Digital media to drive Asia growth

Online and out-of-home primary contributors

Related story: Asian films a Star attraction

HONG KONG -- The growth of digital media will drive sales and profits for more than 100 Asian media companies over the next three years, Media Partners Asia's Vivek Couto said Monday at the Asia Media Summit.

Sales and profits are expected to grow 7% and 17%, respectively, Couto said, with the highest levels of growth belonging to the online and out-of-home sectors. Couto added that the higher cost of video-content acquisition and product innovation will be balanced by advertising growth and business from games and other services.

Growth in broadcast and print media, pay TV and broadband distribution will suffer from the rising cost of content and increasing competition. However, encouraged by media companies in China and India, profit growth in emerging Asia will grow 30% in 2008 and 19% in 2009 and 2010, excluding Japan and Australia.

In addition, online advertising and e-commerce, the transition to digital pay TV and the rise of broadband will drive the growth of search and branded Internet advertising, transactional revenue and subscription revenue, which in turn will reduce the dependence on traditional models, Couto said.

Driven by China, India and Indonesia, advertising growth in emerging Asia is expected to reach 10% in 2009.