Niche webs hot in Asia

Content more about targeted fare for feevee, digital TV

SINGAPORE — Although movies will always reign as king of imported content, industry experts at the Asian TV Forum, held last week, predicted that niche channels will be the next big thing in Asia.

“The list of vendors here this year shows that independent distributors are succeeding with theme programming like fashion and makeovers,” said IBC’s Jon Helmrich.

Helmrich added that ATF 2003 (formerly Mip Asia) is less about primetime shows for free-to-air TV and more about targeted fare for feevee and digital consumption.

TVFI executive director Mathieu Bejot agreed. “Many buyers say they like being able to buy just what they want, unlike content lock-in deals demanded by the U.S. majors to secure big movies,” he said.

But AXN managing director Todd Miller said Hollywood should never be overlooked as a provider of fare for Asia. “Within our action and adventure lineup, if one single genre has fared consistently well across all our Asian markets, it’s imported reality.”

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