MediaCorp invests in Indonesian digital firm

In a bid to push its digital revolution further, Singaporean media company MediaCorp has invested in a 52% equity stake in the KLN Group which owns several of Indonesia’s successful web portals.

According to MediaCorp, the partnership is aimed at delivering fresh experiences for consumers across the region, and creating innovative solutions for advertisers to embark on new approaches to reach customers and prospects. The two parties signed the agreement cementing a strategic, long-term partnership that brings together complementary strengths of the two companies – MediaCorp’s transmedia expertise and pan-Asian reach, and KLN’s digital-native mindset and market leadership in Indonesia.

Following MediaCorp’s investment, KLN’s management and operations will remain unchanged.

Shaun Seow, MediaCorp CEO, said the move strengthens MediaCorp’s ability to capture valuable opportunities in a rapidly changing media industry. This is a direction the Singaporean media company has been investing heavily in.

In March this year, MediaCorp also created a native advertising unit called Brand Studio offering its clients the opportunity to tell more “compelling brand stories” across multiple platforms, focusing on content that is useful to users, said the company.

“Over the past few years, MediaCorp has aggressively repositioned MediaCorp to become a customer-centric company providing greater access to diversified, innovative and engaging content across multiple platforms,” said Seow. He added that this requires a relentless focus on the customers and audiences and “significant ongoing investments in new businesses.”

In fact, just in January this year, the group announced a major reorganisation, moving away from traditional media lines towards a focus on specific consumer groups. Ultimately this led MediaCorp redeploying over 50 employees to what it has called growth areas and removed some existing vacancies earlier this month.

Seow explained that the Indonesian market has a rapidly growing cohort of digital users and the opportunities for KLN are tremendous. KLN as a company has pushed the envelope in content and delivery, and grown the business exponentially.

"Embracing a successful digital native business will accelerate MediaCorp’s transformation in the digital revolution. The deal also presents great synergies, riding on flourishing people and business ties between Singapore and Indonesia," Seow added.

TV broadcast company MediaCorp has over the years diversified into print, live entertainment, out-of-home and digital businesses. Its digital properties include over-the-top service Toggle, and Kuala-Lumpur headquartered gaming publisher Cubinet. In 2013 it launched Mediapreneur, an incubator programme for digital startups aimed at providing a conducive, operational platform for media startups to be systematically nurtured and developed into full-fledged tech companies, supported by funding, networking opportunities and intellectual property and content.

While KLN is best known for its popular twin engines  of and, it also has sites targeting men, women, car enthusiasts and soccer aficionados. The KLN Group's video content has been viewed more than 450 million times and KLN has also seen impressive revenue growth in Indonesia’s rapidly increasing digital advertising spend.

It has also seen impressive revenue growth in Indonesia’s rapidly increasing digital advertising spend.

Steve Christian, KLN CEO, said: "I am tremendously excited by this breakthrough in KLN’s journey to become a leading digital media company in the region. Over the past three years, I’ve watched KLN grow from a startup to one of Indonesia’s top independent online platforms. Since the beginning, our goal has been to create truly great products that make an impact on audiences beyond our home market and I am delighted that our ambitions have led to our alliance with MediaCorp. In MediaCorp, we have a partner with powerful content and platform capabilities and a commitment to continually innovate for its customers and audiences.”

Meanwhile digital media research firm, eMarketer, forecasts that Asia Pacific’s digital ad spend is set to grow by some 30% this year, with Indonesia driving the most impressive growth.

According to eMarketer, Indonesia is home to the third-largest Facebook mobile phone audience after the US and India, with some 33 million active daily users who also represent the highest mobile usage rate for Facebook worldwide. At the same time, there are more Tweets sent from the city of Jakarta than from any other city on the planet.