“Don’t believe that we don’t know how important Asia is for our company, he said Thursday. Zeiler was speaking at the APOS Convention in Singapore on Thursday.
He cited examples of theatrical success for “Batman” and “Fantastic Beasts” in the region and investment in local production in the region.
The reassurance may have been necessary following post-merger announcements that proposed changes in North America, Latin America and Europe ahead of Asia – despite recent external data showing Asia-Pacific as one of the world’s fastest growth regions.
“We want to be a top three global media player. That means transition from analog to digital worldwide. It is a process. It needs to be balanced from timing and investment points of view,” Zeiler said. “We have to get this transition right. We have to prove to our investors that being successful in streaming [is compatible with being] financially responsible. The market spoke a very clear language.”
He explained that combining the HBO Max and Discovery Plus streaming services is the way forward. In certain markets in East Asia, where the service currently exists, it will also need to absorb HBO Go. “In Asia, this combination of HBO Max, HBO Go and Discovery Plus is the plan,” he said.
Pressed by Media Partners Asia host Vivek Couto, Zeiler explained that delivering the new streaming platform in Asia could involve partnerships with local players. He cited pay-TV and streaming group Foxtel in Australia and pay-TV player Astro in Malaysia and one or two groups in Korea, as examples of possible partnership.
“We believe in partnerships. [These] can be win-win situations for two strong companies,” he said.
“Success looks like a great slate of feature films, fantastic scripted programs. And it should be a good amount of Emmys each year,” Zeiler said.