IMDA Announces Initiatives for the Singapore’s Media Sector including S$8 million Fund to Protect Jobs
In Singapore, a series of initiatives have been announced by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) to help the local media sector during these difficult times. These initiatives aim to encourage media organizations to benefit from more production/project opportunities and reduced operating expenditure in addition to helping media professionals and freelancers in building their operational capabilities through training and enhancing skills. These initiatives are part of the nationwide efforts to protect jobs and livelihoods.
Supporting Media Professionals and Freelancers
One of the initiatives announced by the IMDA involves the launch of an S$8 million Public Service Content (PSC) fund, aimed at creating more production projects. The PSC fund will be helping media professionals in protecting their jobs by providing them with a platform to create more business opportunities.
Under this initiative, industry players like Singapore Press Holdings (SPC), Viddsee, and Mediacorp will commission short-form content to be published/released on their digital platforms through a call for proposal.
Media companies and their talented teams can use the lockdown period to start planning and conceptualizing their content and submit their proposals so that they are ready for production work when coronavirus restrictions are lifted within the country.
IMDA has extended its support to initiatives by media associations to help those who are suffering due to Covid-19. Also, IMDA will make a contribution of S$20,000 to the COVID-19 Relief Fund launched by the Singapore Association for Motion Picture Professional (SAMPP) to support media practitioners impacted by the postponement and cancellation of projects due to coronavirus. The fund will be offering grants of between S$300 and S$500 to the affected media professionals.
To encourage media professionals to enhance their skills during the lockdown, IMDA will be providing self-employed individuals with a training grant of up to 90% of course fees under the talent assistance scheme. The maximum amount of grant the talent scheme can offer to self-employed persons is S$3,000. In addition to reduced fees, self-employed individuals including freelancers can obtain training allowance for relevant eligible courses.
Supporting Media Companies
IMDA will be helping media companies by reducing their operating expenses. The license fee associated with Film Exhibition and Distribution will be waived from April 17, 2020. The waiver will be applicable for applications for new licenses as well as renewal of the existing ones. The label fees and classification fees for films and video games will also be waived until further notification.
IMDA will also be helping Singapore based media companies in strengthening their operational capabilities and increasing their competitiveness by leveraging the expertise of their Multinational Corporation (MNC) partners. IMDA has worked with international content providers such as ViacomCBS Networks Asia and WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks Asia Pacific, to implement the Capabilities Partnership Programme (CPP), which pairs local media organizations with media MNCs to develop “Made in Singapore” content. The CPP program is expected to benefit around 100 Singapore media entities over the period next 12 months.
The Minister for Communications and Information, S. Iswaran said, that Singapore Government will continue providing support to all media professionals and organizations amidst Covid-19 so that they can continue creating more content that inspires, motivates, and binds us all together during these difficult times.