More Eyeballs on Asian Content

Ricky Ow of Turner: An unstoppable force harnessing APAC’s potency

Ricky Ow
Turner Asia Pacific

In the next five years, spending on media and entertainment is projected to rise at an overall compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.5%. This translates to US$5.6 billion in 2017 to US$6.7 billion in 2022, a 2018 PwC report read.

India creative industry sector, comprising television, film, OTT and several other related industries, had an overall market size of $22.5 billion in 2017, and is set to grow to $25.4 billion in 2018, according to an EY report released this year. Overall, the sector is projected to grow 12% annually to reach $31.1 billion by 2020, while television continues to be the dominant sector, growing from $10.1 billion in 2017 to $11.2 billion in 2018.

Similar news abound in other pockets across Asia Pacific and its radiance is reflected in the perspectives of the region’s top veterans.

Turner itself has been very busy, having beefed up and grown its business in many aspects. Ricky notes that it’s now an entity quite different from when he first joined.

The company has increased its entertainment offering for both Hollywood and Korean content with Warner TV and Oh!K, and are producing more original local content – both kids animation, as well as “live action” for its Japanese channels, Mondo TV and Tabi channel.

Turner has also grown its licensing business across APAC, especially in China with Tuzki and it is now also establishing a location-based entertainment (LBE) business.

The company’s latest announcement was for a Cartoon Network amusement and waterpark in Bali, which follows on earlier announcements this year, including Cartoon Network Wave, the world’s first Cartoon Network themed cruise ship, partnerships for Tuzki theme zones and rides in two upcoming 6-Flag theme parks in China, and another Cartoon Network themed park in India; all this, in addition to its existing award-winning CN Amazone waterpark in Thailand.

“Ultimately, it really is about being able to offer fans a truly immersive 360 experience and new ways for them to enjoy their favourite brands and franchises,” Ricky assured, not forgetting that the wind beneath his wings is being fortunate to have a broad portfolio of some of the world’s most popular franchises, be it evergreen classics like Ben 10, or the Powerpuff Girls, or newer ones like We Bare Bears (WBB).

Such has offered boundless opportunities and possibilities from on-the-ground fan events, LBEs, cafes or licensed merchandise. “And I’m not just talking about the young kids markets, but also teens and young adults with whom a show like WBB has a large following as well,” Ricky proclaimed.

Today, WBB merchandise is available in Miniso retail outlets across the region, while in China, Turner has done all sorts of collaborations from youth apparel, sporting shoes, bedding, F&B and a whole host of other household and stationary products. The company has also launched a successful WBB mobile puzzle game with its Korean partner, SundayToz and believe gaming is another area with strong growth potential.

However, while Ricky has been reaping the fruits of his labour and sees greater potential, he is not a stranger to the region’s challenges.

A veteran who has taken a huge shine to Asian content, it is no wonder Ricky has also accepted the role as the first Chairman of the newly-minted Asian Academy Creative Awards (AACA).

A pioneer of local and pan-regional award-winning entertainment, the highly respected Singapore-born, Hong Kong-based industry veteran brings to the position enormous depth and experience from the broadcast and production industry.

As chairman, Ricky will also lead the Advisory Group which oversees the integrity of the Awards. It also welcomes nominees and guests, presents certificates and awards, and acts as the international ambassador for the AACA.

“The Academy has a genuine commitment to supporting the Asian content industry by conducting masterclasses, workshops and seminars. Giving back to the next generation of industry professionals is something I’m very passionate about. This makes the AACA truly deserving of support and I hope the rest of the industry will follow,” Ricky said.

Asian Academy Creative Awards

As a producer, Ricky noted that the awards should first and foremost be by the industry for the industry.

This is also why the awards will be less platform-focused moving forward, including categories for TV, OTT, Video Games, Virtual Reality, TVCs, Best Digital and so on.


Ricky Ow will be speaking at the ATF Leaders’ Summit on December 4, 2018. Join him and a slew of never-seen-before thought leaders, as they take to the stage to discuss and debate The Next New.