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Singapore Updates Content Industry Support Through Audible and KC Media Pacts

S Iswaran at 2020 SMF opening
Courtesy of SMF

The Singapore government is expanding its range of content industry support measures through two new partnerships. One is with Amazon offshoot Audible, the other with KC Global Media.

The moves were unveiled on Tuesday Minister for Communications and Information, S Iswaran. He was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Singapore Media Festival, the umbrella event that spans the Singapore Film Festival, Asian Television Forum and the Asian Academy Creative Awards. The SMF itself has been expanded this year with first time additions Singapore Games Market Bootcamp, SuperGamerFest and VidCon Now.

The opening ceremony was held at a virtual studio built at the Marina Bay Sands conference and exhibition center that in normal years is home to the SMF as an in-person event. As a public event, the opening was streamed live on Facebook. Other events are screened on the ATF’s proprietary platform.

The development of original audio content will be given a boost through a new content-collaboration with Audible (an Amazon Company), one of the world’s largest producers and sellers of original spoken-word entertainment and audio titles.

The deal with Audible will lead to a first-of-its-kind “Audible Accelerator” providing training in audio development and production, and helping to identify original stories for distribution on Audible’s services around the world. Over 70 media professionals and at least 10 Singapore media companies are expected to benefit from the program. Up to ten scripts developed by participants will be selected to be produced as audio pilot programs and tested on Audible’s platforms.

KC Global Media Singapore, which has a presence in markets such as Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines and Taiwan, will be helped to co-develop original scripts with a regional appeal.

The initiatives are part of Capability Partnership Program, one of the country’s responses to the coronavirus crisis which has created an accelerated need for new skills. Existing partner companies include CJ ENM HK, WarnerMedia and ViacomCBS. The latter, it was announced Tuesday, will focus on original animation series for each of its MTV Asia and Nickelodeon brands.

The S$8 million ($5.97 million) Public Service Content (PSC) Fund, launched earlier this year in partnership with Mediacorp, Singapore Press Holdings and Viddsee, aims to catalyze production projects through commissions of short-form content for their digital platforms, has now been awarded as 78 new commissions.

Recipients are 67 local media companies such as August Pictures, Verite Productions and Butterworks. Some 22 new titles have already been released on http://www.meWATCH.sg, http://www.viddsee.com and SPH’s digital platforms in November. More titles will be released progressively by September 2021.

Following a second call for tenders under the Southeast Asia Co-Production Grant scheme, six feature film projects from Southeast Asia were announced as receiving financing of S$250,000 each ($187,000). Three hail from Vietnam and one each from Myanmar, Indonesia and the Philippines.