WarnerMedia opens regional hub in Singapore

Mrs Josephine Teo (left) and Mr Clement Schwebig, Managing Director of WarnerMedia for India, Southeast Asia and Korea, touring the WarnerMedia’s office in Fusionopolis on Sept 24, 2021. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

Major media company WarnerMedia has opened a regional hub in Singapore and will be launching its premium HBO Max platform in Asia.

This is significant for Singapore's media companies, said Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo at the opening on Friday (Sept 24).

By working with local professionals and companies to produce original content, WarnerMedia will open this region to the rest of the world, she said at the corporation's premises in Solaris, at the Fusionopolis technology and media business park.

WarnerMedia is home to global brands and franchises including DC, Harry Potter's Wizarding World, Looney Tunes and Game Of Thrones.

Mrs Teo said that this year, about 90 Singapore companies and 700 media professionals are expected to benefit from collaborations with multinationals like WarnerMedia. "Our local companies are hungry to tell the world the rich tapestry of stories from Singapore and the region."

She cited two works already in production: Season two of the horror anthology Folklore, created by award-winning Singapore film-maker Eric Khoo, and Forbidden, a Thai supernatural thriller.

Mrs Teo also mentioned that such content would be part of the upcoming HBO Max streaming service for the region.

At the event, WarnerMedia announced the launch of HBO Max in Asia, though it gave no date for the platform's debut in this region. The company today operates its HBO Go streaming service in Asia.

HBO Max was launched in May last year and is available today in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, with expansion to parts of Europe announced. The company hopes the platform, with its expanded content, will be an attractive option next to rival services Netflix and Disney+.

In a press statement, Mr Amit Malhotra, managing director of HBO Max in South-east Asia, India and Korea, said: "As we get ready to launch HBO Max in our first Asian markets, we'll build on WarnerMedia's legacy of incredible stories and introduce a brand new streaming experience for our fans in the region."

The new 40,000 sq ft office takes up two floors at Solaris. Designed by Singapore firm ID21, it incorporates a "post-Covid, flexible work environment". The hub brings its brands - media and entertainment companies Warner Bros, HBO and Turner - under one roof, consolidating six different offices across Singapore and two from Hong Kong.

Mr Clement Schwebig, managing director of WarnerMedia for India, South-east Asia and Korea, said in a press statement that in Singapore, the company has "long supported a sizeable ecosystem for the entertainment, broadcast, production and licensing industries".

He added: "From our new Singapore hub, we will continue with our ambitious plans for the region."

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