Tag Archives: content

APEX ASIA: Content and Acquisition for the Region

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The first panel discussion of the APEX Asia Regional Conference brought together leading IFE specialists to discuss the booming Asian content industry, the trends and challenges unique to various Asian audiences, and the opportunities that lie ahead for local distributors.

Unique Challenges

Encore Inflight Limited‘s Jovita Toh identified that one of the major challenges with Asian content is that film producers are expecting more money for better films in the inflight market where prices are traditionally fixed. “As a distributor, we have to take responsibility to educate studios on volume of content we take from them,” notes Toh.

Another challenge the market faces is clearing rights for content on a broad international scale. But Scott Hiniker, director, Commercial Business Development, NHK CosmoMedia America reassured that this process is becoming easier .”The trend is for domestic broadcast to fall under Japanese rights and everything else would be worldwide,” explains Hiniker.

An Emerging Content Market

Fame Universal Entertainment Limited‘s, Ramy Choi, describes the Asian box office industry as extremely promising.

“Nowadays China is very supportive of young directors and [the film industry] has seen a 30 percent growth from last year,” says Choi.

Dominic Green, APEX board member and moderator agreed and cited that 100 new screens are being added to Chinese cinemas every week. “Within a few years China will become the biggest cinema buying audience, surpassing the US,” he added.

What’s Big in Japan?

Do Asian passengers consume similar content compared to other passenger markets? There are definitely similarities, with Hollywood genres being at the forefront of the market however, Hiniker notes differences in the Japanese market. “Epic dramas and modern serial dramas are the most popular programs in Japan right now,” says Hiniker. Choi adds that Korean movies are gaining in popularity in the Chinese market and are becoming very competitive.

Toh pointed to the Chinese content coming out of Europe, stating that the genre is “giving a new style to Asian content,” and although many Asian carriers currently shy away from these movies, a number of international carriers are beginning to pick them up.

Jovita Toh, CEO, Encore Inflight Limited

From an airlines perspective, cost will always be important but at the rate the Asian film industry is growing, we will likely see airlines adapting and expanding their Asian content inflight. Toh is optimistic: “acquiring Asian content is getting easier, it’s a whole new world today.”

Spafax to Open “The Hub” Lab in Hollywood


Spafax announced on Monday that they will be moving their content production team from their current offices in Orange, California to a new, best-in-class HD post-production lab in Hollywood to better serve their global content delivery needs for the digital age.

By April 2015, all of Spafax’s US-based technical services will operate out of two buildings on the Sunset Gower Studios Lot, although the new studios will officially open on October 6, 2014.

The Hub will be home to a technical services team of 25 who will manage file delivery, editing, subtitling, captioning, and video and audio encoding and duplication for Spafax’s global clientele. This fully automated digital workflow facility, housed within “the heart of the World’s Content Capital,” according to Spafax CEO Niall McBain, also provides The Hub with convenient access to the area’s ample production amenities - including 23 stages and over 700,000 square feet of production support space, recording studios and viewing theaters.

The new facility will service Spafax’s 25+ major airline clients – including British Airways, Air Canada, Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific, among others – to efficiently program, license and deliver their IFE content to any platform including IFE, wireless, streaming, mobile and social media.

Sunset Gower Studios is Hollywood’s oldest independent film lot, and the original home of Columbia and Warner Bros. It currently houses the post production facility for Technicolor, along with numerous commercial, television and feature film productions.

Spafax’s client services, administration and agency teams will continue to be based in Orange, CA.

AIX in Conversation: Jorg Schiffman, IFE Services

Jörg Schiffman
Commercial Director
IFE Services

After talking with Jörg, we’re happy to see that the industry in general is starting to think about wireless solutions from a passenger’s perspective and looking into software solutions for airlines. He also brings up some interesting points regarding the future of content.

 Are movies and TV content still suitable for being the only content available? I don’t think so.

“Right now the market is dominated by suppliers coming in and saying, ‘wireless streaming is cheaper than an embedded system and that’s why you have to buy it as an airline.’ The question is what are they going to do with it long term? Even if it’s cheaper, it still costs. How can you attract the customer to pay for it, or even get advertisers on? We need to find some revenue models for the systems. That’s something that’s starting here actually – more companies looking into software solutions, rather than only hardware solutions. I think that’s a step in the right direction. This takes us to the content side as well, of course. Content has to change in the future. The main targets for wireless streaming systems are short or medium haul planes, with average flight times between 2 – 4 hours. Are movies and TV content still suitable for being the only content available? I don’t think so. More interesting in the future will be to offer different types of content, especially interactive material where the passenger can communicate with whatever is streaming. Airlines can align content with their own self-promotion, with duty/freeproducts that can be bought on board, or even promote future vacations or trips for the passenger. Advertising now is not just a spot of 30 seconds but could be the entire contents of the aircraft, where the passenger will find it interesting to contribute and communicate with targeted material.”