FTA TV, between the linear and on demand model

During the first day of the Nextv Series Argentina event, the leading conference that took place on May 14th and 15th at the Intercontinental Hotel in Buenos Aires, organized by Dataxis, the panel ‘OTT and the future of FTA TV’ was developed.Patricia Bazan (Megamedia), Pablo Massi Nápoli (America TV Peru), Joe Fregoso (Mediagenix) and Mariano Kon (Cont.ar) took part of it. The debate’s central point was focused on contents that are chosen by FTA audiences, what model is proposed for the future and the mixing between linear and non-linear models.

Mariano Kon, International Content & Business Senior Consultant in Cont.ar, defined the platform as ‘the Argentine State’s OTT’, and said that it is ‘a content presentation platform that is part of the official support for Argentine audiovisual production’. The executive explained that, at present, the OTT has 500 thousand subscribers. “It was a marvel and a nightmare to launch this platform during the World Cup. We started very high and then we could work on the details, with the streaming of public channels and the entire National Radio system, which began to make podcasts and reach an audience through mobiles and tablets, encouraging the industry’, said Kon. Patricia Bazán, Director of Contents and Quality Standards of Megamedia, said that 50% of the holding contents are on demand but, although the launching of the company’s OTT is scheduled for the second half of the year, she is thinking on a mixed model. “We plan to include exclusive content and releases, and we are extending abroad’, she said.

In a similar way with this model, Joe Fregoso, Director of Business Development for the Americas at Mediagenix, also expressed himself on the need to develop one that proposes connections between FTA and on demand (both linear and non-linear). ‘Mediagenix is a company that was born as a content provider for linear channels. We have evolved, and now the biggest challenge is how to get the highest revenue from each platforms’, he said, adding that, while the administration is complex, the main challenge will lie in  ‘how to deliver the content to all platforms, keeping rights control and monetization’.

‘The business mother will be linear TV, because of the ‘companionship’s syndrome’, said Pablo Massi Napoli, CEO of America Televisión (Peru). The executive said that TV is ‘something more than a content platform’, and emphasized its role as part of the home, which is why he indicated that ‘the future of TV is not focused on the OTT’. In addition, he expressed that ‘FTA TV represents our main source of income, through ad sales, and if we think about OTTs we have to analyzehow it is monetized. The executive highlighted América TV as the main producer in Peru, and emphasized the add-sales business, which he considers the most important in the company. Regarding the role of FTA, Bassi said he considers it necessary to address the needs of audiences that do not have access to content outside of TV, as in the case of VOD. ‘Half of the Latin American population  does not have access to pay TV. It is an audience to which we have to be connected and who also prefer local content. There is a social mission that worries us, and a lot of audience’, he concluded.