Welcome Speech by Mr James Kang, Assistant Chief Executive (Government Chief Information Office), Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, at Digital Matters 2011

24 May 2011 - Welcome Speech by Mr James Kang, Assistant Chief Executive (Government Chief Information Office), Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, at Digital Matters 2011, Ritz Carlton - Millenia Singapore

Welcome Speech by Mr James Kang, Assistant Chief Executive (Government Chief Information Office), Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, at Digital Matters 2011 on Tuesday, 24 May 2011, 9.15am, at Ritz Carlton - Millenia Singapore

Mr Jasper Donat, Co-Founder, Branded Ltd,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

1. A very good morning to all. It is a great pleasure to welcome you to the inaugural Digital Matters conference here in Singapore - which, we hope, will be its home for many years.

Digital DOES Matter and It Matters Greatly to Singapore and Broadly to Asia

2. Digital Matters is a new addition to the well-established Music Matters, a marquee music industry event in the Asia Pacific region. Aptly titled 'Digital Matters' to signify the importance of digital in the media and entertainment business, I would like to emphasise that digital DOES matter and that digital, matters greatly to Singapore and broadly to Asia.

3. Let me give you a glimpse of Singapore's digital population, which has become sophisticated over the years. Singapore has a mobile penetration of 145 per cent, and according to a survey by market research company, TNS, 72 per cent1  of mobile phones here are smartphones - the third highest smartphones penetration rate in the world. Singapore also enjoys good broadband growth where 82 per cent of households and 80 per cent of businesses have broadband access.

4. From the larger Asian context, there has also been tremendous growth in terms of broadband penetration and internet usage. According to research reports, Asia accounted for more than 53 per cent of new broadband lines added globally in the first quarter of 2010.2   In the area of mobile penetration, an Ernst and Young report revealed that China and India are expected to host the next billion mobile subscribers.3  

5. Leveraging on such strong adoption, certain digital industries in Asia - like online gaming, delivers a third of global revenues while generating the highest growth rate. Clearly, there is an 'explosion' of digital adoption and business growth in Singapore and the region and hence, presents an attractive marketplace for your businesses.

Digital 'Explosion' Presents Many Opportunities as well as Challenges

6. While some digital industries such as the online gaming business have been flourishing, others such as digital advertising need further development. Singapore leads the South East Asia region with 6 per cent4  of total advertising spend dedicated to digital advertising. However, this is only a fraction compared to that in US and UK. The Interactive Advertising Bureau - the Singapore Chapter (IAB) has announced its plan to grow the digital advertising spend to 20% by the year 2020. Hence, we see countless opportunities for Singapore to develop in the digital advertising space.

7. I'm sure many of you are familiar with the US market, which is home to several well-known entertainment services offered by Netflix, Hulu and iTunes. These have changed the way content is consumed and greatly influenced the media and entertainment landscape. We see great potential here and hope to attract similar legal digital content service providers to be based in Singapore for the region.
8. With the influx of new services being rolled out, digital media companies have a greater challenge of understanding consumer behaviour and delivering through innovative business models. Recently reported on Wired.Com5, "Patronism", a new pay-what-you-want subscription service created quite a buzz in the digital music space when it was launched.  Inspired by the age-old patronage model, musicians share their music and memorabilia with fans in return for financial support through paid subscription.

Singapore is committed to create an attractive environment for digital to grow

9. To benefit from these great opportunities and Singapore's strategic location in Asia, the Infocomm Development Authority is committed to create an attractive environment for digital businesses to grow. The IDA has given a strong boost to Singapore's infocomm infrastructure with the deployment of the Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network, or Next Gen NBN in short. The Next Gen NBN is able to offer pervasive and ultra high speeds of up to one gigabit-per-second, and this will translate to faster connectivity and enhanced user experience for digital consumers. You will be keen to know that it seeks to connect on average, 95 per cent of all homes and offices by mid-2012, with more than 60 per cent of the island currently covered.
10. Two other components of this infrastructure are the Singapore Internet Exchange or SGIX and a wireless network called Wireless@SG. The SGIX is an open and neutral internet exchange that increases the efficiency of internet traffic and the reach of Singapore users, while Wireless@SG provides free Wi-Fi to the public at more than 7,500 hotspots islandwide. 

11. These infrastructure developments offer a solid foundation that aids in propelling the growth of the digital media and entertainment business. Furthermore, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore has put in place the Digital Marketplace Programme which aims to build a vibrant ecosystem of world class companies in Singapore that can offer innovative and competitive services across the digital media value-chain.

12. A multi-government agency effort has also brought about Mediapolis@one-north, a 19-hectare innovation facility that will enable media and ICT talents to live, work and play in a synergistic environment. IDA has developed a media ICT blueprint to guide the industry on providing a holistic ICT design which includes a high speed media centric campus-wide network and media ICT enabling services.


13. I have highlighted a few of the many exciting developments happening in Singapore and I'm sure you will become more familiar with our other efforts during your stay here.

14. The IDA will continue to support companies to hub in Singapore as well as to drive initiatives to create a conducive business environment to propel the monetisation of digital media products and services. I urge you to tap on these national efforts to explore, innovate and bring about greater digital consumer reach and new monetisation opportunities.

15.  On this note, I wish you all a rewarding and fruitful time at Digital Matters 2011. Thank you.

Notes to Editor:

1 www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_661682.html, 27 April 2011

2 www.infocomminvestments.com/blog/news/2010/asia-leading-in-broadband-growth

3 Serving the Next Billion, Ernst and Young

4 Internet Advertising Bureau Singapore Chapter 2010

5 http://www.wired.com/underwire/2011/05/patronism

Last updated on: 13 Mar 2023