The metamorphosis of a traditional conglomerate: From chrysalis to a butterfly


Media Prima had its footprints in Malaysia since 1 June 1984 with its first private local TV station, TV3. Since then, it slowly expanded its business to various platforms including Print, Radio, Out of Home Advertising, Production and Distribution, and Digital. As the biggest local media conglomerate in Malaysia that focuses on traditional media, we realized the need to continuously evolve our business model to cater to the needs of consumers, especially in this digital ecosystem, hence, the metamorphic transformation from a traditional approach to a more digital-centric approach within the group.

Adaptation or Transformation?

The transformation of Media Prima started when we noticed the shift in advertising paradigm – companies were starting to explore digital initiatives and we jumped on the bandwagon by setting up a digital arm for the group. Gradually, we realized that we should do far more than adapt – we needed to transform the group as a whole to focus on digital initiatives and constantly innovate to meet the needs of our young audiences who are digitally savvy in order to include them in our audience reach. This was also in-line with the company’s vision to be the leading digital-first content and commerce company in Malaysia.

Mobile is the way forward

We started witnessing the growth of mobile content in Malaysia, which correlates with the high mobile penetration among Malaysians. As such, we formed a division called Media Prima Labs to focus on creating content on mobile (such as apps and games) based on the group’s intellectual properties to further extend our content to more than just the traditional platforms. We also wanted to gain the first mover advantage by being one of the first content providers to tap into the mobile sphere. Since its inception 3 years ago, we have reached more than 7 million downloads in total for all our apps combined.

Like peas in a pod – data and content

Everyone’s talking about data in this digital age, and we feel strongly about the importance of data to further strengthen Media Prima’s presence in the industry. With the abundance of content that we own and the reach that we have, we decided that it only made sense to set up our own data management platform to collect meaningful data from our audiences. That said, we had to decipher the data collected – as such, data scientists were brought on board to proactively fetch information from our apps and analyse it for better understanding of our audiences’ consumption and how we can further improve our content to ensure we serve personalized content to our consumers.
Once a database of audience data was built, the data science team ran a myriad of analyses to extrapolate the data and make inferences to identify newer application of the data. They work hand-in-hand with data engineers to build and manage a system to store and process the data and use it for better targeting. With that, we introduced audience+ to the market, where advertisers can reach out to relevant target audiences and ensure their ads are being served to the right people, thus optimizing their advertising and marketing cost.

audience+: 16 defined premium 1st party audience segments

Quality assurance is key

As a premium local publisher, we have the privilege of controlling the content published on our platforms, thus overcoming advertisers’ and marketers’ major concern over brand safety. We are also aware that the element of viewability is highly sought after and important to clients, even though it is not commonly used as a success metric as it ensures every marketing cent spent is put to good use. To address clients’ latent needs, we made some modifications to our ad placements to improve ad prominence and increase its viewability.
One of the advantages in working with premium publishers like Media Prima who owns a solid end-to-end platform is our ability to minimise ad fraud to a large extent by constantly monitoring for different forms of fraudulent clicks and malicious activities. With this in place, our campaign performance reports are highly transparent and we can retain our position as a trusted publisher in the market.

A new approach to gaming

Remember those days when parents yell at their kids for playing games or claim that they can’t make a living from doing so? How things have changed over the decades. Gaming is now a lucrative segment to venture into seeing that there are 14 million gaming enthusiasts in Malaysia with the industry generating revenue of over US$586 million (source: Newzoo). We immediately saw the potential of this emerging industry in Malaysia and formed our own gaming division, MyGameOn – a portal to share the latest localised game reviews and live broadcasts of various eSports events. We also organized eSports events to engage with gamers and industry experts that enable us to reach out to a demographic that has never been very receptive towards traditional media.

Building on another’s strength

With decades of experience experimenting with new media ideas and exploring new technologies, we realized that it would take a long time to build a good product from scratch, especially in the ever changing and fast-paced environment. To stay relevant, we had to be fast. Hence, we pivoted our strategy and started to acquire businesses that would complement and align with the company’s vision.
The first move was to acquire Rev Asia Holdings Sdn Bhd – a step to ensure that we have a strong foothold in digital and social content. With this acquisition, Media Prima became the number one local media entity in Malaysia overnight, with a digital audience reach of close to 10.6 million unique users. We also acquired a 52% stake in Vocket to further expand our content and reach. Moving forward, we will look into more acquisitions.

Other products are going digital too

Earlier this year, we organized a TV screening day to introduce our latest digital products and innovations to marketers and agencies. Many of them witnessed the change in the way we digitalise traditional products and some of these include diversifying our renowned IPs into digital assets. We also integrated ‘Camment’, an engagement tool using video messages and artificial intelligence (AI) into our OTT platform, tonton, as well as incorporated Augmented Reality (AR) in our live TV shows. On top of that, we organized a youth-driven on-ground activation, Gegaria Fest, to bring together the young crowd and did a live broadcast to reach out digitally to individuals who aren’t in the vicinity.

About Media Prima Digital

Media Prima Digital spearheads innovation, digital marketing and technology within the Media Prima Group via an integrated and agile approach. We understand the art and science of creating an enduring bond between consumers and brands from a digital perspective, hence we strive to offer a holistic and end-to-end digital solutions encompassing performance marketing, mobile app development, data analytics, social media listening and many more from a 360° perspective. With the recent acquisition of Rev Asia Holdings, Media Prima Digital aims to strengthen its online presence as the digital content mogul in this region. Our group’s rich intellectual properties and diversified media platforms also allow brands to access to the mass audience in a unique and comprehensive manner digitally.