BEC World: a new digital age in media and entertainment

BEC World: a new digital age in media and entertainment

Business Chief APAC/Technology Magazine, takes a look at how the company is driving innovation within traditional media and entertainment...

Founded in 1970, BEC World’s ambition is “to rebuild the organisation to become a forward-thinking and lean organisation,” by leveraging its “creative DNA to deliver fresh and engaging content for today’s users, and technology to deliver innovative and effective media, across all screens, beyond Thailand.”

Being the second largest TV station in Thailand the 50 year old company strives to take the traditional TV business model into the new digital age. “In response to the increasing competition after the introduction of Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV) and the changes in advertising environment in the Digital Disruption era. The Company has a strategic direction on building and maintaining a sustainable business with competitive edge,” comments BEC World.

Being a leader within the industry, BEC World intends to use its existing resources and stable relationships to create customer satisfaction for all, putting all its effort into providing the best services for its business partners and providing good benefits for all stakeholders

BEC World’s operations are split into six key areas:

1. TV broadcasting

Under its TV broadcasting area of the business, BEC World operates both Analogue Terrestrial TV - via its subsidiary company, Bangkok Entertainment Co. Ltd. under its concession agreement with MCOT Public Company Limited - and Digital Terrestrial TV, via its BEC Multimedia Co., Ltd. subsidiary company of BEC World in which it won an auction for National Commercial Digital Television Services Licenses, from National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission ("NBTC"),

2. New media/digital media

Under the control of BECI Corporation Ltd. - a subsidiary of BEC World - the operations conducted under its new media/digital media branch of the business manage the digital platforms for ‘Ch3Thailand’ and ‘Mello’.

3. Global content licensing

“We currently sell content by ourselves in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Myanmar,” states BEC World, but in other territories it partners with professional distributors, selling content to locations including: “Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Brunei, Singapore, Taiwan, and other countries.” The company’s global content licensing includes producing, sourcing and selling copyright to air in other countries, as well as producing programmes customised to fit the needs of consumers in other countries. “Working internationally allows opportunities to expand our new business in those countries.”

4. Show and music

Via its subsidiaries, Live Nation BEC-TERO Entertainment Co. Ltd. and BEC-TERO Scenario Co., Ltd. the company conducts business relating to the foreign artist concert business in Thailand and musical plays. It also provides public relations activities and advertising services and ticket sales via Thai Ticket Major Co., Ltd.

5. Radio

BEC World currently operates two radio stations - FM 105.5 (Easy FM) and FM 95.5 (HITZ 955). Via its radio stations the company sells air time for advertisement and provides service to give advice regarding radio programme management and development.

6. Other Business

Aside from its five business avenues, other related businesses operated by BEC World include providing information technology services, acting as a landlord, as well as asset management and studio facilities services for both programme production and post-production.

With Thailand’s media industry being no different to any other, the industry is no stranger to transformation, particularly when traditional methods within the industry are being digitally disrupted by the likes of streaming services. With this in mind BEC World has outlined its strategic goals for 2020, which include: strengthening its viewership by delivering fresh and engaging content across news, drama, and variety; diversifying its revenue stream by introducing new media, integrating marketing solutions, building its global licensing market and increasing its use of online; as well as building financial strength via cost reductions and operational efficiencies.

In a recent company statement Somchai Boonnamsiri, Chairman of the Board and Ariya Banomyong, President at BEC World highlighted that despite a loss in profit compared to the previous year, “BEC World’s financial position remains stable.” However, “2020 continues to be challenging both in terms of global and domestic factors impacting the economy. Already in 1Q/2020, concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in a lower GDP growth outlook for the year and a subdued domestic consumption, which directly affects local advertising spend. However, we remain hopeful that a return in domestic spending will take place within 3Q/2020, resulting in a recovery of advertising expenditure.”

Whilst there have been challenges the company is striving to maintain its journey to transform BEC World, “starting the year with a content strategy focusing on a wider prime time (18.00 to 22.35), supported by our improved TV ratings performance in 1Q/2020 versus 4Q/2019, while better monetising non-prime time with new partners. We are also committed to double non-advertising revenue from our global licensing and online businesses, half of which is already secured, to mitigate impact from a lower TV market and build a foundation for future growth. Last but not least, cost savings measures of at least 10% have already been identified, which include, but are not limited to, analog switch-off, programming cost reductions, and ongoing organisation restructuring. These efforts are our top priority this year to ensure we become a profitable company.”

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