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Interactive Digital Media

IDM grows in an expanding digital ecosystem


Convergence, interoperability, and digitisation, in their many facets, continue to change our world in what appears to be a limitless transformation from the old to the new. This has never been more apparent than in the transition from the traditional media to “New Media” or Interactive Digital Media (IDM).

From the consumer to the board room, information and entertainment continue to converge in an ever-evolving digital ecosystem where content is delivered seamlessly across platforms, and analytics drives greater focus in marketing, development and delivery. Devices are becoming more self-aware, transmitting geographically and contextually sensitive information to consumers and businesses. This in turn has enhanced the user experience and the business value derived from media devices.

In this landscape of convergence between the dynamic fields of media, and Information and Communications Technology (ICT), the IDM sector in Singapore has maintained stellar growth rates over the last four years. It has even weathered the storm of the global financial crisis with only a relatively small impact on its growth curve. Double-digit Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) has also been consistently maintained during this period, with both revenue and employment doubling in this duration.

Singapore’s IDM sector, as a bell weather and indicator of the overall impact of digital convergence, has demonstrated its unique ability to overcome the challenges of this dynamic environment, converting challenges into opportunities while simultaneously and consistently pushing the boundaries of the digital ecosystem on all fronts to ensure strong growth. The interoperability challenges of a complex and multi-platform ecosystem have created opportunities for businesses, which are springing up or adapting to these challenges at the core of their business model.

Over the past several years, we have seen the rise of social media and sprouting green shoots in the areas of Commerce, Social Commerce (e.g. Groupon), and Digital Advertising. In this past year, Enablers has emerged as the highest growth subsector, supported by its component categories such as Business Intelligence, Big Data, Analytics, Digital Advertising, and Commerce. This subsector stood out with a 45% CAGR in terms of VA from 2008-2011, with Digital Advertising emerging as its driving force, contributing to half of the overall subsector growth year-on-year. The driving force of digital advertising across all industries in Singapore has also been reported by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). Mobile Media also continues its rise as a consistently high growth subsector, as consumers and businesses take content and data afield, stressing the need for mobility.

In recent years, numerous companies have explored offshore revenue, increasing their geographic footprints across Southeast Asia and into China and the Middle East. By closely tracking the evolution and velocity of progress of Singapore’s IDM companies, we see strong traction this year, with companies progressing from start-ups to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and from SMEs to the lower echelon of Large Companies (in terms of employee headcount). Furthermore, we see that revenue from IDM-related activities in the local Government-Linked Companies (GLCs) and Multinational Corporations (MNCs) has increased substantially in the past year.

All of these are strong signs of a vibrant digital ecosystem and we predict continued strength for Singapore’s IDM growth in the years to come.

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