ASEAN broadcasters get SMART

Rose Major

A group of broadcasters from the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) region has formed an alliance to work together on three specific areas: content, sales and marketing and technology.

The SMART Alliance initially brings together Singapore’s MediaCorp, Malaysia’s Media Prima, ABS-CBN of the Philippines, Thailand’s BBTV, Indonesia’s Media Nusantara Citra and International Media Corp of Vietnam. The six founding members met at an inaugural meeting on March 24 in Singapore and signed an MOU on the plans.

Co-operation should enable the broadcasters to deliver some economies of scale both as a supplier of content as well as a buyer of technology and equipment. Advertisers and clients will also be delivered marketing and promotional solutions on a regional platform.

ASEAN nations already co-operate on some broadcasting issues, including targeting 2015 as a region-wide date for analogue switch-off. But the new alliance goes further, bringing the co-operation down to broadcaster level.

In a statement, the alliance said that the region presented a combined market size of “more than half a billion eyeballs” with a growing middle class.

Lucas Chow, MediaCorp CEO and chairman of the SMART Alliance Steering Committee said: “As a community of regional media companies, we believe there is scope for an alliance that is established and driven purely by commercial considerations and goals. Our hope is that we will be the Alliance of Choice of all media companies in the Asia Pacific within the next 3 years or so.”