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Media Industry On Growth Track

Dated: 11 May 2004

The Singapore media industry invested over $2 billion in the last 12 months. Of the amount - amongst the highest investment levels in the service industries here - $8.25 million was injected by the Media Development Authority to help grow and develop the industry.

The figures were revealed by the MDA at its first annual update to news media this morning.

The other highlights the MDA singled out its 2003 report of the Singapore media industry were:

  • Over 25 new projects in TV, film and digital media

  • International exposure for more than 50 companies

  • Training for over 3,000 media professionals and students

  • These milestones were achieved since the MDA launched its Media 21 plan in July 2003 to develop Singapore into a global city for media businesses.

    An encouraging start and a $65 million boost to industry funding, says MDA Chairman Dr Tan Chin Nam.​

    Speaking to reporters at the media industry update, MDA Chairman Dr Tan Chin Nam described the results as encouraging. "Media 21 has provided a holistic approach to accelerate the media industry's growth. It has been about a year since we began our efforts and a good foundation has been laid," Dr Tan added.

    Dr Tan also announced an increase in industry funding. In addition to the $100 million that had been allocated for industry development over a five-year period, a further $65million would be set aside for media developments over the next five years.

    "This is good news for the industry," said MDA CEO Lim Hock Chuan. "With the additional resources, the MDA will be able to do more to accelerate the media industry's growth, and we will do that through a variety of ways including grants, investments and co-funding. We want to stimulate the industry to grow and we will play the catalyst's role."

    The $65 million will be used mainly to boost content, capability, market and digital media development. The MDA is also actively pursuing a series of new initiatives this year. They include:

  • Setting up a media investment fund

  • Negotiating and sealing co-production/co-operation agreements with New Zealand and France

  • Scaling up High Definition capabilities and content

  • Digital Audio Broadcasting development

  • More overseas attachment and training opportunities for our talents in all the media sectors

  • A new strategic area that the MDA will pursue is enhancing the capabilities and internationalisation efforts of the publishing sector. Last week, the MDA announced a sponsorship agreement to support the training programmes conducted by the Centre for Literary Arts and Publishing (CLAP) - the training arm of the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS). The MDA is currently exploring the possibility of Content Development schemes and extending its current Market Development schemes for the publishing sector.

    Details of these initiatives will be announced in due course.

    Strides made under Media 21 strategic thrusts
    The MDA also outlined the various strides made under the five strategic thrusts of its Media 21 plan:

    (a) Establishing Singapore as a Media exchange
    Several key developments in 2003 anchored Singapore's position as a global city for media businesses. These included:

  • Hosting the Asia Media Festival in December 2003 that attracted more than 6,000 participants both from the public and trade sectors from 34 countries. Business deals of more than US$13 million were clinched at the market events and another US$20 million were to be concluded in the following six months.

  • Various international media companies have set up operations in Singapore: Promax &BDA established its Asian HQ here;MGM Networks Asia Pte Ltd decided to use Singapore to transmit its Digital TV Channel of about 4,000 titles to viewers in Asia;Sony Pictures Entertainment launched the first 24 hour anime channel outside of Japan here in Singapore

  • (b) Export 'Made-by-Singapore' content
    A number of Singapore-made TV and film co-productions are beginning to create buzz in international markets:

  • Rouge - a 14-part TV action comedy drama produced by Mega Media in partnership with MTV Asia

  • Samurai: Behind the Blade - a documentary by Singapore's Bang Productions and Wayward Productions, co-produced with Canada's Alliance Atlantis for telecast on National Geographic channels

  • Rice Rhapsody - a film starring Sylvia Chang &Martin Yan shot entirely in Singapore, a joint production by Ground Glass Images (Singapore), Kenbiroli Films (HK), JCE Movies (HK)

  • These projects were supported by the MDA under its various co-investment schemes.

  • In 2003, the MDA partnered Discovery Networks Asia to launch the first Documentary Director's Chair and signed an MOU with MediaCorp Raintree Pictures to produce 10 feature films.

    (c) Develop Digital Media
    The MDA launched several initiatives in digital media content &technology in its drive to develop Singapore into a Centre of Excellence for Digital Technology. One of the key projects that the MDA undertook was the partnership with IDA to support Eng Wah Organisation in converting 20 of its cinema screens to digital screens.

    Another project is "Mr Taxi Smart", developed by local company, PGK Media. This project showcased the effective use of Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) technology to enable 'live' content updates simultaneously to 500 taxis on the road.

    The MDA supported the production of several Singapore-made digital animation projects. These projects are expected to be completed in 2004 and 2005, and they include:

  • Singapore's first animation feature film, Sing to the Dawn, produced by MediaCorp Raintree Pictures and Silicon Illusions

  • Singapore's first locally produced long-form 3D animation TV series, Simeon Rex, a 26-part 3D animation series, produced by Digipix.

  • a new, unique and endearing 26-part 2D animation series, Little Tao Shu, produced by Peach Blossom, with secured telecast on Nickelodeon

  • (d) Internationalise local media companies
    The small size of the Singapore media market makes it imperative for Singapore media companies to seek new markets overseas. The MDA helps them by organising overseas delegations to look for business opportunities and setting up Singapore pavilions at the key international trade shows, including Cannes Film Market, MIPCOM, BANFF and IBC.

    The MDA organised missions to New Zealand in August 2003 and the United Kingdom in March 2004. This year, the MDA is expected to sign a co-production agreement with New Zealand that will open up even more opportunities for Singapore media companies.

    (e) Augment media talents
    Several initiatives to widen and deepen the talent base in Singapore were launched, including the Media Education Scheme, the Capability Development Scheme, the Script Development Grant and the Film Incubator Programme.

    More than 3,000 media professionals and students attended the various masterclasses, seminars and workshops organised by the MDA. The MDA also provided funding support for various industry-led training opportunities such as the CASBAA Media College, the National Book Development Council's Centre for Literary Arts and Publishing, and Media Hive.

    For more information, please contact:
    Mr Toh Yong Chuan
    Deputy Director, Communications Division
    Media Development Authority
    Email :


    LAST UPDATED: 13 MAR 2023