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Government-Industry Collaboration Paves the Way for Singapore to be a Global Digital Marketplace

12 December 2008 - At today’s Digital Marketplace industry roundtable organised by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), leading media and technology companies, including Motion Pictures Association, Entertainment Technology Center and MediaCorp agreed to collaborate in promoting international best practices in the areas of content security, management and distribution of digital media content.

Singapore, 12 December 2008 | For Immediate Release

At today’s Digital Marketplace industry roundtable1 organised by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), leading media and technology companies, including Motion Pictures Association, Entertainment Technology Center and MediaCorp agreed to collaborate in promoting international best practices in the areas of content security, management and distribution of digital media content. Such collaborations are key to the development of a vibrant Digital Marketplace, a programme spearheaded by IDA, to develop a trusted and conducive environment with capabilities and services for digital media businesses to hub, manage, trade and distribute digital media content through and from Singapore, into the rest of the world.
Mr James Kang, IDA’s Assistant Chief Executive Officer, Government Chief Information Office said, “Infocomm is playing an increasingly important role to transform the media sector from analogue to digital, giving rise to new opportunities such as better means of distribution to various platforms including broadcast, cable, Video-On-Demand, IPTV, mobile and internet. 

The Digital Marketplace Programme is an important component of IDA’s iN2015 masterplan to grow the Digital Media and Entertainment sector through infocomm and we look forward to increased collaboration with the industry to develop Singapore’s value proposition as a trusted global Digital Marketplace that is supported by a strong ecosystem of secure and robust services for the management, trade and distribution of digital content through Singapore into the rest of the world.”

The Digital Marketplace programme is expected to change the digital media ecosystem and spur the economy by creating 1,000 new jobs and growing an additional S$1billion in revenue for Singapore’s Digital Media and Entertainment (DME) sector by 2015.

At today’s Digital Marketplace roundtable, industry players such as Entertainment Technology Center, Motion Pictures Associations and Mediacorp contributed positively with new industry initiatives and provided expertise on emerging global issues to propel the growth of the Digital Media and Entertainment (DME) sector forward.  At the same time, the following government-industry collaborations and initiatives were forged:

1. First Digital Extension of the Media Marketplace

One of the initiatives include the ‘i-Screener’ aimed at encouraging the industry to ‘go digital’. The i-Screener was also showcased at a media industry event, the Asia Television Forum (ATF), today. At the ATF, the i-Screener initiative was unveiled to demonstrate the use of technology to provide digital extensions for physical media trading marketplaces. Developed in partnership with Reed Exhibitions, Ascent Media and Microsoft with the support of IDA, the i-Screener is an example of an electronic online platform that provides on-demand viewing of television programme screeners to facilitate the buying and selling of content. The i-Screener alleviates the need for organisers to set up physical screening libraries at ATF to manage physical tapes and DVDs, reducing the need for buyers and sellers to handle physical material. Already, the i-Screener has received over 200 programme screeners from content sellers for ATF 2008.

“The entertainment content business is a relationship business and we cannot easily replace the human touch. However we believe that technology plays a key role to complement and strengthen the trade capabilities of our successful trade events.” said Ms Yeow Hui Leng, Project Director for Reed Exhibitions. “This year we have introduced a digital extension for ATF through the i-Screener initiative.  Such digital extensions will enhance the buying and selling activities of our physical marketplace, as well as enabling cost savings and improving efficiencies.”

2. Content Site Security Programme

With the worldwide digital transition well underway, there is an ever-increasing need to enhance security and protect high-value digital content from theft. As Singapore develops a secure ecosystem of services in digital content storage, management and distribution, IDA will work closely with Motion Pictures Association (MPA) to implement and promote content security best practices to Singapore’s digital media and entertainment companies. The MPA’s Site Security Program, developed in conjunction with Deloitte & Touche LLP’s Enterprise Risk Services Practice, establishes digital and physical security best practices for facilities along the media value chain, including post production facilities, film labs and supply chain companies.

Recognised by the major studios for content security practices, MPA’s programme applies to the storage, management, and distribution of audio-visual files across the film, television, and broadband content sectors. Singapore is the first country to create such a content security initiative around the MPA Site Security Program and will play a key role in promoting content storage and distribution best practices in the Asia-Pacific region. The MPA’s Site Security Program rates facilities on how securely content is handled across three categories: physical, digital and environmental controls. The criteria enable content owners to determine the level of security at facilities which handle content.

“Content security is fundamental to a thriving digital marketplace and allows consumers the flexibility the modern marketplace demands, while at the same time protecting valuable creative works from exploitation and theft,” said John Malcolm, Executive Vice President and Director of Worldwide Anti-Piracy Operations for the MPA. “We applaud IDA for embracing this initiative and for promoting content security in the Asia-Pacific region. As Singapore deploys the Site Security Program they demonstrate to content owners around the world that Singapore is a safe place to store and manage their assets.”

3.  Collaboration with Entertainment Technology Center (ETC)

IDA and the ETC at the University of Southern California, will collaborate on projects to influence and extend digital content delivery opportunities in Singapore and throughout Asia. Founded in 1993, ETC’s goal is to bring technology and entertainment visionaries together to collaborate on the future of entertainment technology. Sponsoring participants of ETC include major studios such as Disney, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, Paramount, and Warner Bros. along with technology leaders such as Cisco Systems, Deluxe Laboratories, and Thomson. One of IDA’s key objectives of this collaboration is to work with ETC to connect global content owners, global service providers, and local Singapore companies to discuss and develop models for digital content to be securely managed in Singapore and to be re-distributed to Asian countries across different distribution platforms, including broadcast, cable, VOD, IPTV, mobile and the internet.

Mr. KC Blake, Director of Business Development, ETC said, “We are pleased that IDA Singapore is taking the leadership in Asia to forge new digital media distribution frontiers. The board members of ETC, comprising top entertainment and technology companies welcomes the collaboration between ETC and the IDA will help to facilitate best practices to enable secure digital content distribution between US and Singapore, which could then be extended throughout Asia. Through this collaboration, we hope to fulfill ETC’s vision of influencing an industry ecosystem that enables consumers to enjoy filmed entertainment on a variety of devices anywhere and anytime they choose.” 

4. Singapore's Efforts in Metadata Standardisation

Today, a large part of the media sector is moving from analogue to digital. As the content is digitised there is a need for adoption of best practices and standards for managing the storage of digital content through a set of metadata framework. Global standards bodies and regional authorities are exploring how to best create a set of best practices for metadata in order to effectively identify and catalogue digital content. Recognising the need for a standardised metadata framework here to facilitate easier management and exchange of digital content, the Digital Marketplace industry roundtable will, as next steps, focus on this metadata standardisation as a key area for Singapore to address as an industry.

Mr. Yeo Kim Pow, MediaCorp’s Senior Vice President of Broadcast Engineering said, “With MediaCorp’s ongoing efforts to achieve a tape-less digital infrastructure, it is essential to establish metadata models that adhere to international standards. This will ensure the efficient management and seamless delivery of digitised content. We are glad to accept IDA’s invitation to chair its Metadata Standardisation SubGroup; working together with key industry leaders to identify best practices for metadata management in the media industry.”   

Patrick Kennedy, president of digital media consultancy Graythwaite Hall, Inc. said that major studios and broadcasters who are focused on growing the international distribution of their content in new media, need a secure and efficient way to reach these international markets. He added that Singapore's Digital Marketplace Programme addresses the key requirements from studio executives and global content suppliers in today's rapidly emerging marketplace. “By promoting global best practices and interoperability standards, Singapore will connect with other major marketplaces in Los Angeles and London, and will likely emerge as a regional content storage, management, and distribution hub for Asia," said Kennedy.

IDA’s Digital Marketplace Programme is gaining traction with industry leaders. The milestones achieved through government-industry collaboration specifically in digital content security, management, standardisation and in showcasing a digital extension of the media marketplace, are poised to help Singapore establish its position as a global digital marketplace.


Note to Editor:

In line with fostering better industry collaboration, IDA formed a Digital Marketplace (DMP) Roundtable in June 2008, comprising key local and international players such as Accenture, Aims, Ascent Media, Cisco, Entertainment Technology Center, GlobeCast, Home Box Office-HBO, Mediacorp, Motion Pictures Association, Oracle, Siemens and Technicolor.  One of the key goals of the roundtable is to establish Singapore as a key proponent of international best practices in the areas of secure storage, management, trade and distribution of digital media assets.

Related Resource:

About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is committed to growing Singapore into a dynamic global infocomm hub. IDA uses an integrated approach to developing info-communications in Singapore. This involves nurturing a competitive telecoms market as well as a conducive business environment with programmes and schemes for both local and international companies. For more news and information, visit

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