Media and Entertainment Giant aiming for substantial growth
In 2013 Thailand’s leading media and entertainment company, Kantana Group Plc, generated 1.2 billion in revenue. This year it is aiming for massive 500 billion baht increase in turnover, to 1.7 billion baht.
Kantana Group believes this increase will largely come on the back of the release of digital television in the country, set at present for some time in April. As the leading content provider in Thailand, Kantana Group has been preparing for the advent of digital TV for the past two years, building up its content base so that it can easily cover the requirements of the various channels it will need to support.
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission has approved a total of 24 digital TV channels, and Kantana Group will be a major beneficiary, although it admits it has had to spend quite substantial sums on acquiring overseas material in order to be able to fulfill its requirement to fill timeslots with content it hopes will be taken up by the major TV stations and the local public will be keen to watch.
Kantana Group spent around 200 million baht on these acquisitions, taking the view that what has been successful internationally can be replicated in Thailand. It’s also a quick way of obtaining and producing content that should attract viewers.
Among the overseas shows Kantana Group has acquired and intends to turn into localized versions are American Idol, The Taste, Gossip Girl, The Face, and Don’t Lose The Money.
Kantana Group has not ignored the potential talent inside Thailand, both in terms of producers and writers, and has begun a competition entitled ‘Thailand Format Challenge 2014’ which has a cash prize of one million baht for the winner. The aim is to get those who are relatively unknown producers to put together show-reels and submissions which may eventually be turned into digital TV programs.
As well as the money spent on overseas acquisitions, they have also outlaid a further 500 million baht on building new studios and expanded its staff by 30 percent. These measures will enable the company to double its production capacity to 40 TV programmes.
The company says it is currently negotiating with six digital TV stations to air Kantana Group’s programs. Thairath TV, Channel 3, and Channel 7 are three of the major stations with whom Kantana Group is engaged.
Kantana Group believe digitisation of television is not just a technical revolution but will ultimately change Thailand’s media landscape as it relates to business models, partnerships, and government regulation.