IMDA and Mediacorp set aside SG$3m fund to give content creators a boost

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Mediacorp have launched a new content development fund (CDF) worth SG$3 million. The three-year fund will provide seed money to local content creators to pilot and test new concepts and formats.

According to the CDF brief document, the fund aims to commission between seven to 10 projects which experiment with new media technologies or new formats to engage audiences. Concepts can be of any genre and each project is budgeted at SG$50,000 to SG$200,000. If the pilot project is successful and meets evaluation criteria, the full series will be able to be funded under additional public service broadcast (PSB) funding allocated to the relevant channel of platform, added the brief.

The fund, which is open to only Singapore-registered companies only, will be managed through an open call-for-pitch process. It aims to encourage experimentation and the use of cutting-edge technologies to create fun, engaging and meaningful content, said a press statement. This is to reinvigorate, refresh and raise the quality, innovativeness and creativity of PSB content on Mediacorp’s platforms.

Projects funded under the CDF should cater to local audiences of Mediacorp channels and platforms, including TV and digital. This extends to channels such as Channel 5, okto, Channel 8, Suria, Vasantham, Channel NewsAsia and Toggle.

According to Mediacorp and IMDA, the use of new technology will be central to the initiative. One such drama that was recently commissioned, Missing, which will run on Channel 5, utilises virtual reality (VR) and was produced in partnership with WaWa Pictures and Vostok VR. Other objectives include the creation of original, exciting concepts and formats as well as engaging and fostering talent.

“Through the content development fund, we aim to encourage creative individuals to think out of the box, try out new content formats and technology that will keep our local public service content exciting for Singaporean audiences in this digital age,” Angeline Poh, assistant chief executive (industry development), IMDA said.

“We are looking for fresh, innovative, fun and meaningful concepts to tell real Singapore stories that resonate with different audiences.  We hope it will spur experimentation and creativity with new content formats to cater to a new generation,” Debra Soon, chief customer officer Mediacorp said.

The move follows the recent launch of Mediacorp's creator’s network, Bloomr.SG, in a bid to help local content creators in delivering more content. According to Parminder Singh, Mediacorp's chief commercial and digital officer, Mediacorp’s advertising partnerships will provide the creators monetisation strength. The move comes as the company looks to embark on a new initiative to “nurture and empower” independent creators.