IMDA Unveils New Talent Initiatives


The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has announced a slew of initiatives to support local talent and bolster Singapore’s positioning as a gateway to the region’s media business.

The new initiatives were announced by S Iswaran, Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information, during his address at the opening ceremony of the Asia TV Forum & Market today.

“Singapore is well placed to play a catalytic role in the growth of Asia’s media ecosystem, particularly in Southeast Asia,” Iswaran said. “And beyond our traditional role as a business, financial and technology hub, Singapore’s media ecosystem is vibrant and growing.”

As part of an effort to boost local public-service broadcast content, IMDA’s previously announced Public Service Media Digital Partnership Fund (PDPF) will provide support for four projects. They hail from Wawa Pictures, Robot Playground Media and Infocus Asia. IMDA will launch a second call for proposals in early 2020.

IMDA is partnering with mm2 Entertainment for five Chinese infotainment series. They will be carried on mm2’s OTT platform mPlay Asia, which launches April 2020.

In a bid to promote international alliances, IMDA has inked partnerships with CJ ENM Hong Kong, HOOQ, Tencent/VS Media and Viacom International Media Networks.

“We are pivoting away from ‘Made by Singapore’ to ‘Made with Singapore’ in three important areas: content, financing and talent,” Iswaran said.

CJ ENM Hong Kong will conduct training workshops and co-develop and co-produce digital-first scripted content. HOOQ and IMDA will co-fund productions. IMDA will work with Tencent and VS Media to foster Singaporean digital content creators and start-ups. The pact with Viacom International Media Networks will provide support to digital studio productions in Singapore. The Facebook Creator Lab will return to create original content for Facebook Watch.

“Local media companies and talent will, through these partnerships, have the opportunity to create content for these digital content services and platforms,” Iswaran said. “Close to 100 media companies and many Singapore talent will benefit from these partnerships, and we look forward to many more joining us in this venture.

IMDA also announced that HBO Asia has joined the Story Lab Apprenticeship (SLA) program. And HOOQ is on board IMDA’s WritersLab: Script to Screen (S2S) initiative.

IMDA is also setting aside S$20 million in its call for media fund partners to jointly support projects.

“We have embarked on a series of initiatives on developing the market, developing our talent, and supporting the evolution of the financial aspects of the industry,” Iswaran said. “The convergence in tech and media is undeniable and unrelenting—but it is opening up new markets, enabling disruptive models and fueling demand for new content through digital channels. In these exciting times, I want to encourage everyone to think Asia, and think Singapore. Content producers and digital platforms are pivoting more decisively towards the East; many of them building on earlier successful ventures with Asian talent and companies. Asia, particularly Southeast Asia, has much to offer the rest of the world beyond just being a market. I invite the world and industry players to discover the exciting voices of Asian storytellers and also our diverse talent—both off-screen and on-screen.”