Archive for November, 2008

Media in Singapore

November 29, 2008

Some broad trends to think about, for those interested in starting media ventures in Singapore:

* The Singapore Media Development Authority (“MDA”), under the auspices of the Singapore government and in the same fashion as the ill-conceived Goal 2010, has begun doling out money to startups in the Interactive Digital Media (“IDM”) space, aspiring to create 10,000 media jobs by 2015.  This means that in spite of the credit crunch, there is still grant money to be pocketed.  Most recent example is the $10mm set aside for the development of the 3D film/animation industry, a move which was announced at the 3DFX festival held in Singapore.  It appears that the focus of their charity is mainly on the animation and gaming sectors, with a special emphasis on Second Life and all online MMORPG.  Good news for the computer science graduates, bad news for the communications folk.

* MDA also aims to transform Singapore into an Asian media hub, in spite of the film industry still being in its nascent stages.  Lucasfilm has set up shop in Singapore, NYU has set up a branch of their Tisch film school in Singapore and film financing funds are slowly trickling into the region.  The icing on the cake is that we’ve also begun granting citizenship to Chinese/HK celebrities such as Gong Li and building gilded apartments for them to live in, so Singapore might one day have the luxury feel of Monaco and Cannes.

* The print industry in Singapore, in contrast to its counterpart in the US, is actually surviving.  Newspaper and magazine companies have increased their circulation in recent years.  I am rather puzzled as to how this can be the case – Singapore probably has one of the higher rates of broadband Internet penetration in Asia as well, so I’d imagine that most folk would be heading online to get their fix of news articles.  Coupled with the dearth of options for newspaper-readers in Singapore, I see this as the little spike before the giant plunge.