More Eyeballs on Asian Content

16 Aug 2018

More Eyeballs on Asian Content

Ricky Ow of Turner gives thumbs up to region’s potential

By Lulu SV Mendoza

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 shine is reflected in the region’s top veterans.

“I think it (Asian production) looks very bright,” said Ricky Ow, President of Turner Asia Pacific. “Our industry is entering a really exciting phase. There’s growing demand for content that’s innovative, fresh and pushing the envelope a bit more. That demand is being met with higher production values and better scripts.

“Right now, I’m watching ‘Sacred Games’ out of India, and it’s world class. The next few years are going to see a considerable shift in production levels across the board in Asia. This is our time. More and more, buyers will turn their attention to shows and formats from the region,” Ricky elaborated.

Turner itself has been busy in 2018 alone, partnering to grow their entertainment IPs into parks in China and Bali, and having new blood in the Philippines, as well as in their regional licensing and merchandising division.

However, while Ricky sees the potential, he is not a stranger to the region’s challenges. “Some production companies are caught a little in the middle of a shift right now. Many of the cable networks are winding back their regional productions and the OTT platforms are gearing up, but it’s relatively early days for them.

“Added to this, the free-to-airs know they need to respond with more compelling content. That all said, production companies can’t just be producers anymore; the margins are too skinny and the margin for error too slim. Producers are becoming full service companies, with an emphasis on owning, or at least having, a stake in the IP,” Ricky noted.

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 Awards (AAA).

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 AAA.

“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 AAA truly deserving of support and I hope the rest of the industry will follow,” Ricky said.

Asian Academy Awards

As a producer, Ricky noted that the awards should first and foremost be by the industry for the industry. “I’m super excited at the prospect of honouring the truly excellent work of producers across the entire Asia Pacific region. But we also felt the newly formatted Academy needed to do more than run awards, so it has a significant commitment to training up the next generation of content makers as well.”

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.

“It’s a genuine celebration of great creative work from across the board. So with ATF and the Awards, it’s going to be a big week in Singapore,” Ricky concluded.


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


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