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Do you think the media scene is unique in Singapore and in the region? Do companies here face any peculiar challenges?
Media by nature is a global business and the Singapore media scene faces similar challenges as other countries. However, the scale of the problem does vary in Singapore. Issues around localisation are heightened for Singapore given that Singapore is generally the hub for localisation of content for say Philippines, Taiwan, Korea etc.
The government is also making efforts to attract media companies into Singapore in order to make Singapore the media hub of the region. The launch of Mediapolis is a step in that direction.
If companies are to look at Singapore as a media hub, the main prerequisite is good connectivity in and out of Singapore. Secondly, we need to cultivate and encourage talent in terms of IT and the creative stream. On the IT side, while there is strong connectivity in Singapore, given that SingTel and StarHub are the only two players in the market, the pricing is still significantly high to make it a competitive market. Additionally, there are very few service providers offering intermediate service portfolios in the region to attract broadcasters.
Another challenge is that the increased competition among content owners and broadcasters has led to a demand for highly reliable and highly efficient video networks. However, video traffic introduces stringent requirements around packet loss and jitter, making an off-the-shelf traditional tweaked data solution insufficient for video networks. Media providers, globally, need a purpose-built video network solution that can provide connectivity to key destinations, as well as premium quality and high levels of reliability on flexible commercial terms. With the right provider, media companies in Singapore can enjoy the benefits of a network architected for video.
Moreover, globalisation, as mentioned before, is a strong factor for consideration. Consumers want access to content as it happens - for example, we all want to watch the biggest sporting event live, as it happens, not the next day when it's all in the papers or on the Internet. This is often a challenge for broadcasters when it comes to delivering content syndicated to TV or video-on-demand or online clients worldwide. Broadcast customers across the world are still receiving content, whether it's an episode of a TV show or an event, through DVDs and hard drives or via unreliable web-based ftp transfers online. Real-time broadcast is a challenge and broadcasters have a new worry with piracy - they have to now compete with online streaming websites as well.
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