Content is king, telcos are queen

19 Jun 2014

Content is still the driving force of video services regardless of how it’s created, delivered and consumed, experts said Wednesday.

During a hybrid telecom/broadcast panel at the CommunicAsia2014 Summit Wednesday, industry executives from both sides discussed how both have seen dramatic shifts in the video business, in terms of the changing nature of the audience, the delivery channels they want to receive video content from, and just what counts as content these days.

But at the end of the day, it means nothing without the content, said Joe Igoe, CTO of MediaCorp.

“Content has always been king and always will be king,” Igoe said. “Content started as very general interest, and now we’re down to providing an individual experience, and there are different ways of getting that content to people, but it’s still the content driving all this.”

Ian Chin, COO of BesTV (Shanghai Media), took the royalty analogy further. “Good content is king, but how you deliver it is queen,” he said. “And I would say users are the king of the king because that’s where the money comes from.”

Ronan K. De Guzman, chief operating officer for OMNI Digital and executive VP for Solar Entertainment, agreed that content is king. “But if content is king, I’d say the audience is queen. You have to know what they want to see and how it will entertain them and improve their lives.”

Mock Pak Lum, CTO for StarHub, took a more pragmatic view. “Is content king? If people are willing to pay $100 to watch the World Cup, then sure.”

Mock was referring to StarHub’s attempts to sell World Cup packages for football fans who prefer to go to sports bars and watch games for free.

Jokes aside, Mock made the point that while content may be the chief driver, that doesn’t make it easy to monetize, especially when network operators face competition from over-the-top players such as Netflix.

“Everything is moving from linear TV to on-demand video, and it’s tough to get people to pay for it.”


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