[Manic Monday] My Wishlist: Digital Entertainment in Indonesia, 2013

[Manic Monday] My Wishlist: Digital Entertainment in Indonesia, 2013

[Manic Monday] My Wishlist: Digital Entertainment in Indonesia, 2013
[Manic Monday] My Wishlist: Digital Entertainment in Indonesia, 2013

This is my first post in 2013 – so I thought it would be fitting to jot down a few things that I hope will happen in 2013 in the digital entertainment scene here. 2012 has certainly been an interesting year – International music services like iTunes and Deezer finally arrived, the much-adored (by industry players, at least) RBT is somewhat ‘resurrected‘, and of course, perhaps many other things that has not shown their importance yet. Naturally, this list is very subjective.

On-Demand CD Service
CDs are quite cheap to print and there should be a lot of CD masters lying around at recording companies not having seen the light of day for many years. Reversely, many music enthusiasts may be looking for said CD, but not at an amount that is economical to produce.

Most recording companies would only want to do a production run minimum of 1,000 CDs, which then need to be distributed to all the CD stores and distribution agents. Maintaining a physical CD store gets more difficult every year with the decline in mass CD sales, but it doesn’t mean that the demand is virtually zero.

An online CD store could be cheaper to run, as long as they can cover costs to pay for printing the CDs and covers, paying royalties to the music labels, and operational costs. And here’s the kicker: print the CDs based on orders, not the other way around, and perhaps charge more for non-stocked items.

The online CD store could actually stock items, but should have access to a multitude of recording masters waiting for a customer. Since a music enthusiast would be willing to pay more, the cost of printing a very small number of CDs can be transferred to the willing buyer. This can work, but I have no idea why none of the music labels have done this already.

Indonesian Online Movie Bank
On the heels of Spuul, there should be an online movie bank for Indonesian movies. Indonesian movie production is admittedly not as high as India, but there are also many movies that have the potential to find new audiences. I look to Korean dramas, which purposefully or not, have gained popularity in Indonesia through pirate video sites and pirate CDs.

If there was a properly-managed online movie bank, complete with multilingual subtitling, and a revenue stream for paying back royalties to the rights holders or the studios, this could work. The online movie bank could be a part of a larger enterprise which manages movie screenings in areas without cinemas (popularly known in Indonesia as layar tancep), where they could play any movie on demand, as long as they have a good internet connection, instead of being stuck with the movie reels/tapes they brought with them).

Comprehensive Media Service Ecosystem
This has been my dream since a few years back, and takes inspiration from the iTunes ecosystem. Now that cheap touchscreen media devices have mass popularity in Indonesia, it shouldn’t be much of a leap of imagination to connect and ecosystem of that device, with a comprehensive library, and delivered through a dedicated internet connection. Only a company or a consortium with a lot of resources would be able to pull this off, but it could be done – on paper.

The funny thing is, corporate egos and short-term revenue targets may get in the way. Even Apple had to settle by partnering with AT&T. iTunes is one of the most ideal digital media ecosystems I know but there should be many ways of doing it. And since Apple does not yet have a dominant position in the Indonesian market, there may yet be a chance for a homegrown service to thrive.

These are of course my ideas, my wishes; you’re welcome to pitch in your thoughts in the comments!

Ario is a co-founder of Ohd.io, an Indonesian music streaming service. He worked in the digital music industry in Indonesia from 2003 to 2010, and recently worked in the movie and TV industry in Vietnam. Keep up with him on Twitter at@barijoe or his blog athttp://barijoe.wordpress.com.

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