sub newsletter

What to Look Out for in the APAC Media Industry in 2022? (Part 1)

What to Look Out for in the APAC Media Industry in 2022? (Part 1)

The media industry saw a challenging 2021, from journalists grappling with virtual reporting to declining print revenue. Alongside these challenges are opportunities such as the shift in digital media consumption and the rise of new technology and platforms. 2022 looks set to be an exciting year for the industry with buzz centered around concepts such as the metaverse, Artificial Intelligence, and paid content subscription for quality content.

In a two-part special, PR Newswire’s Audience Development Team, which operates from 9 markets across APAC, charts out what lies ahead for the media industry and spotlights upcoming trends and much-talked-about topics in 2022.  We start the series by zeroing in on 4 markets: Australia, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia.



What to Look Out for in the APAC Media Industry in 2022? (Part 1)

1. Anticipating the impact of Facebook’s Metaverse

The introduction of Facebook’s metaverse will give way to a new social platform whose immersive nature will redefine how people consume information, share ideas and experience virtual interactions.

What some have referred to as the ‘successor to today’s internet’, will force brands to iterate new strategies to compete in the virtual universe. With the limitations of physical space now a thing of the past, the content will soon be delivered in new and creative ways. As a result, brands that find innovative ways to share information will quickly excel above those who maintain traditional means. Like anything new, this will also pose some interesting questions of regulation. Having just established a new relationship with Facebook and other tech giants, the Australian government will likely go back to the drawing board to reconsider how the content regulations might need to be amended.

2. Travel in 2022

In the wake of 2021’s extended lockdown, interest in both domestic and international travel is expected to skyrocket. That said, the pandemic has left would-be-travelers with worries surrounding the complexity of COVID rules and restrictions. In 2022, travel expertise is a currency to be traded on, with over 30% of travel intenders seeking expert advice, information surrounding the industry is in high demand.

Travel motivators have also been impacted by the pandemic as Australian’s opt for safe and stress-free options over the lowest price. New Zealand, the United States, and the United Kingdom are among the top destinations for 2022 among Australians, ‘Experience stacking’ is proving quite common in travel planners, as Australians are trying to make up for the lost time by booking as much as they can into one holiday.

RELATED: Get media pitching tips from journalists in PR Newswire’s Travel Media Pitching Kit 

3. Rise of Subscription Revenue

Yet another impact of the pandemic is the rise of subscription revenue over ad revenue in the news media industry. With many brands holding back their ad spend over the last two years, ad revenue for major publications reached an all-time low while the public’s interest in the status of the pandemic grew. With a hunger for information, many Australians looked to major publications for news of COVID-19 updates and were happy to subscribe to trusted names to get it. News Corp, one of Australia’s largest names in the industry, reported a total loss of over AUD$60M in the last financial year but still showed a 17% increase in circulation and subscription revenue.

However, the key to maintaining this revenue and ensuring subscribers remain loyal is to keep the bar high for the quality of content. One such example is The Australian, News Corp’s broadsheet national paper, which was among the first to establish digital subscriptions and has since shown exponential growth in revenue at the hardest of times.


Mainland China

What to Look Out for in the APAC Media Industry in 2022? (Part 1)

1. Technology will continue to drive content production

Media organizations will continue to apply innovative solutions to produce content, including data and information charts produced by AI and machine learning. Other uses of technology in content production include media monitoring, real-time alerts, and incorporating user feedback into online content editorial decisions

As audiences have higher expectations of content, Chinese media platforms, especially traditional media outlets, must meet readers’ higher standards of original content. New technology will also speed up the production of quality content, especially in terms of incorporating multimedia and improving readability.

2. Media platforms will pay more attention to content metrics

According to a media survey report by PR Newswire APAC last year, content metrics are an important KPI for journalists. These metrics include a number of users’ views, comments, and reposts. With big data technology, metrics that measure content performance can be quickly obtained. Media companies will use such data to make decisions on the types of content to produce, and this would, in turn, impact the overall editorial direction in the future.

Content monetization will also be a hot topic. All media platforms are focused on how to generate commercial value from their content efficiently. As a result, more media platforms will invest in boosting traffic through quality content, while engaging in product placement in media-produced content. This is on top of the current trend of marketing products via e-commerce.

3. Video content is the way to go

Media platforms will produce and distribute more video content as they can attract the attention of target audiences and convey information effectively. Due to the surge of video content online, video production is now a core focus of many media organizations. Almost all of them have their in-house video teams who will engage in live-streaming, filming, and editing, as well as e-commerce activities.

Douyin owns a large database of video resources as well as access to a vast network of users. These videos will gradually be shared on various social media, mobile, and other video-streaming platforms. Video content will become even more popular with the ongoing integration of media formats.


Hong Kong

1. Journalists become “Key Opinion Leaders”

These days journalists do more than just to write their articles. They have evolved to “key opinion leaders” in their respective beats, conducting product tests and feature interviews on online platforms. For example, journalists are expected to provide their feedback when testing products and appear in videos that accompany online news articles to share their first-hand perspectives. This format is especially popular when reviewing newly launched technology products. Even print journalists have to be prepared to present in front of the cameras, on top of writing their articles.

2. Getting real-time audience insights with AI

The media is becoming more innovative when it comes to website design, collecting data and insights from its readers to attract clients, and placing advertisements that target audiences more accurately. In order to get more insights on the website traffic and time spent on the webpage, some media companies have added tracking codes to various sections of their websites or apps Some have also added specific keywords and thumbnail images to track traffic via specific news banners. These data would then be pitched to brands who are looking to advertise during the high-traffic period.

3. Focus on click rate of articles

Instead of chasing news, some editors are putting in more effort into following up on news that has generated buzz and is trending among social conversations. Such follow-up stories tend to attract more click rates from readers than a typical news article. These days, a news article may not necessarily have a “newsworthy” angle. In free newspapers that are heavily dependent on advertising, the “news” might be influenced by the types of advertisements that appear in the newspaper. For instance, if more healthcare advertisements are placed in the newspaper, the editors would tend to write more healthcare “news articles” to complement these advertisements.



1. More paid subscriptions for digital news

Paid subscriptions to digital news sources in Indonesia may hold promise. Consumers have already shown the willingness to embrace online media subscriptions. The number of paid television subscribers is increasing. As of January 2021, the video streaming platform Disney+ Hotstar has amassed 2.5 million subscribers after its launch last September. Some media experts have cautioned that with an estimated 45,000 media outlets in Indonesia, there will likely be some consolidation among regional news outlets to have meaningful success in attracting subscribers. Media outlets must evaluate their offerings and consider strategies to target and serve a specific niche audience.

2. More consumption of media through mobile devices

In Indonesia, smartphones are now ubiquitous – their mobile data rates are among the lowest in the world and the mobile network can reach the country’s rural areas. Research suggests an average Indonesian spends over five hours per day online on mobile devices. While online, Indonesians spend the most time with social media, followed by streaming music, gaming, and watching online videos. Media companies will produce more visual content that is accessible on smartphones.

RELATED: Read the entire 2020 APAC Media Landscape series here

Look out for the second part of this series will cover the 2022 media industry outlook for Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan & Thailand

For more information on receiving media insights, get in touch with us here.