The Asian Screen: March 2013 Report by Haexagon Concepts
Thanks to Hong Kong-based Haexagon Concepts for this summary of 2012 conferences and some case studies of recent film marketing efforts and transmedia projects centered in South-East Asia.
The potential for profitable online storytelling is clearly building in the region... some of the numbers in this report are truly eye-popping, for example the explosive growth of smartphone usage in Indonesia... but - judging by this review of the online marketing and transmedia storytelling initiatives taking place in the region - it seems most South-East Asian content creators and brands just don't haven't a clue. The most positive spin one can put on the litany of misfires in this March 2013 report is that tomorrow's successful online storytellers are currently learning a lot about what doesn't work.
Maybe it's still too early for the online franchises we all expect to see coming out of Asia.
But I also suspect that the audience just isn't being served - and that crowd-sourcing of content might be necessary to wrest control from Old World media types - and maybe then we'll see the paradigms that will work in Asia.
The good news?
There's no stopping the coming wave of large screen mobile devices in South-East Asia. In Chinese speaking territories, hundreds of millions of new (mostly young) users will soon have bigger smartphones and tablets. And those tools won't be just for passive consumption of pre-packaged content. Maybe things will begin to move a bit more quickly when the media and entertainment entrepreneurs admit they haven't figured it out because it's no longer about them.
The great tide of content from China will flow to and FROM mobile devices. Until the smart guys accept that fact, we may see more depressing reports like this one.