With an increasingly vibrant smartphone landscape, Singapore is fast becoming the most mobile-savvy population in the South East Asia region.
In Singapore alone, the mobile phone penetration rate has doubled from more than half between 2001 and 2013. According to a recent study conducted by Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), the penetration rates jumped from 69.2 percent in 2001, to 156 percent in 2013.
Additionally, with the increasingly sophisticated mobile landscape, mobile users now have easier access to mobile connectivity. The same IDA study reported that mobile data usage has steadily increased for the past five years. In the fourth quarter of 2013, mobile data usage among Singapore mobile users was reported to be 7.66 petabytes. This is a significant growth as compared to the same quarter in 2008, which reported a mere 0.68 petabytes.
With the rise of mobile phones and mobile connectivity, it is little wonder that more consumers are now turning to mobile and online solutions to get their daily dosage of news and entertainment.
We spoke to Deepakjit Singh, Managing Director, Asia, of Encompass Digital Media to learn more about what these mobile trends mean for networks and broadcasters. He also shared how they as content providers can remain competitive in spite of this inclination towards non-traditional media platforms.
Is the mobile trend a threat?
From the perspective of networks and broadcasters, and as a representative of a digital media services provider himself, Singh feels that the mobile trend is more of an opportunity instead of a threat.
The mobile trend has made it more convenient for the users to view and seek more content. And with the demand for more content, it enables the providers to create more content to meet this rising demand, he explained.
Singh went on to add that people essentially still watch the same content, just on different platforms. "The platforms in which users turn to should not matter as long as they still adopt content-seeking behavior," he said.
Maintaining a competitive edge
It is interesting to note that consumers are loyal to content, but not to channels. As such, content providers are relentlessly pursuing high-quality exclusive content to remain competitive.
"They need to learn to innovate and not get stuck with their old models. Innovation will lead to positive changes," Singh emphasised. "Tech giants like Google, Yahoo and Apple are all examples of success stories."
A crucial element is to "keep the incremental cost of distributing a channel low enough", Singh said. He cited four factors on achieving low costs - automating as much as possible, adopting new technologies such as software-based playout systems as they are "more standardised and flexible", reducing cost of delivery, and increasing productivity.
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