TV must adapt itself to OTT market and audiences

One of the panels developed during the first day of Nextv CEO Latin America, leading conference organized by Dataxis last November 5th and 6th at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Miami, was titled ‘Is pay TV via OTT the future of TV?’, was attended by Steve Oetegenn, President of Verimatrix; Ezequiel Fonseca Zas, SVP Multiplatform Strategy & Marketing of Viacom International Media Networks; Alfredo Arosemena Ruiz-Huidobro, CEO at Telefonica Media Networks, and Carlos Cabrera, VP of Sales for the pay TV division at Cisneros Media.

Some of the topics that were debated in the panel were focused on the role of ‘skinny bundles’ in Latin America, OTT Pay TV without STB directly to smart TVs and limitations on content rights, among other topics.

‘We must produce content for the different services’, said Fonseca Zas, and emphasized how expensive technological integration is. Regarding new content consumption models, Arosemena said that ‘there is no more TV. There is linear and non-linear consumption, and a need to reach the final user. Linear TV programs are now creating their own platforms’, he said. On the other hand, Cabrera said that  ‘programming depends on the strategy’ and said: “I do not think linear TV is over, but there will be a rearrangement with perhaps 60 channels that share the consumer’s eyes with streaming services’.

Oetegenn also gave his point of view on this issue, and said that ‘today’s kids are still watching TV in different ways. Operators must create a ‘seamless’ experience, but the key thing is how to create them’. Regarding the current market at the regional level, the executive said that in Latin America ‘it is possible to grow. It is getting slower, but that is a challenge to create more attractive offers’.  And, when talking about challenges, he indicated that they consist of ‘having a unified control system of rights, and a system that operates when there is mobility, that the network does not become interrupted or makes users enter a password you do not remember’.

‘Segmented markets admit several answers, so there are different types of consumers’. In this regard, he said that ‘Pluto TV –acquired this year by Viacom– has 200 digital channels in the US, and people are not the same during the day. We have to think of a user whose modality changes throughout the day or days’.

When considering a business vision, Arosemena said that ‘there are many paradigms that are going to be broken. Two years ago we did not know what we would talk about today’.  In addition, he said that ‘the only thing that matters are customer, how we keep them with us and what we do not to lose them’. The executive also highlighted growth opportunities in Brazil.