The 20th Asia TV Forum & Market (ATF), 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.
ATF and ScreenSingapore Group Project director Yeow Hui Leng, 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.“
Compared to 2018, the event saw a 5 per ccent 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.
Discovery Kids head Uttam Pal Singh said, “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.“
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
Over 110 industry experts delivered insights at ATF conference
ATF and ScreenSingapore 2019 commenced with the ATF Leaders’ Summit on 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 iQIYI founder and CEO Gong Yu, Reliance Entertainment Group CEO Shibasish Sarkar and WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks, Distribution & Advertising Sales (EMEA & APAC) president Giorgio Stock.
Hoichoi Technologies Revenue & Strategy head Soumya Mukherjee added, “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.”
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).
Under the umbrella of Singapore Media Festival, the next edition of ATF and ScreenSingapore is slated to return from 1 to 4 December 2020.