Singapore is establishing itself as the regional hub in the global Interactive Digital Media (IDM) space and the distinct advantage that sets the island nation apart from the rest of Southeast Asia is the “Singapore Brand”, according to the “Interactive Digital Media: Shaping the digital future” report released by Deloitte Southeast Asia.
“Singapore has established itself as the premier destination in Southeast Asia for IDM start-ups and multinational corporations / government-linked companies investment," says John Goeres, Deloitte Southeast Asia’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications Industry Leader. "IDM companies benefit from Singapore’s stringent Intellectual Property rights, conducive business climate, efficient tax structure, world-class infrastructure, and industry linkages across the region. As a result, a robust ecosystem has been established, generating over 28% CAGR growth over the last 5 years.”
The IDM sector in Singapore has evolved from a tiny sliver of the overall media industry to a fast-growing contributor: year-on-year revenues grew by 14.5% and 985 new jobs were created in the past year.
As a sign of sector maturity, larger and more established players are looking at inorganic growth avenues to strengthen business capabilities, demonstrated by the spike in mergers and acquisitions activity.
Subsectors like big data analytics, interactive learning and mobile/social commerce also look to be the most promising in the near future.
The study also revealed two key concerns that were raised by the various stakeholders in the IDM sector – rising costs and talent shortage and the Singapore government is already taking steps to address these concerns and ensure that Singapore continues to maintain its competitive edge over other locations in Southeast Asia. For example, several government-led initiatives such as the enhancement of IDM-related training in local universities and funding schemes to promote IDM start-ups, in conjunction with the existing tax advantages have been introduced.
The report also notes that the strong brand that Singapore has built for itself is paying dividends. Companies, investors and talent alike continue to look to Singapore as a base from which to capitalise on the upward growth curve of IDM in Southeast Asia’s emerging markets.