Hepmil Media Group (HMG), which owns media companies SGAG, MGAG, PGAG and SGEEK, has launched a new subsidiary, Hepmil Creators’ Network (HCN). It aims to provide business opportunities for independent comedy content creators in Southeast Asia (SEA), while leveraging its expertise in comedy to mentor these talents. At the same time, it enables a fuss-free coordination for brands to ensure its campaigns’ objectives are met and brand-safe content is produced for millennials and Gen Zs.
Leading the growth of the network is Cassi Yang, Agency Lead of Hepmil Media Group. She will be supported by HMG’s newly appointed board of director Brian Tiong, who currently heads B-side, a Digital Media Advisory, which is well connected in the entertainment & media industry. He was also the ex-group CEO of Yeah1 Network, which under his leadership, was at its peak as the largest Youtube Network in the Asia Pacific with over 6 billion monthly views & 4,000 creators in its network.
Karl Mak, CEO & Co-Founder of Hepmil Media Group said, “We have been creating hyper-localised comedy content in the last eight years through SGAG, PGAG and MGAG, where SGAG is now the top comedy platform combined across Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter in Singapore. Just last month alone, we had over 25 million views for our content created across all our subsidiaries. This experience enables us to understand the kind of content that entertains the local audience in different countries, as well as the challenges independent creators in the markets face. With the Hepmil Creators’ Network, we hope to help these talents in the region to grow in their craft and business opportunities to focus on what they do best, while supporting brands and the digital content ecosystem as a whole.”
“I am personally excited about this new subsidiary, which will be led by Cassi, our first employee at the Group. With experience in content and partnerships, and business development, Cassi now leads innovation & marketing at the Group and brings her industry insights to the table, alongside the support of Brian and a team who is committed to be a valued partner for both content creators and brands,” he added.
A mentor to rising creators and contributor in growing the region’s ecosystem
While creators in the region find it easier to express their creativity and be discovered on social media platforms, many of them lack the knowledge and support to be sustainable in the business and strengthen their content creation skills. Despite the massive growth of content creators in the region, many still face challenges such as not knowing where to look for business opportunities, understanding brand objectives and answering the brief, how to work on business proposals, and even turning their passion in content creation into a full time, sustainable career.
Powered by Hepmil’s servicing expertise and data analytics from its years of experience, the HCN aims to help comedy creators monetise their branded content, improve their craft, navigate between social media platforms, and work with brands to develop entertaining, localised and brand-safe content. This includes the TikTok comedy creators, who are fast increasing in the region. HCN currently comprises 11 Singapore creators such as top TikTok creator and Taekwondo athlete Ng Ming Wei (2.4 million followers), and 12 Filipino creators such as Tyrone Tiaga who has one of the highest number of followers in the Philippines (1.5 million followers). It will also look to grow its network of creators to include those in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam too, as well as comedy creators on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.
With an in-house production, creative and strategic team, HCN will broaden the reach of these creators’ content and channels while providing co-creation and income opportunities through brand partnerships. Creators in Singapore will also have free access to the network’s studio space, facilities, and filming equipment to create more content. In addition, mentorship will be provided through creator workshops and resources to guide them in preparing quality proposals for brands and receiving feedback on their content based on data analytics and insights. It will also engage social media platforms to discuss challenges and opportunities faced by creators, while having those under HCN to learn and adopt industry best practices.
“The biggest win we found from this programme is how it opened up a number of doors for us; we can access clients and projects that we may not have been able to previously. Hepmil Creators’ Network effectively handles the business for us, while we focus solely on creating good content without worries of sourcing and liaising with clients. Being able to see a return on our hard work helps too, it motivates us to no end knowing that there is value in our creations,” said Raye Ng, Co-Founder of Just Keep Thinking.
In the face of the current COVID-19 outbreak, HCN has been encouraging its creators to produce educational and light-hearted content to entertain the audience, while keeping each other safe and healthy. For example, its TikTok creators in the Philippines have seen a 41% increase in followers following the country’s lockdown, a surge in TikTok hashtag challenges and more content developed. To support the content creators in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines during this trying period, it actively looks for business opportunities for them, while guiding them through digital means to take their content creation to the next level and hone their business intuition. To date, 70% of its creators in Singapore have been involved in developing content for brands which seek support since March 2020 across TikTok, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
A valued partner to brands and agencies
HCN will also support brands and agencies in partnering independent creators in the region to develop resonating and brand-safe content for the audience, first on TikTok then on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. In particular, it will provide the following values:
Easy discovery of suitable comedy creators. Many new content creators are coming onboard TikTok daily. Just last year, there was a 70% year-on-year increase in the number of TikTok users. Brands and agencies can tap on the Creators’ Network to discover and connect with the most suitable comedy creators to develop brand-safe content.
Ease in coordination and optimisation with a central point of contact. Working with a central account manager, brands and agencies will have a single point of contact in managing their campaigns. This provides ease in the facilitation process and enables always-on campaign performance tracking, alongside savings in cost-per-views (CPV). At the same time, they can also be assured of the quality of ideas and proposals, ensuring that they meet the objectives of the brief.
Karl added, “With TikTok taking Southeast Asia by storm, we can also be a valued partner to brands and agencies that are keen to reach the Gen Zs and millennials on the platform, but are unsure of how to go about it. While we will eventually expand our network across various social media platforms, we also want to contribute to boosting the quality and quantity of brand-safe content on these platforms collectively for users, thus enhancing the entire digital content ecosystem.”
Some of the TikTok brand campaigns which HCN has worked on with its partners include Samsung’s “Solve for tomorrow” competition that encourages the Gen Z audience to conceptualise ideas that will make a meaningful impact on the community; and Circles.Life’s #HelloNeighbour campaign that nudges Singaporeans to display encouraging messages by their windows to interact with their neighbours during the Circuit Breaker period.