Media Watch Category
Popular Daily Fresh News
Media Watch 2012
- A Final Farewell to Tan Siang Lin
- Now 9 Million Viewers Can Get To Enjoy Free Satellite TV!
- ADEX Set To Slow In 2012
- Dentsu Media Malaysia Starts Next Week!
- TrapperMPG Awarded Mersing Laguna Project
- Leslie Lopez to join The Edge
- Astro Sparks TV Revolution With 37 Free TV And Radio Channels!
- Universal McCann Study Urges Businesses To Get Personal
Media Watch 2011
- ESPN STAR Sports & Astro brings the first-ever 3D BPL live telecast to Malaysia
- Television Overtakes Newspapers in Adex First Time in Malaysian Advertising History?
- MRCA and 8TV Collaborate to Honour Local Entrepreneurs
- Your chance to name Astro’s Pay TV Portal & win an iPad2
- Catcha Media Appoints Co-Founder As CEO
- Malay Mail Nails The News As It Is!
- Star World Brings Celcom and Pos Malaysia as the Hits Keep On Coming!
- Anirban Ganguly joins OMG
|Now 9 Million Viewers Can Get To Enjoy Free Satellite TV!|
|Monday, 19 March 2012 15:23|
By: The Hammer
There's something in the air. I'm not talking about the blistering hot temperatures in recent months. The democratisation of satellite television has begun! With the destruction of the myth that satellite tv is purely subscription tv.
It's the story of bringing to life television homes that have yet to taste the magic of satellite television. In other words, based on Nielsen's TAM Jan- Dec 2011, 60% of Malaysian tv viewers can now relish the marvel of satellite content. And that's about 9 million viewers!
It seems the impossible has come true after 15 years. And exciting permutations present themselves to marketers and media planners alike. To be exact, Astro's free satellite service NJOI delivers 37 free tv and radio channels. Imagine the media reverberations as satellite television enters every Malaysian tv home!
This phenomenon was unveiled just before Christmas during a press launch with the PM who rightfully hailed it as a People First move. Never pre-empted by most industry practitioners, NJOI is slated to blanket the thinking of every kind of visual broadcast available, especially in the FTA (free to air) space where Media Prima has a stranglehold on viewership with a 60% market share, and TV3 in lead position of 74% within FTA.
Astro knows that there will always be a portion of the population that will continue to watch free-to-air programmes in an ever-changing market that has pay-TV and over-the-net content like Tonton and Maaduu. After all, we are talking about over two million FTA tv homes. But the question is whether the current FTA market is under-served? Especially
when NJOI brings free channels like Astro Tutor TV UPSR, PMR and SPM, Vaanavil's UPSR Neram, Manavar Mulakkam Science Capsule and Thirumbi Parkalama, Astro Prima, Astro Oasis, Awani, AEC, Jia Yu, Makkal TV, CCTV4, Bernama TV, iView, iMus, TVi, TV1, TV2, Astro Xiao Tai Yang and 19 radio stations!
NJOI's 3-prong strategy makes good reading for industry observers, as they roll out 50,000 NJOI decoders and satellite dishes to recipients under their eKasih programme in the first phase, which is all about CSR.
The commercial launch which is underway involves a token cost for dish, box and installation (zero monthly subscription) and finally, viewers can also add on channels via a prepaid menu of selected Astro packages and programmes.
For marketers, the floodgates on television have opened as Entertainment, Education and Sports are rolled into one neat package that could displace any leading FTA TV station. Without getting into semantics, only NJOI offers exam revisions and Chinese education and entertainment channels for children. And don't even get me started on the current dearth of Tamil content out there.
Will marketers will be comparing content for content (apples-to-apples) across all FTA channels now? Will Astro Prima go head on with TV3 and AEC be comparable to TV8 in the Chinese entertainment space?
Will the battle to deliver superior content finally even out with the paid model thrown out the window? Will it be it pure play between FTA and NJOI? Tune in….to enjoy!
Every reason to be overjoyed! NJOI redefines Free-to-Air TV market
37 Free TV and Radio Channels put paid to some marketers' viewpoint that satellite tv is only for the urban and affluent! Freedom comes to your home screen. Viewers are ready. Are marketers ready?
The ever-charming CEO of Astro Dato' Rohana Rozhan was far from poetic when she announced, "This is Malaysia's first free satellite TV service for everyone to share and enjoy. NJOI is part of Astro's aspiration to make lifelong learning, information, entertainment and sports available to all in Malaysia....for free. Narrowing the digital divide is possible with satellite technology."
IPG Media Brands Regional President for Asia World Markets Prashant Kumar observes, "It's a smart move. On one side it helps Astro open up a whole new segment, which with current packages it would be difficult to open and yet hopefully recover their costs from the extra channels people may want added. On another side the absence of Media Prima channels in this portfolio means that people who get habituated to view via Astro, will tend to watch more Astro Malay channels or TV2. This could potentially mean higher viewing share for Astro Malay channels, and hence bigger share of the advertising pie for them in due time."
How much more can FTA grow? Apart from organic growth which naturally expands yearly, NJOI could accelerate the explosion of FTA action. Media plans will become vulnerable to the rapid changes and marketers with real cojones will triumph.
Out of 6.1million Malaysian TV households, Astro has already chalked up 51% penetration. Will NJOI go the rest of the way to complete their broadcast dominance with 49% of untapped satellite tv viewers?
Technology has its frailties. Rain shade will not go away anytime soon. And Astro is no exception. But consider this: 30% of Malaysian homes still do not get clear terrestrial TV reception, while satellite signals are as clear as day even in Taman Negara. From the foothills of Datuk Seri Idris Jala's Sarawak origins to the hometown of Malaysia's most celebrated cartoonist Lat in Kota Baru, Perak (yes, in Perak), satellite tv blankets all. Unlike telco towers which are prioritised by population densities.
Talking about technologies that love to promise, remember the big 4G vs 3G market differentiator last year which turn telco jargon into a consumer quiz about new benchmarks? Yes? No? And the cable guys who don't tell you they may have to burrow your driveway for your family to enjoy IPTV? Much like buying a plasma tv and being told you have to carve a hole in the wall for it to work. The delivery divide between technology and the user experience is alarming, with techies drugged in the misplaced infatuation they are going to change the world while viewers stand on the sidelines wondering why they are part of this ‘miracle' which always falls short on its marketing promises.
The price of education is FREE
Asides from great savings on tuition fees for regular folk, NJOI's intent is serious. Their Tutor channels already have proven traction and have become a growing enrichment tool to students.
"We believe any move to contribute initiatives for the benefit of Malaysians thereby closing the digital divide should be welcomed and encouraged. TM has long been a strong advocate of this and will continue to do so," says Rozalila Abdul Rahman, Chief Marketing Officer of TM Berhad.
How can marketers NJOI?
This is a not a story about media planning and media buying. That would be too petty a process to pigeon-hole a phenomenon like free satellite tv entering the FTA space. This is a story for marketers who know better when masses embrace and drive media, and not the other way round. You cannot buy an audience anymore. You just have to find your way to where they are. If you don't, it's money down the pipe desperately justified by CRPs, CPMs and other labels that means jackshit on the viewer's radar. Overbearing charts with text-book proven ROIs may only be as good as the paper they are printed on.
Media is changing by the minute. It's not about structures or formulae, it's media madness on steroids. "NJOI is a good initiative and time will tell how successful it will be. Quality
and relevancy are the two key pillars that can drive success, and once these two pillars become the foundation of this new offering, it will succeed. For media planners and buyers, it can provide yet another platform to connect with the target audiences. As such, it will succeed only if and when it truly provides and facilitates that connection," says Andreas Vogiatzakis Managing Director of OmnicomMediaGroup Malaysia.
But marketers may be told otherwise. In an industry of storytellers, where spin is the de facto lingo, marketers will be wise to ask the right questions and apply their intuitive sense of the market because their calling is not a science.
This is abundantly prevalent in the television category which now enjoys the largest portion of Malaysia's adex pie overtaking the newspapers for the first time in Nielsen's tracking. With Malaysia's Adex slated to cross RM11 billion for 2011, the race for the leadership slot is hot.
Not wanting to be left out of the Internet protocol TV (IPTV) space, Astro B.yond embarked on a collaboration with Time dotCom Bhd targeting 167,000 homes in the initial rollout. IPTV allows Astro aims to further expand its HDTV subscribers base and at the same time, gain foothold in the IPTV market space.
Any mainstream game-changers?
Hardly likely. While Bernama TV's future looks spun into a political web and is now fully back in state-controlled hands, Asian Broadcasting Network (M) Sdn Bhd, formerly known as Nilamas Corporation Sdn Bhd, is gearing to offer subscription cable tv by the middle of this year targeting 100 channels and half a million subscribers by year's end. Astro programmes are broadcast via satellite while ABN programmes are broadcasted via a fibre optic cable system. There's TV AlHijrah...
But the changing landscape of technology has made it possible for the growth of TM's Hypp.TV and DETV, a Chinese-language IPTV channel from REDtone International. DETV was
formed as a joint venture between DE Multimedia Sdn Bhd and Zhong Nan Enterprise (M) Bhd and started with 27 channels, targeting the Chinese audience and small-to-medium enterprises.
YTL's Sezmi will use US-based Sezmi Corp technology to deploy a ‘hybrid' TV service in Malaysia and the Asia Pacific, ie. mobile, TV and computer, and streamed wirelessly over Wimax networks, which complements their Yes 4G Internet product. Other IPTV players are 1Malaysia TV and of course Fine TV in the Klang Valley.
While digital cable TV is a common distribution platform in countries like the United States, Britain, Australia and India, pay TV is a bigger part of the Malaysian fabric. At the same time, the free-to-air operators are aggregating loads of content in view of them broadcasting digital by 2015.
Astro has 3 million households as its customer base. NJOI is the new beachhead. Media pundits who are still wondering what is going on, there's a television war on the cards and 2012 will be the year for the swift and smart. Perhaps the full reality of a television showdown may not be apparent, but one thing is for sure: NJOI will be reconfiguring its content to meet viewer's needs by adding or replacing channels as they battle down the road to bring only viewer's favourites to the fore.
So what's there to stop Astro offering or sampling the best BPL content on NJOI? After all, Astro has a stranglehold on football in the country and its sports package is bought by more than half of its customers. By the middle of this year, NJOI viewers can also choose to buy additional Astro content at their own discretion.
Henry Tan, COO at Astro comments, "Some people may see the opportinity as a half full glass but I see a half empty glass. NJOI will radicalize media thinking across the television landscape."
Or is this story all about saber rattling? Well, time will tell soon enough.