- “We have created a specific Insight offering to address the COVID crisis, as operators are facing new business challenges these days.”
- “While these transformations bring challenges for the industry, they also bring opportunity in terms of putting the consumer at the center of the viewing experience.”
- “We are well-equipped to help Latam pay-TV operators address these challenges”.
NAGRA was one of the very first players in the Latam market to bring in a complete end-to-end Hybrid Linear/OTT pre-integrated solution, for operators of all sizes. So, we began this interview with Xavier Fustagueras, a respected industry leader.
In this quarantine, what has been the biggest challenge for Nagra?
NAGRA is monitoring the situation closely and will look to quickly adapt to market developments. In the meantime, we’ve been focused on supporting our customers face this unprecedented situation, whether it’s in addressing the threat of piracy, understanding customer behavior or adapting to new strategies.
Internally, we have a COVID-19 Coordination Group that meets daily to review the spread of the pandemic at a global level and takes the necessary decisions to ensure business continuity. This includes ensuring that our staff is safe and had everything they needed to transition to working remotely and to comply with local government guidelines for the forthcoming back-to-the-office scenario. In the meantime, our internal IT systems have ample capacity to support a remote work environment which are reviewed daily by our CIO office.
What are the challenges in terms of anti-piracy solutions and content protection at a time when everyone is stealing content?
The battle against piracy has never been more critical to protect high-value content. In a confinement scenario, and as content release strategies shift to digital distribution, it is natural that there is a greater search for entertainment and often this comes with illicit alternatives. On the other hand, due to the existing demand, a favorable scenario for new business opportunities arises, both for operators that already are well-stablished such as Pay TV Operators and for new ones, who intend to operate in this market. The anti-piracy challenge is to stay ahead of the pirates, by implementing effective anti-piracy and content protection strategies now.
There is no silver bullet to address the piracy challenge. It requires a holistic approach that enables total service protection from a wide range of threats and incorporates robust anti-piracy services and technologies that can intercept pirate streams, disrupt pirate infrastructure and block access to pirate services. With the proper legal framework and the right strategy in place, operators and content owners can boost their defences and safeguard their valuable content assets from piracy.
What strategies Nagra has for the Americas?
One of our most promising new solutions is NAGRA Insight, our advanced analytics platform for pay-TV operators and telcos which provides actionable business recommendations to help operators make better strategic decisions; our solution will for instance help them take actions to reduce churn and optimize subscription upselling. We have created a specific Insight offering to address the COVID crisis, as operators are facing new business challenges these days. We’re also developing a medium- and long-term growth strategy for our key new market opportunities, including OTT and sports entertainment solutions, expect to grow the overall business of the Kudelski Group’s cybersecurity business through the positive development of high added-value products and services.
In Latin America, we have a key role to play in helping our customers adapt and transform to a new landscape, whether it’s deploying hybrid linear and OTT models, aggregation of OTTs and channel unbundling, piracy, new strategies for VOD and solutions to increase ARPU and to reduce customer churn. NAGRA was one of the very first players in the Latam market to bring in a complete end-to-end Hybrid Linear/OTT pre-integrated solution, for operators of all sizes. This solution is being constantly developed to add new features on the OTT side with a single sign-on solution offering to watch different channels bundled alongside operator VOD. New VOD strategies are also necessary to have available on demand content from major networks on their offering alongside the live linear broadcast content.
While these transformations bring challenges for the industry, they also bring opportunity in terms of putting the consumer at the center of the viewing experience in terms of content selection, better services and control over what to watch, how and when. This improved experience is becoming the rule in the world, and Latin American pay-TV operators have an exciting role to play.
Due to the economy, price offers are no longer enough for clients – they are struggling to pay for services. Indirectly, this can affect NAGRA. So, how is NAGRA facing this, particularly in Latam?
The current situation has brought a lot of financial uncertainty to people and companies. Business continuity risks are increasing as consumers in several markets worldwide see their household budgets squeezed and have more time than ever to look for illicit alternatives. The key is to present value added solutions that attract, engage and retain subscribers while implementing effective anti-piracy action, and also to provide operators with analytics solutions like Insight, as mentioned above, that will help them take action in front of these new and unprecedented challenges. According to recent research findings of the 2019 Pay-TV Innovation Forum, a majority of executives surveyed (90 percent) believed that innovating on pricing and packaging will be necessary to retain and attract new customers in this rapidly evolving landscape. While super-aggregator offerings are perceived to be the most attractive way of re-structuring pay-TV bundles, other innovations around pricing and packaging, such as personalized packages and content-device telecoms bundles, are also seen as opportunities. NAGRA is well-equipped to help Latam pay-TV operators address these challenges.
How the company sees or understands the immediate future of the industry in events like NAB Virtual? Will this solve the immediate needs of companies? Virtual events will be the solution and the monetization for companies?
These are certainly unprecedented times not only for our industry but every single industry around the world with an impact we’ve never seen before. We’re fortunate to have the right technology available to us today to stay in touch with our customers and partners. We decided to continue sharing our news around NAB as part of a “virtual program” and interacting in new and different ways. Given the impact that the pandemic is having on the digital media industry, it has never been more important to stay informed of market and product developments around the world. While industry events have been an important part of maintaining and growing our relationships, they were not only one. In today’s context, we need to adapt and be creative in how we communicate and reach our customers and are implementing new ways to inform them about the latest developments around our products and solutions.