Vizrt, a Norwegian content production tool provider, has selected Thailand as its Asia-Pacific hub thanks to the country's growing number of broadcast operators, particularly in digital TV.
Thailand's broadcasting industry is shifting to digital from analogue, and authorities are calling for tenders to award digital licences, with service to start sometime next year.
"We plan to make a big presence in Thailand, not only in sales but also in research and development (R&D)," chief executive Martin Burkhalter said in Bangkok yesterday.
He said Thailand already hosts the company's second R&D centre, and all of the staff are Thai.
Thailand is a suitable location for Vizrt due to the many qualified people, particularly management and technical personnel, said Mr Burkhalter.
Based in Bergen, Norway, the company has shifted its Asia-Pacific R&D activities to Thailand from India due to the combination of local expertise and lower costs.
The company ploughs 16% of its global sales back into R&D.
New communications platforms are appearing in Thailand _ satellite TV, cable TV, online and soon 48 channels of digital terrestrial TV, all of which spells opportunity for Vizrt, said Mr Burkhalter.
As well, Indonesia, Laos and Myanmar also have room to grow thanks to new local communications regulations that welcome more newcomers in broadcasting.
Vizrt has three business lines for content development. First is broadcast graphics, taking massive amounts of data and turning them into easily understood graphics in real time such as stock news and weather reports.
The second line is digital media asset management, a solutions tool for archiving data digitally for easy recall.
Last is providing online platform software to run video content on websites, currently used by 600 news agencies worldwide.
Mr Burkhalter said software development for supporting multitasking among journalists will be the next big challenge for the industry, and Vizrt is gearing up to meet it.
Moreover, the broadcasting industry needs tools for gathering viewer feedback in real-time via social networks.
He said Asia-Pacific is Vizrt's biggest emerging market with 13% growth last year, just outpace the US and Europe.
Thailand alone grew at a very rapid rate of 58% from the existing six free TV channels and newcomers Thai Rath TV, the broadcasting arm of Thai Rath newspaper, Thailand's leading daily newspaper and pay-TV operator; giant entertainment groups GMM Grammy and RS; Post Publishing Co; and InTouch, the country's biggest communications group.
About the author
- Writer: Saengwit Kewaleewongsatorn
Position: Business Reporter