There are now numerous legitimate New Media TV Offerings in Singapore: it is no longer accurate to say that consumers in Singapore do not have access to quality New Media TV Offerings and, as a consequence, are driven to use illegitimate services.
The last twelve months have seen a noticeable improvement in the number and quality of digital offerings and even more are being launched very soon.
The offerings are diverse, competitively priced and even include a large number of free services (44% of those we surveyed were free).
But consumers understandably still want more: There does still remain a gap between the number and content of New Media TV Offerings in Singapore and those offered in other countries with larger markets, notably in Europe and the US. But this gap is being plugged by industry and Singapore shows signs of significant improvement.
There are diverse models in play in Singapore: The New Media TV Offerings available span services provided by content providers themselves as well as incumbent platforms and a few, although not yet many, international OTT providers.
The content itself has improved: The content made available to consumers through such new media has greatly improved. Singaporean consumers are now able to access television series, movie content, sports and news, in library, live and catch-up formats. Many services also cater for the desire to view popular US series at the same time as or soon after release in the US.
Singapore offers a ripe market for New Media TV Offerings: Singapore offers many opportunities, being technologically advanced and having an affluent population who are already consuming digital content in ever-increasing volumes. The comparatively small size of its population may mean that offerings by international players tend to be regional rather than dedicated offerings but there is also room for local or regional players to offer bespoke or niche content to the multi-lingual Singapore population.
Consumers need help to understand what is available: A key issue we identified that has not been raised in previous studies is that consumers in Singapore need help to know what content is available. Not specifically, or just, education about illegitimate services but a central resource in which they can find out what content is now available to them, on what devices and for what price. Given all the recent new launches and diversity of offerings, a central resource to provide such information would be a valuable development. An important part of this report has therefore been the creation of a consumer-friendly directory of the New Media TV Offerings currently available in Singapore. This can be found at www.finddigitaltv.com. It is intended as a starting point to provide a snapshot of what is now available. We hope that Singaporean consumers will be pleasantly surprised at the variety and richness of legitimate services that are now available. Ideally this could be developed into a comprehensive and fully up to date resource incorporating traditional television programming and scheduling in addition to the New Media TV Offerings.
There do remain barriers to future investment and development: The main challenge (which is discussed in more detail in various other reports) is the prevalence of use by Singaporean consumers of illegitimate service offerings. Another issue is the regulatory 'tilted playing field' which favours foreign and illegitimate offerings over domestic offerings. In particular, domestic providers need to comply with various censorship rules which mean that, even where consumers can now obtain the same content in Singapore at the same time, they are choosing to access unedited versions in full through other sources. In order for industry to fully be able to develop and invest further in legitimate offerings, participants were unanimous in their call for the Government to look again at such barriers.