Content 'needs more support'

Content 'needs more support'

Policies for promoting the digital content industry are urgently needed because it plays a crucial role in the development of a digital economy, says the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI).

Given its rapid increase in market value, the digital content sector needs greater support from the government in providing more funding channels and amending regulations involving copyright.

Increasing the number of talented workers is also needed to accommodate industry growth, said TDRI chairman Somkiat Tangkitvanich.

Thailand's digital content market was valued at 15.6 billion baht in 2013, with 6.4 billion from e-learning, 4.52 billion from online games and 4.71 billion from animation.

This year, e-learning is expected to grow by 9%, online games by 26% and animation by 4%.

"We expect the three markets to continue growing by 4-30% in 2015," said Mr Somkiat, citing a TRDI report commissioned by the Software Industry Promotion Agency.

Mr Somkiat said the digital content industry was still gaining momentum thanks to burgeoning digital TV business and mobile games, aggressive expansion of 3G and 4G networks by mobile operators, and lower prices of smart devices.

He said the TDRI had thrown its full support behind the government's digital economy policy. 

However, he said digital content must also be promoted as a key feature in parallel with software industry development to ensure the project is a success.

Thailand's software market is valued at 50 billion baht.

Mr Somkiat expressed concern about Thailand importing too much digital content. "It's time for the government to quickly promote the creation of a skilled workforce within the industry," he said.

He opposes the government's plans to provide subsidies for ailing state telecom enterprises TOT Plc and CAT Telecom.

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