Astro invests RM100 million with Karangkraf!

JVCo signing ceremony between Astro Malaysia and Karangkraf. 
(from left): Shafiq Abdul Jabbar, Astro Group Chief Financial Officer, Dato’ Rohana Rozhan, Astro Group Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ (Dr) Hussamuddin Hj. Yaacub, CEO Kumpulan Media Karangkraf and Dato’ Mohd Nasir Hj. Hamzah, Deputy Chairman Kumpulan Media Karangkraf

Signaling a big change in the media landscape of Malaysia, and galvanizing it further, Astro has gone ahead and announced a joint venture with Grup Majalah Karangkraf Sdn Bhd (GMK), which will see an investment of RM100 mn in the latter’s profitable digital arm KK360.

While announcing results for the nine months of the financial year ending 2018, Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd, also stated that it was aggressively securing engines for future growth.

It was building an ecosystem comprising watch, listen, read, shop and serve for the individual’s increasingly digital lifestyles in Malaysia and regionally.
And GMK, as the largest national publisher of local content IPs, has emerged as the natural fit for Astro, which is leveraging its scale, investments and relationships to consolidate the growing market.

Talking to MARKETING, Dato (Dr) Hussamuddin Yaacub, CEO, Kumpulan Media Karangkraf said, “we are known for our reach and depth for the Malay audience. For almost 40 years we have been entrenched in the hearts and mind of the Malays through our reach in printed publications and now our digital reach via KK360.”

“With Astro reigning in the broadcast space, be it radio, TV, and in the digital media space too, it is only time that partnerships be forged to create a media force to be reckoned with.”

Dato’ Rohana Rozhan, Group Chief Executive Officer of Astro, said: “In pursuit of our journey of reinvention, Astro is embracing change brought about by digital and mobile while staying true to our core as a consumer-first company.”

Was this move driven by the upswing in digital media consumption and expanding addressable audience?

For Astro, this is part of its strategic long-term growth portfolio that it form a JV for the content industry in Malaysia and Nusantara region. “The joint venture would extend Astro’s online presence amongst the Malay-language audience, propel its combined monthly unique visitors to approximately 10mn and is in line with its goal to build Nusantara and Islamic content verticals,” added Rohana.

The JV aims to pursue 360° monetisation strategies for the Karangkraf Digital’s content IPs across multiple platforms, leveraging on Astro’s capabilities, growing reach and engagement.

Today, the content industry in the Nusantara region command a total addressable market of RM48 billion which makes local, vernacular and ASEAN content IPs, the new premium.

Adding further, Dato Hussamuddin said, “our skills in creative story-telling combined with Astro’s reach will create an interesting multiplatform for the Malay audience segments.

Moreover, it is our aspiration to create a success story in not just the Malay segment but in Nusantara as a whole.”

Given Astro’s regional mobile and individual first propositions gaining popularity and its regional online video streaming service, Tribe witnessing a 92% increase, covering regions like Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Singapore, Hussamuddin’s plans may well turn real soon.

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