Yong Ying-I, Chief Executive Officer, IDA Singapore - Address Vivamusic Hub Launch, Cathay Cineleisure Orchard
Yong Ying-I, Chief Executive Officer, IDA Singapore - Address
Vivamusic Hub Launch, Cathay Cineleisure Orchard
Singapore, 4 September 2000
Good morning, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
I am delighted to be here this morning for the official launch of Vivamusic Hub.
2. As I was preparing my speech for today, I thought about how listening to recorded music and other entertainment really defines our lifestyle, and how this listening experience has changed over the decades. The radio and then the television transformed family life by bringing the outside world into individual homes. If we wanted to keep our own music collection, we would drop by a music store to buy phonograph records - anyone remember those? -- then cassettes, and later CDs. Today, the Internet has created a whole new paradigm for content delivery and as a way of communication. We have the power to control what we would like to receive, and when and how we want it. We users now can choose from a vast global selection that was not available previously. Technology advances allow us to carry whatever music we want with us wherever we go. Creative Technology's new Nomad Jukebox can store some 2000 songs downloaded from the Internet, creating a fully personalised entertainment experience.
Broadband - growing rapidly worldwide and in Singapore
3. The advent of broadband, coupled with the new advances in wireless technologies and digital audio equipment, will enable us to reach a new level of entertainment experience. With broadband, we can fully exploit the potential of online delivery for high-quality videos and interactive, multimedia applications and services to be streamed directly to our desktops or our wireless appliances.
4. The gathering momentum of the broadband industry globally and in Singapore is sweet music to the ears of the people who have championed Singapore ONE in the last few years. Singapore ONE was a leap of faith - when it was first launched, no one could envision the full possibilities of broadband. In recent months, we have seen growth in demand accelerate in the US market, and with it, the rapid development of compelling content, especially in the entertainment space. If you believe in the S-curve model of growth, broadband appears to be at the acceleration point of the curve.
5. Our broadband efforts have put Singapore in the forefront of broadband developments worldwide. Singapore is fully wired up with 99% coverage islandwide available to all schools, businesses and homes. We have over 200 applications on Singapore ONE, and we are now switching emphasis to quality of content. But the first mover advantage is only as good as how we leverage it from here on out. Now that the foundations are in place, it is up to the industry players to use the ready broadband infrastructure and their accumulated experience and know-how during the ramp-up phase, to capitalize on the opportunities. On the government's part, we remain totally committed to work with industry to make the vision of Singapore as a vibrant broadband hub a reality. We believe the broadband package announced in April will help accelerate the growth of the interactive broadband multimedia industry. At the acceleration point in the S-curve, growth will involve mass adoption by customers and we will support initiatives that help achieve this.
Broadband and the Music & Entertainment industry
6. Music is the perfect product to deliver over broadband. Music and entertainment is widely expected to be one of the fastest-growing online broadband industries. In recent months, there has been a proliferation of broadband multimedia offerings from the music and entertainment industry. It shows both that the industry believes in the business potential and that such offerings are gaining popularity with customers. This is significant because music is a big market - the global music market was worth US$38.5 bn in 1999, with Asia accounting for about 20% of sales. Digital distribution is estimated to account for some 8% of the overall market and its share is growing exponentially.
7. Yet, for the music and entertainment industry, the business of delivering music is going through a revolution that threatens to turn the industry upside down. Broadband Internet is opening up totally new opportunities to do business. We already know that customers in future will not buy recorded music in the way that they used to. The question is how they will buy music and how they will pay for it; I personally believe that this will hinge on how customers' lifestyles evolve.
8. Vivamusic Hub's launch today is an example of what this new opportunity could look like. This launch will make Vivamusic.com the first broadband entertainment portal in Asia to have a physical storefront. I understand that the Hub is a place where the online music community can gather, to surf the net through wireless broadband facilities; to sample tracks off the system; to watch the deejays do live broadband webcasts. This online portal becoming a click-and-mortar operation is interesting because it shows how a broadband lifestyle can extend from the PC at home into the world outside; it can be carried with you wherever you go, into shopping complexes and cafes. The storefront supports the creation of a community with common interests, where membership may be important to the lifestyle of your customers.
9. IDA regards a facility such as the Hub as a sign that broadband is hitting the streets. It signals the start of broadband moving from the early adopters stage to that of mass adoption.
10. IDA believes that broadband will become part of the daily lives of people - for instance, tuning in to broadband webcasted radio programmes from around the world when you wake up; surfing the net from your 3G wireless PDA to download the music video that has just topped the charts. Our view is that broadband need not be constrained by any particular access mode or physical setting. It can be used to support a 21st century lifestyle that includes on-demand and personalised music and entertainment, anytime, anywhere.
11. I would like to encourage more players to participate in this growing interactive broadband multimedia industry and to fully exploit the potential of broadband. On this note, I would like to congratulate Vivamusic.com on the launch of Vivamusic Hub and wish you success in this venture.
12. Thank You.