanding a extrinsic boost in income to RM626 million.
Kamal admits that 2016 was “a really severe year”.
“We are still going by a transition. The best approach to put it would be that we would be in a really most worse position had we not taken some of a initiatives that we did final year, that was to variegate a revenue. We indispensable to make a tiny bit of investment, we indispensable to pierce out of a comfort zone. we cruise all a initiatives that were taken have borne some fruit, and we only need to say a momentum,” he says.
“Media Prima was roughly totally reliant on promotion for a longest time. Some of a stairs we have taken in a past 12 to 18 months were a accordant bid to change divided from that … to focus from a finish faith on one income source, that rendered us totally vulnerable, generally in times when consumer certainty is soothing and spending is slow. So we cruise 2016 has been a tiny bit of a short-lived year for us. But a initial signs had been encouraging.”
Interestingly, it is not only speak as information also shows that TV is still relevant.
Kamal reveals that for a initial half of this year, MPTN’s awards show, Anugerah Juara Lagu, reached tighten to 6 million viewers while internal football joining matches continue to outstrip a tip English Premier League matches in popularity.
“People are still examination TV. It all boils down to content, and calm cost is going up. So we have to be prudent with a kind of calm we air. We have to be really resourceful — where to park a investment as it is no longer commercially viable to splurge opposite all time belts,” he says.