Media Prima sees massive spike in digital revenue bolstered by advertising

Media Prima, Malaysia’s largest integrated media group, has generated a 79% increase in digital and commerce revenue for the nine months financial period ended 30 September 2018 (9MFY18) against the comparative period in 2017.  Digital and commerce revenue increased to RM216.2 million in 9MFY18 from RM121.0 million, reflecting the positive progress of Media Prima’s business transformation plan to become Malaysia’s leading digital-first content and commerce company.

Group digital revenue increased to RM64.3 million in 9MFY18 from RM28.0 million in 9MFY17, driven by strategies to accelerate digital advertising revenue and monetisation opportunities. Among others, they include content collaborations with global partners like YouTube, Dailymotion and Ziff Davis’ Mashable Southeast Asia and focusing resources in the area of programmatic advertising which is seen by industry analysts as one of the fastest growing digital revenue segments.

The partnerships with YouTube and Dailymotion have enabled Media Prima to publish video content on these popular digital platforms allowing the Group to reach more viewers and enhance monetisation. This includes tonton - Malaysia’s largest video streaming service with over 8.4 million registered users - which has been made available at no cost to all Malaysian consumers. The move will enable tonton to reach a wider audience via zero subscription fee and reduce operational costs.

In digital publishing, REV Asia’s licensing partnership to operate Mashable Southeast Asia - a regional offshoot of the internationally renowned technology portal targeted at Millennials - has expanded the Group’s digital presence regionally to Indonesia, Philippines and Singapore. Moving forward, REV Asia - which has a combined digital audience reach of 14.8 million monthly average unique visitors - will continue to explore and acquire new online portals to diversify its offerings to advertisers and widen its audience segmentation profiling.

In content production and distribution, the Group has made great strides in selling content overseas following the premiere of Primeworks Studios’ Pulang on the world’s leading international video streaming service provider with millions of subscribers globally. The critically-acclaimed film can now be watched in over 190 countries.

In commerce, Media Prima Television Network’s home shopping segment, CJ WOW SHOP, generated total sales of RM152.0 million for the nine months, a 63% increase from RM93.0 million in the comparative period. CJ WOW SHOP continues to gain traction with almost 1.04 million customers, driven by increased on-air presence and accessibility throughout Malaysia.

Datuk Mohd Nasir Ahmad, group chairman of Media Prima, said: “In the face of significant challenges affecting the media industry worldwide, our initiatives and accomplishments to date reaffirm that we are on the right path in achieving our Group transformation mission. We continued to grow our digital footprint since becoming the third largest digital media company in Malaysia, while our home shopping segment is expected to surpass its revenue target before the year-end. While there is much work to do and further challenges ahead, we will remain focused on accelerating our transformation plan and delivering returns to our shareholders.”

Subsequent to the period under review, the group embarked on a transformation of its radio segment to an audience-focused company called Ripple (formerly known as Media Prima Radio Networks). This new platform - which had already amassed a digital following of 9.8 million followers - aims to synergise digital media, broadcast and commerce to unlock digital advertising and consumer revenue opportunities. Ripple ties together its broadcast brands - Hot FM, One FM, Fly FM, Kool FM, a podcast platform - Ais Kacang, an e-commerce platform - SuperDeals, and seven new digital assets - Dhia, Donna, Lunaria, The Laki, Likely, Chapters, and Wakeke .

Datuk Kamal Khalid, Group managing director of Media Prima, added that digital and commerce are the new growth areas for Media Prima moving forward. As such the group will continue to make prudent investments in digital and commerce businesses while re-evaluating business models accordingly to adapt to the current industry landscape. “The transformation of our traditional radio segment to provide a more holistic solution to advertisers via Ripple and the repositioning of tonton as an ad-supported video streaming service are testaments to our commitment.”