By Boon Chan
The range and quality of local media content last year were generally good, say the Programme Advisory Committees (PAC), which have issued their third annual report to the Infocomm Media Development Authority.
But the four committees – one for each of the official languages – also called for improvements in scripting and technical standards in Mediacorp Channel 5 and Suria dramas.
Well-made programmes singled out for mention include Channel 5 game show Don’t Forget To Remember, Channel U child labour documentary Lost Innocence, Suria drama Aduh… Bibikku! (Oh… My Maid!) and Vasantham current affairs series Ethiroli (Echo).
The PAC also paid attention to local broadcaster Mediacorp’s online content platform Toggle.
While there have been “vast improvements” made to the Toggle platform, including push notifications for episode updates, more needed to be done, including better streaming quality.
Source: Straits Times
RBKD: In IMDA’s report released on Thursday (Aug 24), it said the PACs (Programme Advisory Committees) noted greater diversity in drama themes, with some featuring subject matters that were topical, educational and even taboo. For example, The Strength Within by Vasantham covered mental health issues – a topic rarely explored in Tamil dramas, IMDA said.
It also noted that previous concerns on the “over-reliance on dark themes” such as vengeance and revenge in Tamil storylines have been addressed “with an injection of greater thematic diversity”.
Peace and Prosperity (Channel 8) was also highlighted for its inclusion of multi-racial characters which “resulted in a more balanced portrayal of Singapore society”, IMDA said.
The 4 incoming directors are:
• Mr Niam Chiang Meng, deputy chairman of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and board member of IRAS. He was former chairman of MDA and former Permanent Secretary of MICA.
• Mr Robin Hu, CEO of South China Morning Post Group and ex-senior executive VP with SPH overseeing its Chinese Newspapers and Newspaper Services businesses.
• Mr Rajesh Sreenivasan, partner at Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP, current head and lead partner of the Technology Media and Telecommunications (TMT) practice across the 10 member firms.
• Mr Roy Quek, executive chairman of Thomson Medical Group.
The outgoing directors are:
• Mr Rajiv Wahi
• Mr Venky Krishnakumar
• Ms Elim Chew
• Mr Chan Yeng Kit (Recently appointed chairman of Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA))
The remaining directors are:
• Ernest Wong, Chairman
• Mr Scott Anthony, Managing Partner, Innosight
• Mr Ahmad Nizam, Director, Straits Law Practice and Advisor, Youth Court
• Ms Wong Su-Yen, CEO, Human Capital Leadership Institute; Chairman, Nera Telecommunications; Director, Yoma Strategic Holdings and Director, NTUC First Campus
• Mr Yap Chee Keong, Chairman, CityNet Infrastructure Management Pte Ltd (trustee manager of NetLink Trust); Director, Tiger Airways; Director, Citibank Singapore and Director, Straits Trading Company
• Mr Shaun Seow, CEO, Mediacorp
RBKD: This was originally published on 02/06/2015.
By Noreen Ismail
The Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) is looking to create a single unified audience measurement currency for TV. This includes the audiences garnered for TV across desktop, smartphone and tablets to access TV.
It has appointed GfK for three years, with a two-year renewal option to run the project. This followed an open tender for a research firm to do this. Singapore will get an integrated measurement system that will include the complete audience for traditional television, as well as those using computers, smartphones and tablets to access TV and video content, said the MDA. First reports are expected to be out by 2016.
The government body said that while TV ratings systems in Singapore had focused mainly on FTA channels, it was seeking to create a unified system for a more robust analysis of TV audience measurements.
GfK will set up a system for the integrated analysis of the complete audience for TV in Singapore called the Singapore Television Audience Measurement (SG-TAM). This will include traditional linear television, as well as time-delayed television and TV video streaming on computers and mobile devices.
The service will be based on a single-source panel of more than 1,000 households. The service provided to the MDA will form a single source of currency for the media industry.
Broadcasters, producers and advertisers will now have access to audience consumption data across a full range of media platforms – free-to-air TV, pay-TV channels, over-the-top streaming platforms, online and mobile channels.
Additionally, it will enable programme content to be optimised and advertising campaigns to be strategically planned, supported by GfK’s analytical software.
A MDA spokesperson explained that one of the aims of SG-TAM was to make data accessible to key stakeholders such as broadcasters, platform and content owners, advertisers and content producers, who can use the data for their business decisions.
Data distribution will be managed and licensed to different users based on the different tiers of data and type of data required. Broadcasters will be able to access the data on a subscription basis.
Source: Marketing Interactive
Greater diversity, better quality, improved programme formats and audience engagement among positives highlighted by the committees in latest report.
IMDA’s Programme Advisory Committees (PAC) have issued a report consolidating their observations and feedback on content standards and the quality of broadcast content in Singapore’s four official languages, particularly local Public Service Broadcast (PSB) productions. The committees comprise members of the public across various age groups, ethnicities, occupations, areas of interest and specialisation.
This report contains PAC observations for the period of August 2014 to March 2016.
Snapshot of Key Observations/ Feedback
1. Greater diversity and improvements in production quality in dramas, infotainment programmes
The PAC observed that there were improvements in storytelling standards, cinematography and editing techniques for the dramas produced during the period in review. In addition, the committees observed that there was a wider range of themes and genres in the dramas they reviewed, including themes such as active aging and, courtroom issues and genres such as psychological thrillers, which were not attempted as much previously. Long-form dramas such as 118 (Channel 8) and Tanglin (Channel 5) were also a welcome addition as they provided platforms to present topical issues in a light-hearted manner.
While feedback on dramas produced during the period in review was largely positive, the PACs felt that some producers could imbue more depth and balance into their stories.
2. PSB programmes with more innovative programming formats and better audience engagement
The period in review saw MDA supporting more than 20 programmes from MediaCorp and StarHub under its PSB Contestable Funds Scheme (PCFS). The PACs commended these programmes for their originality and for injecting diversity into the PSB landscape. Some PCFS-supported programmes were also developed into transmedia content like comic books and these efforts paved the way for better audience engagement.
3. In-programme advertising should be clearly distinguishable, prevalence of health supplement advertisements on minority radio stations an area of concern
The PAC also reviewed public feedback relating to broadcast programmes that were brought to MDA’s attention. For example, some members of the public had highlighted that some advertising segments on Channel 5 and 8 were inserted just before a programme’s end credits. These segments featured the programme’s characters promoting products on the same sets as if they were part of the programme. While the PACs did not have objections to the use of a programme’s artistes or sets for advertorials, they felt that such advertising segments should be clearly distinguishable from the rest of the programme.
Categorised in Advisory Committee for Chinese Programmes (ACCESS), Channel 8 News, channelnewsasia.com, EN, Infocomm Media Development Authority, Programme Advisory Committee, The Straits Times, Toggle SG.
1. The Media Development Authority conducts the annual Media Consumer Experience Study and Zero-to-Fourteen Consumer Experience Study to keep its finger on the pulse of local consumers’ media consumption habits and preferences, and to assess their satisfaction with the media services and content standards. With the growth in online content services, MDA also launched its inaugural Over-The-Top Video Consumer Study this year to measure viewing habits and usage of such platforms.
Key findings from Media Consumer Experience Study
2. The fourth edition of the Media Consumer Experience Study (MCES) was conducted between October and December 2015 with a sample size of 2,000 Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents aged 15 to 65. The summarised key findings were:
a. Consumers were generally satisfied with local media services and content classification standards
– Satisfaction with media services scored 76.6% in 2015, up from 75.7% in 2014. In particular, respondents recorded an improvement in satisfaction with the quality and variety of media content, and customer service standards.
– There was also an improvement in satisfaction levels with content standards, rising to 74.1% in 2015 from 72.4% a year earlier.
b. Media consumption habits remained consistent over the last few years
– Watching Mediacorp channels remained as the top media activity in terms of time spent at 17.4 hours per week. This was followed closely by viewing media via websites and apps at 17.3 hours per week.
– Respondents generally relied on traditional media to discover TV shows, and digital media for online content.
– Most respondents (99.1%) who watch Mediacorp TV watched the platform at least monthly.
– The subscription rate of Pay TV services recorded a marginal decline to 68.2% in 2015, from 69.3% in 2014.
Key findings from Over-The-Top (OTT)1 Video Consumer Study
4. MDA’s OTT Video Study is aimed at providing insights into OTT video usage patterns, viewing preferences and habits among consumers. A total of 2,585 Singaporeans and Permanent Residents aged 65 and below were interviewed between October and November 2015.
a. More than half of those polled accessed online content
– More than half of consumers (54%) have watched online videos. This number was the highest among millennials (aged 15 to 34) at 89%.
– The most used online video services were YouTube (96%) and social networks such as Facebook and Instagram (59%).
Younger OTT viewers spent a greater proportion of their viewing time on online videos compared to traditional TV (Children – 65%, Millennials – 61%, Adults aged 35 to 54 – 48%, Adults aged 55 to 65 – 43% of their total viewing time).
b. Viewing preferences & habits
– The top genres of online videos were Drama (40%), Movies (25%), Sports (10%), and Entertainment & Variety (8%) for adults; and Animation & Cartoons (59%) for children.
– Online videos were most frequently consumed on mobile phones for adults (41%), while the most frequently used device varied for children according to their age. For example, children below 6 years old preferred watching videos on the tablet while those between 11 and 14 years old preferred the smartphone and the computer.
– Multitasking on a second screen was a more common behaviour in millennial OTT viewers (60%), and OTT viewers aged 11 to 14 (58%).
– Only 11% of adult OTT viewers were paying for online videos. Majority of those paying (67%), were doing so on top of their existing pay TV subscription and made no changes to their pay TV subscription. ost used online video services were YouTube (96%) and social networks such as Facebook and Instagram (59%).
1 Over-The-Top refers to the delivery of content to local consumers via the Internet onto Internet-enabled devices such as smartphones, tablets, and connected TVs.
The Programme Advisory Committees (PACs) are advisory bodies set up by the Media Development Authority (MDA) to provide community feedback on the range and quality of TV and radio programmes, as well as advice on content standards in programmes and advertisements on the broadcast platforms.
There are currently four broadcast PACs, namely the Programme Advisory Committee for English Programmes (PACE), Advisory Committee for Chinese Programmes (ACCESS), Indian Programmes Advisory Committee (IPAC), and Malay Programmes Advisory Committee (MPAC).
The Committees’ Work and New Areas of Focus
For the first time, the PACs conducted combined meetings to discuss common issues that spanned the four languages in order to take a more holistic view on programmes.
Combined PAC Annual Report
The PACs will henceforth issue consolidated annual reports which will highlight common observations across the four committees, capture language specific observations and provide recommendations for the industry and the MDA.
COMMITTEES’ KEY OBSERVATIONS
Higher production values, with some progress in standard of research
Within each language, the PACs noted progress in terms of more programmes with higher production values. Members saw more programmes which stood apart from other local productions in terms of higher technical standards, post production values (e.g. visual treatment, effects), better standards of research and/or level of realism in productions.
Several examples were cited. The third season of Channel 8’s police drama, C.L.I.F 3 <<警徽天职 3>>, based on real life police cases, was realistic and had well conceived art direction.
New platforms for PSB
The PACs welcomed the fact that viewers could watch local PSB (Public Service Broadcast) programmes on more platforms such as Toggle and xinMSN.
The “PAC Choice” takes reference from the concept of “PACE Choice”, which the PACE included as part of their earlier reports to recognise well-made English PSB programmes.
Accordingly, this list features 50 PSB programmes (or local content) across languages identified by members as being well-conceived and produced on the whole. Members responded to areas including creativity and freshness of ideas, presentation format, meaningful subject matter and overall engagement and informative value.
Members intend for the list to serve as an encouragement to the producers and an endorsement of what is regarded as positive examples of quality PSB programmes.
The titles listed below are in no particular order of merit.
C.L.I.F, Season 3 <<警徽天职 3>> (Ch 8, Drama, MediaCorp Studios)
The third season of the police drama was a commendable collaboration between MediaCorp and Singapore Police Force in incorporating true-to-life police cases to deliver realism in the series.
Kudos, Accolades & Awards
Congratulations to all the Singapore winners at the recently concluded 17th Asian Television Awards 2012 red carpet event, held on 6 Dec in Singapore!
Amongst the winners were local production companies:
– ThreeSixZero Productions (“Let’s Talk 2” and “Extraordinary Asian: Episode 1 – Angel Mums”),
– The Moving Visuals Company (“Junkie Monastery”),
– Scrawl Studios Pte Ltd (“Guess How Much I Love You”),
– Tiny Island Productions and partners (“Ben 10: Destory All Aliens”),
– Refinery Media Company (“Supermodel Me Season 3”),
and their respective broadcasters.
MediaCorp was “Highly Commended” in the category for Terrestrial Broadcaster of the Year.
Actresses Michelle Chong (“The Noose” Season 5) and Rui En (“Unriddle II”) were the winners for Best Comedy Performance by an Actor/Actress and Best Actress in a Leading Role, respectively, and actor Devarajan Varadarajan (“Point of Entry” Season 2) was Highly Commended. Meanwhile, Galen Yeo & Ian White (“Junkie Monastery”) won Best Direction.
(II) SUMMARY OF KEY RECOMMENDATIONS
Overseas collaborations to support cross-cultural efforts
ACCESS found the recent collaborations between MediaCorp and Malaysia in several drama productions featuring Malaysian locations and cast, such as “正义武馆” (“Code of Honour”) and “渔米人家” (“The Seeds of Life”) to be refreshing.
(III) OBSERVATIONS ON AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE RANGE AND QUALITY OF CHINESE PROGRAMMES
18 The Committee was heartened to note that the primetime slot of 7pm, has been occupied by local content since the Taiwanese drama “爱” (“Love”) ended its run. It is glad to see productions such as “甘榜情” (“Kampong Ties”) and “正义武馆” (“Code of Honour”) during this drama slot, which also incorporated Malaysian locations and cast. ACCESS encouraged MediaCorp to be pro-active in looking out for opportunities for overseas collaborations in order to harness resources beyond Singapore.
20 Of the local dramas produced over the past two years, the Committee found the following to be of the best quality: “四个门牌一个梦” (“Love Thy Neighbour”) which explored social issues of concern to Singaporeans; “正义武馆” (“Code of Honour”) for its inspirational storyline and authentic historical setting; and “行医”(“The Oath”) for providing
a balance of viewpoints and exploring ethical dilemmas between from Western medicine and TCM.
Source: Media Development Authority ACCESS Report