BEC World switches focus to offset fall in earnings from ads

BEC World switches focus to offset fall in earnings from ads

Mr Surin pins hope on content licensing and digital business to boost BEC World's growth.
Mr Surin pins hope on content licensing and digital business to boost BEC World's growth.

SET-listed BEC World, the operator of Channel 3, wants to shift towards becoming a total entertainment provider by pursuing content licensing and digital business to increase revenue, offsetting declining earnings from TV ads.

New businesses are expected to contribute 50% of the company's revenue by 2027. At present, TV business contributes 88% of the firm's revenue.

"The economic headwinds and floods have affected consumer sentiment and advertising spending. These took a toll on the firm's revenue in the first half and could continue in the second half," said Surin Krittayaphongphun, president of BEC World.

However, revenue is expected to improve in the final quarter with four new titles of TV series.

"We cannot ensure that our revenue or profits this year will be similar or higher than last year," he said.

The company is committed to investing in new businesses, mainly content licensing and intellectual property, artist management, digital business, integrated marketing as well as music and more movies.

The firm wants to focus more on quality content that "appeals to an international audience", in particular Asean, China and Japan, said Mr Surin.

"We have our own BEC studio for content production and co-production with overseas partners," he said. "We are no longer a TV operator but a total entertainment provider in any content and channels."

Mr Surin said the new businesses, which currently account for 12% of the firm's revenue, have the potential to contribute to 50% of the company's earnings in the next five years, on par with TV business.

"This is our strategy -- to diversify risks and offset a decline in TV advertising," he said.

Mr Surin said the company plans to adjust its advertising fees, particularly for news programmes that have gathered steam, and increase entertainment programmes next year.

Drama accounts for 50% of TV revenue and news programmes generate 30%. The rest is from variety programmes.

He said the company is increasing its own original content, not just dramas but also music as it can leverage content for a fan meet and increase opportunities for its strong celebrities to demonstrate their talent in addition to their acting skills.

In digital business, the company has the CH3 Plus app for online content viewership which has seen 10.6 million users, though there are still less than 100,000 paid subscription-based users.

The number of subscriptions is expected to increase in line of more offline activities for fandom.

The company is also exploring more channels for content viewership through social media platforms and over-the-top (OTT). It has licensed content aired in more than 20 countries.

Next year, the company expects a double-digit growth driven by new businesses and a new cross-platform rating in both traditional TV system and online means, said Mr Surin.

BEC World reported 2.6 billion baht in revenue and 346 million baht in net profit in the first half of this year, as opposed to 2.8 billion in revenue and 323 million in profit in the same period a year before.

It returned to the black with a profit of 761 million baht last year following years of losses.

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