“We have worked with great enthusiasm, managing large brands with high-quality content under a vision aimed at satisfying the new consumption habits of the Latin American audience.” Explains in this interview with TVMAS Juan Carlos Urdaneta. President of Ole Distribution for Latin America
“Movies and series are the delight of consumers”
“The preference for content in the original language continues”
“At Ole Distribution we no longer think of channels separately. We program in an integrated way, and we see that there are practically no players from a single medium: they are all integral 360.”
How did Ole Distribution close 2021 and what strategies were implemented?
I want to highlight that 2020 and 2021 for the television industry have been two years of opportunity, since we had a unique moment of empathy to connect with the audience. Like the rest of the world, the Latin American audience showed great interest in high-quality content and compelling stories, an event that increased the penetration and distribution opportunities of each of our channels.
But what was the vision and strategy for a year as complicated as 2021?
Yes. It was very difficult for everyone. In our case, the strategy was to work with great enthusiasm, managing our big brands with a vision oriented towards the new consumption habits of the audience, with our linear channels already consolidated as great favorites of the public, and complementing them with a solid offer of non-linear digital content. We work as a team to offer our distributors all the essential tools and support.
How to monetize due to competition for the user with streaming offers? An issue that led to a change in the pricing policy on subscriptions and this added to the drop in advertising?
At Ole Distribution we no longer think of channels separately. We program in an integrated way, and we see that there are practically no players from a single medium: they are all integral. Programming is 360 and welcome competition from Netflix or from all the other platforms that have arrived in the region. It is something fantastic since it allows you to reach the audience with multiple proposals.
Juan Carlos, you as a great expert in this business in the region, how do you synthesize this reality?
Over time, maybe this will be refined, and we don’t know if there will be that many: maybe some will join. The good thing is that there are many ways to reach the audience with content. And that is very enriching because there are already many opportunities and new and different ones will come.
What is the priority structural changes in the business of programming distribution via cable operators that you see in the region?
I believe that it is a comprehensive digital offer that, in addition to linear distribution, gives subscribers who pay their subscription the possibility of accessing a large volume of highly successful and attractive content to enjoy whenever they want, without the need of an extra payment. Thanks to this, they project a high growth potential not only in distribution but also in the use and consumption of the content that they make available throughout Latin America. Our challenge is the same: work to expand our TV/VOD content portfolio. As well as continuing to premiere seasons of established series, and new releases that we will reveal in due course throughout the year.
In which countries did you achieve the largest audiences, or did you see the greatest growth and what are the goals and strategies for this 2022?
We are going to continue betting on subscription TV and a strong and wide digital offer, responding to current consumption habits and the constant demands of the audience. Thanks to our management team with extensive and vast experience in the industry, we will be able to enhance the high quality and successful content of each of our channels. For the entire team of this company, it will be an honor in 2022 to continue providing our distributors with the excellent content that we have in our portfolio of brands and channels. We know that we must surprise, innovate, and continue promoting the development and growth of our industry.
The leader and expert says that last year left them with a great learning experience and was an immense universe of new growth opportunities for the pay TV industry. “We believe in this mode of consumption, and we project a high growth potential not only in distribution, but also in the use and consumption of the content that we make available throughout the region. Everything under the framework of a new vision, with strategies in line with the new circumstances of the industry”.
Urdaneta confirms that in 2022 it is time to captivate more and more subscribers. “It is time to increase the excellence, relevance and accessibility of our basic content throughout Latin America, where we aspire to reach the most remote places with our brands and entertainment proposals, always accompanying our audience through all media and multiplatform.”
There is no doubt that Juan Carlos Urdaneta is a leader who has built a brilliant career. He became President of Turner Broadcasting System Latin America, an accumulator group of important brands, and he strategically led all the channels with great success. He was also responsible for advertising sales, distribution, and marketing for news networks, as well as development, programming, and marketing for entertainment channels in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Juan Carlos brings an important track record when he began his career at TBS in 1994 as regional controller for Latin America. Prior to Turner, he headed the financial operations of Johnson & Johnson, Venezuela and Telcel, a strategic cellular telephony alliance between Cisneros and Bellsouth, also in Venezuela. He managed the finances of the soft drinks division in the Andean countries for PepsiCo and has a degree from the University of Kansas in Business Administration and an MBA.