Discovery's APAC CEO Arthur Bastings is coming up to the halfway point of a major business overhaul and strategic reset for the company in Asia-Pacific.
Much of it means new people, products, and business lines as the company looks to develop consumer-oriented franchises that can help rebuild earnings, which have taken a hit in recent years, from 2018 onwards.
Bastings has already laid down the groundwork since taking the role one year ago, shaking up senior management while initiating wide-scale research to better understand younger audiences, evolving digital lifestyles, and what these changes mean for factual programming in particular.
Success hinges on nurturing the core branded channels business, the bulk of revenues today, while placing bets outside the pay-TV ecosystem, in areas such as online and free-to-air, for the long term.
Bastings wants to put in place ramping up local content production in large markets, India and China, while teaming up with online video startups (i.e., VS Media and Viddsee) that are experimenting with new forms of content and distribution in Asia.
New content franchises, however, and the audiences around them, take time to build.
Over the next 12 to 18 months, Bastings wants to do more increasingly with existing and new distribution partners, to see what kinds of content and user interfaces can boost consumption, to help direct future investment.