“The region remains relatively untapped but the potential for OTT growth is tremendous”

Jossi Fresco, Regional Director Latin America of Verizon Digital Media Services, spoke in an interview with NexTV News Latam about the agreement that the company recently signed with Grupo Clarín, Argentina’s largest media conglomerate, and offered key recommendations for the deployment of OTT platforms in Latin America.
Fresco will participate in the next edition of NexTV Series Mexico & Central America, the leading conference to be held on September 25 and 26 in CDMX, and NexTV CEO Latin America, on November 1 and 2 in Miami.

-What are the main challenges of the agreement with Grupo Clarín?
As the top media conglomerate in Argentina, Grupo Clarín has vast media offerings through many digital destinations, including Radio Mitre, Clarín.com and TyC Sports. As such, we had to demonstrate our capabilities across a wide spectrum of content delivery, including web acceleration, security, caching and most importantly, video streaming quality. We collaborated closely with their team, testing and deploying specific configurations as well as enabling Grupo Clarín to self-serve thorough our media portals.

– What are Grupo Clarín’s main demands regarding the distribution of its content?
For many of our customers, one of their top priorities is user experience. Their goal is to provide the best OTT experience possible to their respective end users on any device. Reliability, speed and scalability are critical elements, and having the ability to manage a high-level of concurrent connects for live events is essential.

-How do you see the development of OTT products in Latin America?
The region remains relatively untapped, but there is so much potential for OTT viewership to grow tremendously. For OTT maturation to occur, broadcasters and OTT content providers must give viewers the best experience, along with speed and scale.

-What’s your advice for those who want to launch OTT products in Latin America?
One of the biggest challenges in the region is market entry. In countries like Brazil and beyond, major broadcasters hold rights to much of the local content. International content providers looking to enter the region must form strategic alliances with established players.

Additionally, staying up-to-date with the latest technological advances is crucial. Updating an OTT service platform could take years, but a multi-year update cycle plagued with slow video starts, buffer issues and poor quality content is a sure way to lose viewers quickly. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your platform is up-to-date with the latest innovations to always provide viewers with the best quality of viewing experience.

-What OTT model do you think works best in the region or is becoming more popular?
Hybrid models are trending, where content owners and broadcasters can provide a variety of engagement models – including AVOD, SVOD, and live linear – on owned and operated mobile apps and web destinations. This model gives consumers the choice to engage with content in their preferred ways. For example, some consumers appreciate free content and would be happy with pre-roll and mid-roll ads, while others prefer to pay for a subscription for an ad-free experience. Others like the free content with ads, but would pay for premium content on an occasional basis with a PPV model. A platform that enables that flexibility, without having to manage multiple and duplicated content, is key to OTT success.

-What are your predictions for the future of this industry in Latin America?
In addition to seeing a steady growth of OTT options emerging in the next few years, other industries aside from media and entertainment companies will also find value in utilizing OTT. From financial institutions to corporate enterprises, we’re going to see a big shift towards other sectors depending on fast and reliable OTT for a multitude of reasons, such as powering robust visual presentations to their workforce.