Relationships with operators becoming more important, says Discovery

Strong partnerships between pay TV operators and content owners are becoming more important as the industry tries to keep up with changing viewing trends, according to Alberto Horta, director, new media distribution, Discovery Networks International, EMEA.

Speaking on a panel at the Digital TV World Summit in London yesterday, Horta said Discovery had to work with its partners to make sure consumers had access to content and brands on multiple devices whenever they want to watch it. “Many people talk about the industry evolving but unlike HD and 3D when we had time to react, the industry is moving faster than ever before. We have to ensure we are moving faster. It requires new talents and new people. On the technical side we need to find fresh knowhow and it is the same on the acquisition side for us.”

Horta said DNI had launched 50 new VOD implementations within the last 12 months, but pointed out that numerous different models were required in different markets, like SVOD, TVOD and AVOD. “The foundation of our company is to develop partnerships with operators. What has changed is that these operators are launching services much faster than before. But all our partnerships with operators are win-win: we provide the content but they have the expertise to serve that content to consumers and a more complex world,” he said.

Also speaking on the panel was Marc Westermann, principal of development at French telco and pay TV operator SFR, who stressed that operators have an important part to play in promoting new services. He said consumers trusted operators and added that it was their responsibility to promote the content, however it is made available to consumers, with the UI playing an increasingly important role. “The UI is so important. It is key to everything that is launched now. We, as an operator that people trust, have a role to play in promoting the services and how it is used. This is what we are working on and what we can offer our content partners,” he said.

Conrad Poulson, head of start up business development at Orange, also speaking on the panel, said that, conversely, content and content brands could play a key role in promoting new services, especially in markets where operator brands were not particularly well-known. “Technology doesn’t sell itself. Content or brands bring a lot to the offering. By partnering with those guys you bring something familiar to the consumer,” he said.

Tags: Discoery, Orange, SFR