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Discovery Asia Strikes Dual Digital Deals With VS Media, Tabilabo

Variety logo Variety 4/27/2017 Patrick Frater
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Discovery Networks Asia Pacific has struck two new partnerships in Asia. One is with VS Media, a multichannel network addressing digital natives in Greater China. The other is with Tabilabo, a leading digital media and technology businesses in Japan.

The deals are among a series of measures intended to help Discovery connect with hundreds of millions of younger, predominantly mobile, consumers in Asia Pacific, who may not be fully served by the group’s linear channels and current digital offerings.

Having last year acquired a minority stake in VS Media, Discovery is now partnering with VS to launch Tanba, a platform for customized short-form video that stimulates curiosity and new learning. Material is sourced from Discovery’s global catalogue and is localized by VS Media to deliver packages of video content on subjects ranging from health and wellness, science and technology, travel and lifestyle, art and fashion, to history and nature.

The content is distributed on leading online and social media platforms in China including Bilibili, Eyepitizer, Meipai, Miaopao, Pear Video, Penguin, QQ, Toutiao, WeChat, Weibo, and Youku. In other markets in Asia, video content is played out on Facebook and YouTube.

The deal with Tabilabo sees the two companies collaborate to create a premium video advertising solution across digital and linear platforms.

“We are deeply committed to engaging more viewers across more screens than ever before, building our presence on new platforms and attracting young passionate communities that advertisers want to reach with unique branded content opportunities through VS Media and Tabilabo’s extensive networks and strong base of millennial audiences,” said Arthur Bastings, president and MD of Discovery Networks Asia Pacific.

As channels, brands and content owners tap into Asia’s millions of consumers who get their first taste of the Internet via mobile, relations with telecoms providers are increasingly important. In South East Asia, Discovery is now headed by former telecoms executive Shavkat Berdiev. He is seeking a new deal between traditional media companies and the telcos and is pioneering hybrid business models that straddle pay-TV and free-to-air models. The company recently greenlighted more than a dozen new original shows in Asia.

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