Gonzalo Hita: ‘Flow is becoming an entertainment platform’

Gonzalo Hita, Telecom’s COO, took part in the Nextv Series Argentina event, leading TV and OTT conference developed by Dataxis, and expressed himself on several issues such as the recent  Netflix integration to Cablevision Flow, the advance towards 5G, how cord cutting affects today’s pay TV market and today’s subscription TV situation.

First, Hita spoke about Cablevisión Flow, which has recently added Netflix to its content catalog in Argentina. ‘Flow began as an answer to the Netflix success. It does not only has linear channels available, but it is becoming an entertainment platform. Contents are very important, but also it is part of the global interface where they are shown’, he said, and added that, at present, Flow Up records more than one and a half million customers and exceeds one million registered devices.

‘We started to market Flow with ADSL 60 days ago’, said Hita, and reported that the service has expanded itself to other Argentine regions it did not reach until now. In addition, he said that ‘the division between fixed and mobile networks will disappear from the customer’s thoughts’, and reported that recent tests were developed for Flow not to consume data in the mobile network.

Hita also gave his opinion regarding 5G. ‘We need to find a business model that finances going from 4G to 5G. 5G must be a high speed and low latency transport service, but going to that upgrade needs to be justified. Going to 5G means going to the evolution of technology, but  not to its revolution’, he reflected.

According to Hita, from the Flow’s 600 thousand customers, 50% of them watch Netflix through a STB. ‘The concept of making life easier for clients by unifying services in one place, works. Everything the client wants to watch and enjoy is going to be included in the Flow’s world’, he said, adding that ‘Netflix is not intended to become a cable services replacer’.  At the same time, he stated that there is no intention to abandon cable TV services today (in reference to cord cutting), ‘but there is less interest in younger people in traditional cable TV services. The cable TV model is going to move so fast in the coming years and we have to innovate to find that solution. The paradigm in which we are moving is changing’, he said.

When reflecting on future goals, Hita said that the TV rights owners will go directly to  consumers and will generate a business restructure. It is necessary to bet a lot on platforms and content’.  In addition, he said that today, “pay TV is in a too passive role, and must be much more active, with platforms and distribution. Connectivity and cable TV will go hand in hand, and we must get used to having our own and also third partie’s brands’ he concluded.