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What the 2016 Malaysian Budget means for content creators

The 2016 Malaysian Budget underlined some positive measures that the government will take in the ‘year of commercialisation’ to ensure the enhancement of infrastructure, as well as productivity in the effort to support continued growth in the GDP.

While Ideate Media welcomes the allocation of RM250 million for the national broadcasting digitalisation project outlined in the Budget, we hope that the government will continue to support the creative content industry as a sustainable catalyst for the nation’s growth.

It remains a priority to address the fundamental challenges, with a greater call to examine how the existing fund is utilised. As we move forward, the industry needs to better optimise the support by creating meaningful, original content that can be owned and linked to commercial outcomes.

Focus on origination of intellectual properties

Over the years, companies have been capitalising on government-led initiatives with investments heavily focused on content production. The results have been phenomenal with production of several internationally acclaimed films tapping on our local resources.

Malaysia is well-positioned to move from the existing production-led state towards an industry that approaches every step of creative content development in a cohesive manner – from ideation to production and commercialisation. We need to encourage the incubation and ownership of local intellectual properties (IP), and move beyond being an outsourcing production hub.

This will not only provide greater opportunities for local players, but also increase the ability to broaden the export of Malaysian-made content and drive a sustained funding environment.

Developing content with commercial returns

There needs to be a closer link between development and commercialisation in the process of content creation. It is one of the most overlooked areas, yet today’s content is largely created without a monetisation plan.

Producers need to embrace a mindset where content must be produced with a buyer or a commercial interest in mind at the early stages. To drive this shift, industry funding programmes should measure success of the product by ROI. It will then provide an assurance that every development comes with returns, which can be channelled back into the ecosystem to fuel the growth of content creation and up skill our local talents.

As we aim to develop, produce and commercialise high-quality content for international audiences, we are encouraged by the 2016 Budget allocations with hope that it continues to bring us a thriving and lucrative creative content industry.

The writer is Zainir Aminullah, chief executive officer of Ideate Media.


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