Media giant wants online revenue contribution to double this year
BEC World aims to become the top provider of content and entertainment, in terms of rating and revenue, by expanding its online operations in the next three to four years, said Ariya Banomyong, the new president and director of BEC World Pcl.
“TV broadcasting, our core business, is just one channel to generate revenue for the company. We are growing our online business and it is time to leverage our strength for sustainable growth,” he said.
To achieve that goal, he said, the company would focus on six areas of activities: TV Plus, integration of TV and online operations, distribution, intellectual property (IP), artists, content, and technology.
For the online channel TV Plus, the key strategy in the short term is to integrate and optimise the company’s online and TV-based businesses. The move would pool viewers under a single platform, which will eventually benefit both brands and audience.
The company will transfer content between the two platforms more effectively. Channel 3 has a big viewer base, the challenge is how to monetise and optimise it online.
Currently, the online platform contributes 5 per cent of the company’s overall revenue, he said, adding that it has the potential to reach 10 per cent this year with the implementation of the new business strategies.
In distribution, it would expand the scope of the company’s content and entertainment business through new types of partners, especially over-the-top (OTT) players.
Ariya sees TV broadcasting as a channel for distributing BEC World’s content and the way forward is to cooperate with OTT partners, both in the local and overseas markets. A plan is being drawn up, but it will not be disclosed to the public at the moment.
For IP and artists, the company will focus on monetising both IP and artists under a new model.
It will further boost revenue contribution from content service, one of its main sources of income, with new programmes. Dramas and news are currently the top draw of the channels.
Regarding the strategy on technology, Ariya said that would take time as it would be closely related to the future direction of BEC World’s business, adding it has the option of working on its own, investing in a developer or forming a partnership for the development.
“We may set up a new platform for the content and entertainment business,” he said.
Ariya, however, would not commit to the size of the platform or the number of staff, saying only that it would be proportionate to the task.
He said the current size of BEC World’s online viewers is ranked close to giant international platforms such as Line, Facebook, and YouTube in Thailand.
“A strategy will be proposed to the board of committees before roll-out. We will commit manpower, time and resources for the right strategy and results,” said Ariya.
He said the future of BEC World’s business will be both online and offline. We will not rely on online platforms. We are not a tech firm, we are a content and entertainment provider.
“The company should see higher contributions from areas of operations other than TV broadcasting, which accounts for 80 to 90 per cent of its total revenue. Income from online business should rise from 5 per cent to 10 per cent this year,” said Ariya.
BEC World has posted losses for four quarters. Ariya said his goal was to turn the company around and set it on a path to sustainable growth, but did not provide a timeline. The move will gather momentum early next year, he said.
“We will seek new business models. We need to go beyond TV but we must tread carefully as broadcasting is still our main source of revenue. The expected rise in contribution from online and new businesses will not be at expense of TV, but will generate extra income.
We do not start from zero, we have huge assets in content and viewers. We will explore new business models and monetise them most effectively,” said Ariya.
Fortunately, he said, Thailand is a market where people favour local content, which is a positive factor for BEC World.
He said he decided to join BEC World as he welcomed the challenge of taking the giant corporate to the top spot in the digital era in the next three to four years.