Less Christmas Shopping, More TV Buying At Singapore Mart.


The fact that this year's Singapore-based Asia TV Forum (ATF) began on November 28--much earlier than past editions--meant that visitors were not subject to endless shopping-inducing Christmas carols heard in every corner of this city-state.

Nevertheless, some shopping was done, but mostly for TV content, and it was restricted to the Marina Bay Sands Convention Center, where the 18th edition of the four-day ATF market took place.

"We saw a lot of new buyers," commented Global Agency's Isil Tiirksen. "There were also interesting conferences, which I could attend yesterday [November 28], but not today. With the market open, all my time is now taken by meetings with buyers."

Typically at the ATF, sales executives from exhibiting companies manage to meet with at least 25 buyers during the two-day period.

Among the conferences, there were three interesting panels. The first one, about advertising, showed that television advertising numbers are strong, because "great content will really stand out now," said speaker Ranji David.

Stephane Alpern of consultant firm Kantar did not fully agree with David's assessment since in his "The Future of Content" presentation, he stated that "consumers will dictate the entire ecosystem of content--from financing to distribution. The other possibility is where people create content communes," he said, which could well be the case if it weren't for the fact that one must invest lots of money upfront and produce content before consumers can actually make any sort of choice.

The third seminar of notice focused on social media. It was titled "Some Inconvenient Truths," and was hosted by Jan Rezab, an analyst who focused on print media, rather than TV. But his data could also be useful to content providers, since he separated social media's good share (like Facebook) from traffic (which is going to platforms like Instagram). However, Rezab spoke of BuzzFeed as a successful example to follow, even though the social media company was forced to fire eight percent of its workforce due to financial problems and is expecting up to a 20 percent decline in revenues.

The conference portion of the ATF had four encompassing themes, one of which, "Production Day," was sponsored by All3media.

The conference aspect of the event also received the bulk of space in the official daily publication published by ATF organizer Reed Exhibitions, while the market portion received only passing notice.

In addition, the Daily indicated how...

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