Date
12 December 2017
With the rise of multi-device entertainment, consumers' attention is now more divided than ever before. Photo: Bloomberg
With the rise of multi-device entertainment, consumers' attention is now more divided than ever before. Photo: Bloomberg

Capturing consumers’ attention in the multi-screen era

People in Asia are leading the way into the multi-screen era. Spending an average of 439 minutes per day in front of a screen – more than anywhere else in the world – Asian consumers are watching TV on their phone, making phone calls from their laptop and checking email on their TV. And, they’re doing it all at the same time.

The rise of the multi-device, multi-screen generation is excellent news for businesses in the entertainment industry and beyond. Technology has placed a world of great content at consumers’ fingertips, and because entertainment is never a zero sum game, it’s just making them more eager to get their hands on the best television programs, movies, sports and more.

That said, there are challenges as consumers’ attention is now more divided than ever before. From entertainment, to retail, to finance, every business across every industry must rethink how to capture fickle consumers’ interest and create stickiness. The multi-screen generation is used to getting precisely what they want, when they want it, and businesses that can’t deliver will be left behind.

In this environment, content providers only have one real option – deliver best-in-class content across as many channels as possible, from linear TV to OTT. Both are essential, because APAC consumers take an “and and” attitude, watching online videos on top of TV. In Singapore, 76 percent of connected consumers watch online videos daily, but as an extension – not a replacement – of their existing TV viewing habits. Even in Hong Kong, which boasts one of the highest household broadband penetration rates in the world, TV is still the top media channel at 92 percent penetration.

At the same time, it’s essential to not lose sight of what’s always been at the heart of the entertainment business – storytelling. In the digital age, all businesses must walk a fine line between capitalizing on fast-evolving technology while still nurturing and enhancing their core offering to consumers. It’s impossible to win viewers by throwing one type of content across as many platforms as possible and seeing what sticks. Instead, content businesses must make great storytelling the heart of what they do and adapt their strategy to match each market. In APAC, that means investing in best-in-class content from the East and West, so that viewers get the global series they love along with their favorite local-language programming.

Indeed, upping investments in big local productions doesn’t just give multi-screen regional viewers a reason to pay attention – it’s also a fantastic opportunity to introduce stellar Asian content to the West. This is an exciting reversal in how content traditionally flows, and an example of the opportunity many kinds of businesses in Asia can now leverage. Our region is setting fashion trends, innovating new technology and winning widespread audiences through local content, and businesses must examine how the work they do in Asia can capture attention around the globe.

Finally, collaboration is key to keeping pace with consumers’ evolving demands. Ecosystems are changing; whether it’s retail moving online, traditional financial services being pushed aside by fintech, or entertainment providers leveraging viewer data to deliver highly bespoke content. Only by working with the right in-market partners can content producers continually respond to what consumers want, wherever they are.

Looking into the future, we’re asking what consumers will want next. As they engage with more and more media channels, we expect to see new opportunities to provide increasingly individualized and interactive content experiences so that audiences can live and breathe their favorite stories across a range of platforms and devices. Viewers are now living in the multi-screen era, but very soon, they’ll be asking for even deeper and wider access to the stories they love; on the screen, and beyond it.

There’s no doubt that content-hungry, multi-screen viewers in Hong Kong and around the region will continue to inspire the future of entertainment. The content choices are vast and attention spans are rapidly shortening, but in the end, demanding entertainment lovers are only helping our business and the industry grow stronger.

– Contact us at [email protected]

RC

President, FOX Networks Group Asia Pacific and Middle East

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