According to the ABS-CBN officials, the franchise denial pushed the Network to redirect its focus to online platforms and expedite its digital shift.
During the Internet & Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines’ (IMMAP) virtual DigiCon POP 2021 on October 11, ABS-CBN discussed the Network’s goal of strengthening its online presence.
“Our game plan is simple: to tell the most meaningful stories, to tell it to as many people as possible hence our renewed focus on digital,” Eugenio Lopez IV said.
Even before the franchise denial, ABS-CBN has been offering some of its content online. But since the Network leads the broadcast business before, it was not able to realize the power of its online assets.
The Network aims to strengthen its presence on facebook and YouTube and launched Kapamilya Online Live, which earns 10 to 15 million views every day.
“So, when the franchise denial happened, we had to take a hard look at our digital assets because they’re not affected by the franchise.
“It’s like watching Channel 2 but this time only on facebook and on YouTube and so that’s how Kapamilya Online Live was born,” ABS-CBN Head of Digital Entertainment Richard Reynante shared.
ABS-CBN also partnered with online streaming platforms such as Netflix, iWant TFC, and KTX.
ABS-CBN Head of Business Development and Head of Digital Services Elaine Uy Casipit said: “We’re sitting on a goldmine in terms of our digital footprint. It’s an ongoing content and distribution discovery for us as an organization. We’re learning along the way.”
The Lopez-owned media company is determined to improve its online services for both news and entertainment.
The online platforms used by the Network in delivering news to the audience were also enhanced.
“Pushing content to digital right away sends the message to our team and our audience as well, that digital is important and a major platform for our journalism,” ABS-CBN Head of News Digital Lynda Jumilla said.
Currently, ABS-CBN delivers news via the news.abs-cbn.com website, the ABS-CBN News app, YouTube, and facebook. In podcast format, people can also listen to news via Spotify and Amazon Alexa, a virtual assistant.
The Network has also developed its NXT brand, which was “born from the recognition of the need to have digital content.”
Despite the huge improvement, Jumilla said that the Network’s digital push is still a work-in-progress.
In terms of entertainment, the Network also aims to produce more online content.
Recently, they produced the digital series The House Arrest of Us which was released on Netflix.
“We couldn’t just sit there and wait and we felt that we had to do something to connect with our audience, we have to make our presence felt,” Star Cinema managing director Olivia Lamasan said.
ABS-CBN Head of Entertainment Production and Star Magic Lauren Dyogi also encouraged artists to strengthen their online presence and explore to produce online content like vlogging.
As they shifted online, ABS-CBN increased its following on its digital channels.
Its YouTube channel for entertainment now has 36.4 million subscribers, the biggest in Southeast Asia, while its news channel now has 12.9 million subscribers.