Media Prima management unveils plans post Rev Asia acquisition

Media Prima is looking to grow its digital and non-traditional revenue streams through strategic business initiatives.

According to its group chairman Datuk Seri FD Iskandar, these new initiatives were created to enable new revenue streams and put the focus back into its advertising revenue. The inflow of revenue is set to come from platforms such as home shopping platform, CJ Wow Shop; mobile gaming and digital lifestyle app tonton; and its most recent acquisition - REV Asia Holdings.

Media Prima acquired Rev Asia, one of Southeast Asia’s leading digital media groups, for RM$105 million. Industry experts lauded the move saying it will influence other media groups in Malaysia to "re-strategise digitally" as well as put Media Prima at an advantage when connecting with younger audiences. Now the group is saying that it will be relying on the new addition to further boost its revenue via digital advertising.

Meanwhile, the media conglomerate is seeing a dip in its traditional revenue streams. According to the latest financials, Media Prima reported a 10% drop in revenue compared to Q1 2016. This is due to the lower advertising and newspaper sales as traditional media platforms faced ongoing challenges of subdued advertising expenditure and shift to digital media. Nonetheless, the group said The New Straits Times Press (NSTP) will continue to defend its traditional print business while continuous cost rationalisation initiatives will continue to be implemented.

According to the press statement, Media Prima had "anticipated a prolonged period of market stagnation". The company faced continued challenges such as customer fragmentation, a shift in traditional advertising to digital media advertising as well as increased competition from new entrants and global media players.

Dato’ Sri Amrin, group managing director of Media Prima, said that while the Group recognised the tough operating environment’s impact on the Group’s performance, Media Prima will now willfully evolve from being a traditional media group into one that is digital first, with diversified revenue streams via a transformation initiative that is already underway.

However not all traditional platforms are weighing down heavily on the group. The company’s Out-of-Home (OOH) Big Tree Outdoor (BTO) is expected to benefit from the rollout of assets of rapid transit concessions scheduled to commence later this year.

Content is also a focus for the group as Primeworks Studios, Media Prima’s content creation arm, aims to explore potential new intellectual properties for animation and co-production with external broadcasters while expanding the current content sales in the overseas market.

This was reiterated by Datuk Seri FD Iskandar, who said the company will be expanding into regional markets via their television, content production and OOH businesses. The statement comes hot in the heels of Media Prima tying up with Singtel’s video streaming app CAST to expand tonton’s customer base into Singapore and launching the Mandarin broadcast on ntv7 and 8TV to target Chinese viewers.

Media Prima Radio Networks (MPRN) also launched its podcast platform, Ais Kacang, and e-commerce service, SuperDeals to entice advertisers using its on-air and digital space.