Pay TV operators face the OTT integration model and new ways of content consumption

During the last Nextv Series Colombia edition, the leading conference that took place last June 27th at the JW Marriott Hotel in Bogotá, Rodrigo Marquez Pulido, Product Leader at Claro Colombia, Ricardo Minari, VP Latam at SeaChange, Julio Cesar Gomez, General Manager at TeleVVD and Pedro Torres, Associate Director at SiriusTV +, starred in the panel ‘How to deploy an OTT strategy in pay TV’. Some of the main topics debated were news of the companies in the OTT / VOD segment; distribution models; changes in content consumption, how to build an own OTT and how to integrate and add third parties OTTs.

‘This year we started a movement called SeaChange 2.0, where we expanded our team from 4 to almost 20 people to cover the Latin American region. We opened our office in San Pablo, and we mainly changed our products and services offer’,explained Minari on the latest SeaChange news in the OTT / VOD area. ‘Before we had several products and services that we sold separately, now we have a solution called Framework, which allows operators to deploy an OTT operation in a fast and integrated way, and with cost control’, the executive said.

Later, Torres gave details of SiriusTV + emergence and explained that ‘it came up 24 months ago with the aim of bringing an integration solution that would allow us to convert the channels we receive and of which we have the broadcasting rights to make a distribution that is not in an analog process, but on an IP digital distribution, and allows us to grow with this solution in different parts of Colombia, not through conventional headers, but through a repetition solution, which is done through each node opened in each city or municipality that we operate’, he explained, and informed that, ‘in its first phase, the purpose is to distribute IPTV content towards a linear distribution, through business developers in many areas, which currently  have high quality distribution networks, and we integrate our virtual headers, and so we do a development operation under the operator’s closed distribution network’. Later, Gomez indicated that TeleVVD is ‘delivering products so that those people who are developing OTTs can have access to channels that already have authorization for their content to be available in streaming, or also the players that have already developed their different channels, and some VOD content that can be given through catch-up for these platforms’.

‘Claro Video allows us to deliver to customers what they are asking for’, said Marquez Pulido in relation to Claro’s platform, adding that ‘we have managed to evolve in the needs we see and must deliver to the client. It was born clearly as a streaming platform and, about five years ago, we began to integrate linear channels within the same platform. Today we have more than 80, to be accessed at any time’, detailed the executive, and said that ‘we integrate platforms such as Fox Premium, HBO and Noggin so that the client can finally access the content they are looking for in a single platform and become an entertainment center with different content’.

About new consumption models, Gomez said that ‘content consumption is changing and, definitely, all who offer this kind of entertainment should start thinking about how they are going to have an offer that allows them to remain themselves in the market for a long time. There are several barriers that encourage medium and small cable operator not to advance, and one of them is the amount of illegality that exists around the applications that are on the market today’. In relation to this, Gomez said that ‘they are very large, but work could be done to find a way to have a joint strategy that minimizes entry costs and that can meet this market need for access to OTT platforms and of content as they are being consumed now’.  In this regard, Torres said that ‘we are in an analog-digital gap in Colombia that still does not have a starting point’. In relation to the content, the executive said that ‘programmers must make decisions about who they are going to play with, both in a digital product and with an OTT’, and indicated that ‘when proposals for integration arrive, programmers become discouraged. because they pay for basic content but does not have the necessary platforms and the business model is not attractive’, and expressed that ‘in Colombia, these contents have not been formalized before the legal rules of the country’.

‘To build your own OTT, the first point to take into account is to define the target market. The other would be the proportional investment to the market where I am, and also determine the business purpose and strategy’, said Gomez. In relation to third parties OTTs integration and aggregation, Marquez Pulido said that ‘more integrations are coming, which are the starting point. We will be a great content integrator, where our client can access the content they want. Clearly it is the point to where we are going’. In line with Marquez Pulido’s opinion, Torres said that ‘Sirius was created as a platform that will gather and captivate many independent and branded programmers. We are currently betting on having our own, regional content developed by us, and we must be clear about what our aim is’, and added that in Colombia ‘the cost of the content is not paid as it should be, and this causes the product to be weak when it becomes massive’.

When asked about his vision of the integration model of OTTs in a single platform, Minari said that ‘it is the new strength of TV operators. We have a lot of content, and if there is not an operator to centralize them and have a well done recommendation engine, we will not have the full advantage of having them. There is a clear limitation of customer care, and the role of TV operators is to deliver the right content to the right person, at any time’.