Colin Jung, Managing Director, Content Business Development, KBS Media
Korea Broadcast Systems (KBS) operates in one of the most dynamic media environments in Asia. Colin Jung, managing director for content business development at KBS, talks about how the broadcaster has been slow to adapt to this new environment, and how it needs to change quickly in order to secure a successful future.
VIA SATELLITE: What are the major challenges for KBS during the next 12 months?
Jung: KBS currently operates two TV stations in both analog and digital transmission, along with seven radio channels and several pay-TV and TV stations in international markets. Viewers’ media consumption patterns are swiftly moving into what we call the “N-Screen” environment, which was once called One Source Multi-Use (OSMU). This environment is evolving into one where many different productions for the N-Screen are necessary for pay-TV, DMB, IPTV and other offline sell-through distribution platforms of video content.
VIA SATELLITE: As we enter a more fragmented media environment, how will your company stay relevant?
Jung: Terrestrial broadcasters have maintained secure positions in the industry for a long time and they didn’t need to be nimble or to make risky decisions to stay competitive. Now things are different and we need to change the way we do business. The biggest challenge is how to get rid of old habits and make bold decisions to embrace the new rules of the game with a minimized loss in market leadership.
VIA SATELLITE: Do you believe that KBS has been ahead of the game in adapting to this new environment?
Jung: No. We have been among the group of opportunity-blind media companies and there are now serious threats posed by YouTube, Facebook and other new media consumption tools now available on the market.
VIA SATELLITE: That said, what are some of the initiatives that KBS is working on to deliver content and movies in new ways?
Jung: There are two bold projects that KBS is now working on. The first, the Open Smart Alliance (OSA), has a concept of providing standardized smart television platforms to middle- and small-sized manufacturers so that they don’t have to worry about investing in their own Smart TV platform. Google is doing a similar thing and Samsung is developing its own platform. But OSA is a broadcaster-driven initiative and a standard-based open platform in which manufacturers don’t have to worry about being exploited by platform developers. The other one is AsiaView, which is a proposed alliance among leading Asian broadcasters. The goal of this alliance is to help broadcasters maintain their role in distributing content among Asian countries.
VIA SATELLITE: What are your plans in HD?
Jung: All of the channels we operate now in Korea are in HD, and all of them are being simulcast in SD. Bandwidth of even digital broadcasts (cable and satellite included) is scarce and terrestrial broadcasters move to increase the number of TV channels in the market is regulated by the government. Right now we plan to add a couple of new HD channels but the regulation issue needs to be cleared first.
VIA SATELLITE: How would you describe the broadcast market’s current level of demand for satellite capacity?
Jung: Satellite broadcasting has never taken a major portion of the broadcast industry in South Korea. Besides SkyLife, only a small number of channels reach a few households. Demands for satellite bandwidth are not very big.
VIA SATELLITE: What is next for your growth strategy?
Jung: Without a platform, broadcasters could face a murky future. When we are talking about platforms, there are many, and what we are trying to build is a content platform that embraces production, distribution and consumption in a way that viewers have a unified content consumption experience, no matter what device or platform. We hope that by building a platform that enables us to work in harmony with other platforms, we will be able to maintain our share in the content industry and even to expand the market by adapting to new media consumption behavior of new generations.