Singapore Media Sector Gets A Boost Amidst COVID-19

Last updated: 14 April 2020

Published on: 14 April 2020

Companies and freelancers in Singapore can benefit from new projects, partnership opportunities and skills training to weather current challenges

SINGAPORE – 14 April 2020: The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) introduced a series of initiatives to help the local media sector tide over COVID-19. Complementing the broad-based measures announced by the Finance Minister in the Unity, Resilience and Solidarity Budgets, these latest initiatives will help media companies benefit from more production project opportunities and reduced operating costs, as well as assist media professionals and freelancers build up their resilience through training and upskilling. These are part of the ongoing national efforts to protect jobs and livelihoods.

 

Supporting Media Professionals and Freelancers

More immediately, IMDA seeks to  protect  jobs in the media industry with the launch of a new $8 million Public Service Content (PSC) Fund that will catalyse more production projects that in turn, benefits media professionals in the coming months. Under this initiative, Mediacorp, Viddsee and SPH will commission short-form content for their digital platforms through a Call for Proposal.  Media companies and talent can take advantage of the Circuit Breaker period to start planning, conceptualising and submitting their proposals to be ready for production work when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. More details of the PSC Fund are at Annex A.

In addition, IMDA will continue to support ground-up initiatives by media associations to support those in need. For one, IMDA will match the Singapore Association for Motion Picture Professionals’ (SAMPP) COVID-19 Relief Fund1 contribution of $20,000 to support media practitioners affected by the cancellation and postponement of projects.

IMDA also encourages media professionals to make use of this slowdown to deepen their tradecraft by bringing forward their training plans so that they are in good stead for the upturn. IMDA will support the upskilling of Self-Employed Persons (SEPs) by providing a training grant of up to 90% of course fees, capped at $3,000 per course under the Talent Assistance (T-Assist) Programme. In addition to subsidised fees, Self-Employed Persons, including freelancers, can benefit from training allowance for eligible courses.

 

Supporting Media Companies

IMDA will also help media companies reduce their operating costs. The Film Exhibition and Distribution Licence Fees will be waived from 17 April 2020. The waiver will apply to new licence applications and renewal of existing licences. Classification fees for films (public exhibition and video distribution), video games and label fees will also be waived until further notice.

In addition, IMDA will help local media companies strengthen their capabilities and increase their competitiveness by leveraging the expertise of MNC partners. IMDA has worked with international content partners such as WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks APAC and ViacomCBS Networks Asia, to bring forward the implementation of the Capabilities Partnership Programme (CPP), which pairs media MNCs with local media companies to develop “Made in Singapore” content. For example, ViacomCBS Networks Asia will develop up to three regional entertainment or family content Intellectual Properties (IPs) in May 2020. WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks APAC plans to commence development of up to three regional original content IPs for HBO Asia in June 2020. The CPP programme is expected to benefit 80 to 100 local media companies over the next 12 months.

Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran said, “The Government will continue to support our media companies and professionals as they weather this trying period, so that they can continue to create content that inspires, uplifts and binds us as one united people. Media companies can look forward to more project opportunities and reduced operating costs, while media professionals and freelancers can benefit from subsidised training fees to sharpen their craft during this downtime. These initiatives form part of our larger national effort to protect jobs and livelihoods. In the longer term, the Government will continue to build capabilities to better prepare our workers, businesses and people to seize opportunities. Working together, we will overcome this period of uncertainty and emerge stronger as one”.

For more information, please visit Efforts To Support Singapore’s Media Sector page.

 

1 The relief fund will offer grants of between $300 and $500 to film and TV media practitioners affected by the cancellation and postponement of projects. 

 

Related Resources

Annex A: Public Service Content Fund to Spur Local Media Productions (342.34KB)

Annex B: Partner Quotes from Public Service Content (PSC) Fund (309.14KB)

 


ISSUED BY THE INFOCOMM MEDIA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY


About the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) leads Singapore’s digital transformation with infocomm media. To do this, IMDA will develop a dynamic digital economy and a cohesive digital society, driven by an exceptional infocomm media (ICM) ecosystem – by developing talent, strengthening business capabilities, and enhancing Singapore's ICM infrastructure. IMDA also regulates the telecommunications and media sectors to safeguard consumer interests while fostering a pro-business environment, and enhances Singapore’s data protection regime through the Personal Data Protection Commission.

For more news and information, visit www.imda.gov.sg or follow IMDA on Facebook and Twitter @IMDAsg.


For media clarifications, please contact:

Tan Lay Ping
Assistant Director (Communications & Marketing)
Infocomm Media Development Authority
Tel: +65 88702688
Email: tan_lay_ping@imda.gov.sg

Lee Wai Leng
Manager (Communications & Marketing)
Infocomm Media Development Authority
Tel: +65 6202 4930
Email: lee_wai_leng@imda.gov.sg

Priscilla Gan
Manager (Communications & Marketing)
Infocomm Media Development Authority
Tel: +65 6202 4417
Email: priscilla_gan@imda.gov.sg