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‘E-sports is a colossal sector’: Q&A with Debbie Lee, founder of TechStorm

The Singapore-based e-sports and tech entertainment network TechStorm is now available to Thailand’s AIS Play subscribers.

TechStorm, the Singapore-based e-sports and tech entertainment network on Wednesday announced a partnership with AIS Play, the entertainment platform of the Thai mobile provider. From this month, TechStorm’s content will be available to all AIS Play subscribers, marking its first expansion into Thailand.

Other than award-winning programs like Shark Tank and The Gadget Show, TechStorm also airs Storm Bytes, an in-house production, and has a dedicated e-sports time belt on weekday nights. It is now available across 20 countries in the Asia-Pacific region and reaches more than 37 million viewers.

KrASIA spoke with founder Debbie Lee about the company’s future plans.

Debbie Lee, founder of TechStorm. Photo courtesy of TechStorm.

KrASIA (Kr): Why has TechStorm partnered with AIS Play to enter the Thai market?

Debbie Lee (DL): AIS has been a great choice of partner for TechStorm given our multiple synergies that converge across their business lines, segment focus, and their efforts to address young, aspiring millennial Thai viewers. TechStorm is passionate about the same things. We address and appeal to the “passion points” of young Thais: E-sports, gaming, following the coolest, latest innovation trends around the world, and big dreams of owning a unicorn startup.

This landmark partnership will put TechStorm at the front of AIS’ dominant market share of Thai users, and really help us engage with these new viewers, giving them a taste of our premium and exclusive content. We are like-minded in terms of the market focus and are confident in Thailand’s long-term growth.

Kr: With the entry into Thailand, TechStorm is now available in six countries across Southeast Asia. What are TechStorm’s future expansion plans?

DL: One thing we know for sure is this: We will keep expanding and we will keep growing. We’ve clocked in multiple country roll-outs at a record speed of less than 18 months. Our ambitions are global, beyond the sights of Asia. But Asia, as a whole, still presents attractive growth metrics unseen in other parts of the world. It is home to 3 billion people, with a huge percentile coinciding with the target demographics of TechStorm’s fan segment of 18 to 35 years old. In the next few months, our efforts will focus on driving further growth in market roll-outs and deepening our engagement with our fan base across existing countries.

Kr: How big is the market for e-sports content? How is TechStorm monetizing this interest?

DL: E-sports is a colossal sector valued at more than USD 150 billion, with a rising audience touted to increase to 1.57 billion worldwide. TechStorm’s e-sports content appeals to and addresses this market segment’s rising interest and priority to various stakeholders.

Right now, TechStorm is gaining recognition across [Asia] quickly. We are capitalizing on this brand growth with a premium licensing business model and commercially drive this growth with advertising and sponsorships.

Kr: TechStorm has a mix of e-sports, tech, and entrepreneurship-related content right now. How will your future content direction look like?

DL: Our brand is synonymous with the youth and pop culture segment, which loves all things e-sports, gaming, tech, and startups. This is the journey forward for us. We have already proven that this content mix is a perfect blend that reflects what our viewers want. However, having said that, we plan to increase our e-sports and gaming content by 300% to 500% in the months ahead. Given our data- and metric-driven approach and in-depth domain expertise of the Asian market, we’re confident that this exciting new content line-up will resonate with our fanbase.

Responses have been edited for length and clarity.