Frankfurt / Singapore, 17 November 2017 – The StoryDrive Asia 2017 conference organised by the Singapore Book Publishing Association (SBPA) and the Frankfurter Buchmesse ended on Tuesday this week after two days of intensive exchanges and discussions among international and local participants and speakers from the print, audio, film and TV sectors. StoryDrive Asia is supported by the Singapore National Arts Council, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), and the Singapore Tourism Board.
This year’s conference was held at IPOS 101 on the 13th and 14th November. It was opened by the chairman of IPOS, Dr Stanley Lai, and brought together some 250 participants – authors, editors, publishers, media producers – combining several levels of activity, from training sessions to new trend and market updates, pitching sessions and business matching as well as action-oriented sessions aimed at setting the agenda for the industry in the region.
And that agenda includes:
Digital audiobooks and paid podcasts on emerging Chinese models are seen to be an emerging area of growth, targeted by both regional start-ups like Malaysia’s TLinge and global giants like Overdrive, the world’s leading distributor of digital media to public libraries.
ASEAN’s book publishing markets are growing and developing quickly, and ASEAN publishers are increasingly finding ways to work together to strengthen links between ASEAN publishing markets as well as promote ASEAN content to overseas markets. StoryDrive Asia concluded with a group brain-storming session on the next steps for ASEAN cooperation in the publishing and media industries.
Industry across Asia remains concerned about shifts in copyright law and policy in the region, with Singapore’s ongoing review one area of focus.
While for China, Philippines and many other territories in Asia, the trend of film and television producers systematically working with book and online media publishers to source film and television development concepts is very well established, it is a relatively new phenomenon in Singapore. Book-to-film adaptation was a key subject for StoryDrive Asia, which also featured a pitching session organised with AIPRO, the Association of Independent Producers Singapore.
Publishers’ use of new technologies was a key area, with AR/VR technologies in particular being deployed by publishers in a region known for use of smartphones.
At the conclusion of StoryDrive Asia 2017, two agreements were signed:
MOU between Shake Book Projects of Malaysia and the Singapore Book Council bringing to Singapore the Storymakers League, a new sort of storywriting challenge for young people; and
An agreement between Pustaka Nasional, a local Malay-language publisher and Tlinge, a Malaysian based audiobook streaming service that will be launched in mid-November 2017.
SBPA’s President Peter Schoppert said: “StoryDrive Asia has the sort of format that raises issues and concerns for our industry, and also generates new energy and new connections”. Frankfurter Buchmesse’s Claudia Kaiser, reflecting on this year’s event, concludes: “It is fascinating how dynamically Asia is responding to the challenges in the media environment. AR and VR are really taking off here. And with ASEAN turning 50, StoryDrive Asia 2017 ended with new ideas to promote content from this region. Exactly what is needed.”
About the Frankfurter Buchmesse
The Frankfurter Buchmesse is the international publishing industry’s biggest trade fair – with over 7,300 exhibitors from 102 countries, around 286,000 visitors, over 4,000 events and approximately 10,000 accredited journalists and bloggers in attendance. It also gathers key players from other media, including the film and games industries. Since 1976, the Frankfurter Buchmesse has featured an annual Guest of Honour country, which showcases its book market, literature and culture to attendees in a variety of ways. The Frankfurter Buchmesse organises the participation of German publishers at around 20 international book fairs and hosts trade events throughout the year in major international markets. With its Business Club, the Frankfurter Buchmesse offers essential services and an ideal setting for the activities of publishers, entrepreneurs, pioneers, experts and visionaries. Founded in 2016, THE ARTS+ is a business festival for creatives, investors, publishers, museums, tech companies, that takes place at Frankfurter Buchmesse. The Frankfurter Buchmesse is a subsidiary of the German Publishers & Booksellers Association. www.book-fair.com
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