According to a survey commission by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC), Hong Kong has become the most popular trading centre in Asia for entertainment content. The article in Monsters&Critics reveals that the survey, which interviewed 332 entertainment industry players from around the world, yielded the following information:
- More than 50 per cent of the respondents said they had acquired entertainment content from Hong Kong in 2006 followed by the Chinese mainland, Japan, Korea and Thailand, respectively.
- More respondents indicated that they would source entertainment from Hong Kong over the next 12 months, citing Hong Kong as the best place to reach out to the mainland and other Asian areas in exploring co-production opportunities and meeting buyers.
- More television professionals plan to expand their business in Hong Kong (86 per cent) and the mainland (90 per cent).
- The Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) was noted by survey respondents as a useful means of finding investment for film projects, as were Korea’s Pusan Promotion Plan and Japanfs Tokyo Project Gathering.
- About 90 per cent of the respondents said digital entertainment had the greatest growth potential, followed by television (78 per cent) and film (68 per cent).
- Survey respondents saw the Chinese mainland as the biggest growth potential in the film, television and digital entertainment sectors.
- More than 80 per cent of the respondents agreed that cross-media convergence will bring more business opportunities to the entertainment industry. They regarded the convergence of film and digital entertainment as having the strongest growth potential in the next 12 months.
The main flaw with using these survey results as evidence for the self-proclaimed title of “Asia’s Entertainment Hub” is that the survey was conducted at the Hong Kong Film & TV Market (FILMART). Naturally, one would expect attendees at this fair to be more likely to purchase content from Hong Kong than other Asian countries. If more than 50 percent of respondents had NOT chosen Hong Kong, it would arguably have been more of a slap in the face to the Hong Kong Trade Development Council than these results are to boast about.
Organisers of the Tokyo or Pusan film markets could run the same research at their respective events and quite possibly reach the conclusion that their country was indeed the entertainment hub of Asia.’ To give these figures any real tractability, the same survey would need to be run in Tokyo and Pusan (substituting Hong Kong’s name for the relevant market). If Hong Kong still emerged as the most popular media and entertainment region, then the Council would have something to boast about.
I am not disputing the importance of Hong Kong in Asian and global media markets – particularly in it providing access to mainland China. I must protest however, when data is used out of context to support such hyperbolic statements.
For some insight into a broader spectrum of opinions from different participants, see the article in The Hollywood Reporter.