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Singapore Media Festival’s editorial team presents a three-part series that focuses on Indonesian industry professionals and personalities under SMF – The Scoop.

In The Rise (and Grind), Ben Soebiakto, Indonesian businessman and co-founder of creative summit IDEAFEST, shares with us the growth of Indonesia’s creative media industry.


Indonesia: a technological hub in Southeast Asia

Indonesia is on the fast track to becoming the highlight of the region’s media scene. Its Entertainment & Media (E&M) results speak for itself – with an admirable and consistent overall growth of 9.6% against the global market’s 4.2%, the country’s media sector is showing positive signs of development.

Technology looks to be spurring this growth. With a trend of heavy consumption of online content, Indonesia has proved itself to be a potential hotspot for investors looking to find business opportunities in this particular media sector. Its penetration of Internet users in 5 years’ time is estimated to increase by more than twofold, amounting to approximately 160 million Internet users. With a high Internet accessibility rate on both mobile and desktop platforms, Indonesians possesses an outstanding total daily screen time.

Hence, the opportunities to experience media content through different online platforms cannot be underestimated in Indonesia.



He also added that digital and mobile technology has reached almost the majority of the Indonesian population. As entertainment and information will be most prevalent in mobile phones - where mobile content has better analytics – the industry is able to produce more precise content based on the consumers’ demands.

Technology as a springboard for creative talents in Indonesia

Indonesia media scene possesses a strong TV advertising presence, but a new contender has emerged.

Its online video advertising is projected to occupy the highest compound annual growth rate (CAGR) within the next 4 years, and at a 29.8% growth rate this creates a revenue of at least USD$56 million by 2021. An entire media industry that would be worth at USD$9.2 billion, this is the highest estimated growth in its entertainment mix of cinema advertising, box office sales, among others.

With a population already entrenched in digital consumption and distribution, the country is only gaining more traction. With well established and emerging Indonesian digital creators who understand how content platforms like YouTube and Instagram can create and sustain a dialogue with its audiences, these homegrown creative talents are pushing boundaries on their own as Indonesia is witnessing an unstoppable growth of digital consumption and content creation.


A land of opportunities for media investors

When the Indonesian government removed the film sector from the Negative Investment List (NIL) as part of a new economic stimulus package, it opened the doors of its cinema industry – local cinemas, film production houses and distribution firms - to foreign investment, resulting in not only huge revenue generation but also a surge of investors and consumers into the country.


Every industry needs a strong foundation and a form of sustainability… For potential investors in the Indonesian creative industries, my advice for them is to take a deep dive into the possibilities that it has to offer.

Ben Soebiakto has had a hand in starting up and supporting creative ventures, such as media network Kapanlagi, e-commerce platform Muslimarket in 2015 where it was valued at US$10 million, and earlier this year, a partnership with Shanty Harmayn and Aoura Chandra to form BAS Entertainment which develops and co-produces Indonesian films. He currently owns 18 businesses, most of which is in the creative sector.

Ben is also the co-chairman of IDEAFEST, an event that aims to inspire and connect creative communities to meet, share, and be inspired within a creative hub. IDEAFEST’s theme this year is Festival of Collaboration, reflecting the spirit of collaboration and connects the stakeholders of the creative industry. Into its 7th year now, IDEAFEST will take place on 5 and 6 October 2017 at the Jakarta Convention Center. Notable personalities who have attended the festival include Grab co-founder Hooi Ling Tan, Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil, and CEO Achmad Zaky.

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