IMDA Unveils New Initiatives to Boost Singaporean Media Sector


Singapore’s IMDA has launched several new measures to assist the local media sector amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initiatives are focused on training and helping companies boost their productions and reduce operating costs. An S$8 million Public Service Content (PSC) Fund will help finance shows, with Mediacorp, Viddsee and SPH set to commission short-form content. Companies can begin planning, conceptualizing and submitting their proposals so that production can get underway when stay-at-home measures are lifted. Plus, a Capabilities Partnership Programme will enable companies to partner with global media giants operating in Singapore to develop local content. ViacomCBS Networks Asia is set to develop up to three regional entertainment or family projects next month, while WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks APAC plans to commence development of up to three regional original content IPs for HBO Asia in June 2020. IMDA says this program will benefit 80 to 100 local media companies over the next 12 months.

IMDA will also match the Singapore Association for Motion Picture Professionals’ (SAMPP) COVID-19 Relief Fund contribution of S$20,000 to support those in the industry impacted by the cancellation and postponement of projects.

In addition, self-employed professionals can take advantage of a training grant of up to 90 percent of course fees, capped at S$3,000 per course, under the Talent Assistance (T-Assist) Program.

To help companies minimize costs, the IMDA is waiving Film Exhibition and Distribution Licence Fees beginning April 17. Classification fees for films, video games and label fees will also be waived until further notice.

“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,” said S Iswaran, Minister for Communications and Information. “Media companies can look forward to more project opportunities and reduced operating costs, while media professionals and freelancers can benefit from subsidized 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.”