Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Digital-content industry shows potential

Digital-content industry shows potential

Thailand's digital-content market was worth at Bt10.2 billion last year, according to a survey by the Software Industry Promotion Agency (Sipa).

Published on November 27, 2007

Sipa has conducted a project to survey the market for the country's digital-content industry and found the industry has had a high growth rate of around 50 per cent during the past three years.

In Sipa's survey, the digital-content industry is the animation and game industry combined.

Of the total Bt10.2 billion, around Bt4.5 billion came from the animation industry while the remaining Bt5.7 billion was from the game industry.

The digital-content industry, especially animation and games, is set to be one of Sipa's key areas to develop and promote the local software industry. The agency hopes that it will boost this area to reach revenue of Bt30 billion in the next three years.

It's predicted that the animation industry will have around 18-per-cent growth annually, while the game industry will grow by 17 per cent each year.

The market value in the animation industry came from three key sectors - long-form animation, which is animation feature film or television series; short-form animation, animation for television commercials and music videos; and computer-graphics services, which includes post production, visual effects and presentations.

According to the market survey, long-form animation took a major part of the share at around 58 per cent, followed by computer-graphics services at 40 per cent.

Short-form animation accounted for only 2 per cent.

Surapong Lertsithichai, president of the digital-content survey committee, said the figure also showed the potential of the Thai animation industry and it's predicted that the industry would reach a market value of Bt87 billion in the next three years.

For the game industry, even though the total value reached Bt5.7 billion, the figure accounts for only 0.6 per cent of the world's game market. "This means the Thai game industry still has room to grow," Surapong said.

The total game market combines six game platforms - online games, mobile games, console games, handheld games, PC offline games and arcade games.

In Thailand, online games took the greatest market share at 42 per cent while arcade games and console games were 28 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.

Even though the market value of the Thai game industry is high, the survey also found that more than 90 per cent of the value came from imported game software. Surapong said the value of the proportion generated by local people was still low. Having this survey would help the government see the overall picture of the Thai digital-content industry and this would be a key to develop a plan to encourage the industry.

The survey was conducted for the first time and Sipa plans to survey the market every year. As a software industry promotion agency, Sipa has also set a mission to make Thailand a centre of digital content and multimedia in the Asia-Pacific region.

To achieve the goal, the agency developed four strategies - training, industry facilitation, digital content creation promotion and marketing promotion - to support the industry.

The agency recently set up the Bangkok Digital Content Centre as a facility where animation and game developers can use development tools such as motion capture to develop their products.

The agency also plans to help local digital-content companies develop marketing skills, which is also important for their products penetrating both domestic and international markets.

Pongpen Sutharoj

The Nation

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