Martinez Raposo: ‘Linear channels still have a long way to go, buy we must offer content for any device’

Another of the virtual panels that were developed during the last Nextv Series South America edition was titled ‘The new market of VOD films and series in South America’. The team of industry experts gathered by Dataxis gave their point of view on various related issues, including the fight against movie piracy in Latin America; transactional, free and premium subscriptions; access to better content by small and medium pay TV operators; and VOD content on OTT and Android TV platforms.

For the debate, Dataxis brought together a panel of experts made up of Mar Martinez Raposo, Director at Atresmedia Internacional; Olga Kornienko, Co-Founder & COO at EZDRM; and Sebastian Snaider, Vice President, Distribution & Account Manager Latam at Starz (Lionsgate).

Regarding his point of view on how the distribution business changed the film and series channels in the on demand consumption era, Snaider reported  that ‘distribution has changed so much in the last 10 years. Regarding the series in particular, 10 years ago, we saw that, on the first window, there were premium channels, and now it is no longer strange that the first window takes place in OTT services. Due to the constant evolution of consumers and technologies, today it is not possible to ensure that there is a common recipe in relation to the window and how it will be in the future’. In addition, he argued that, today, ‘premium channels make sense, and we must understand that consumers are not yet 100% TV Everywhere or 100% OTT fans. We are undergoing an evolution and, as the consumer uses more of the TV Everywhere platforms, I think that the premium channel will, perhaps, lose that sense gradually’.

‘We are currently experiencing a very interesting time, especially during these quarantine period, because people have time to see if they can hack a service or steal content. Surely, in today’s world, it is becoming permanent, due to the fact that many services are trying to broadcast not necessarily similar content, but, in a world where there are options to watch content on various providers, we must ensure security , because, if we lose consumers, we lose the income that comes from them’, said Kornienko in relation to the impact of piracy on  series and movies consumption. ‘At the end of the day, we are all part of a business and, if we do not have a business, we do not have revenue or a company’, he added.

Snaider also expressed himself about Starz’s strategy to integrate its OTT (Starzplay) in Latin American operators, and assured that ‘in commercial terms, in May 2018 we launched the OTT through Amazon, in the UK and Germany. We already had a non-local partner there, but at a global level. That also happens in Brazil and Mexico today, also with Amazon, and with Roku. In addition, since the beginning of 2019, we have been distributed throughout Latin America, through the Apple TV App, and we continue to grow with other partners. Today, we are available as a D2C offer in Mexico; Brazil; we have launched in Argentina and Chile; and, in terms of local partners, in Mexico we are distributed through Totalplay and izzi; and Claro in Brazil. Regarding the main challenges when integrating with an operator or integrator, the executive emphasized that there are ‘different types of integrations, but there are a multiplicity of protocols and different ways of integrating, and that requires technology and security’.

‘We are consolidating a mixed model, between the linear channel and the VOD that we deliver to the operators that have our channels available’, said Martinez Raposo, and then added that ‘the conjunction of both things is, at this moment, the most important thing. We must not forget that there is still a large part of our audiences used to watching linear channels. They still have a long way to go. There is a large audience, and this is proved by the operators that have our channels, but, at the same time, we must offer that content in such a way that it reaches viewers at any time, situation and device available’.

Regarding his views of OTTs as aggregators, Martinez Raposo reported that they are ‘a technological medium, and not a difference or a competitor’. This way, Snaider assured that ‘as technology moves forward, new features become available, both for operators and for aggregators. Today that exists. The key point is in how technology advances and new opportunities are created to highlight the brand and put the most relevant content ahead’.

‘The arrival of Disney+ is highly awaited by many, and means a new opportunity that is opening up. The important thing is focused on audiovisual entertainment. It is clear that audiences are spending more and more time on audiovisual entertainment. Therefore, the better, the higher quality and the broader the offer is, audiences will have more options to choose from’, said Martinez Raposo. According to Snaider, ‘At Starzplay we consider ourselves a complement. We complement the big D2Cs with a differentiated value initiative, and with a price according to what people are able to pay’, he ended.