3 SEP 2020


NAGRA’s SVP Insight explains what the biggest concerns of content providers are and what will happen to the industry in the short, medium and long term.

3 SEP 2020

Jacques-Edouard Guillemot, SVP Insight at NAGRA

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NAGRA’s latest report, titled “Shaping Post-COVID Resilience for the Premium Content, Pay-TV and Telco Businesses,” outlines the challenges service providers are facing during the pandemic. In dialogue with Señal News, Jacques-Edouard Guillemot, SVP Insight at NAGRA, explains what the biggest concerns of content providers are and what will happen to the industry in the short, medium and long term.

What is the biggest concern of providers and operators during this crisis?

“The biggest concern is really around getting paid, how do I maintain my level of revenues in a context where some of our customers cannot afford the service anymore or want to quit. The big answer is how to maintain the revenues not only in the short term, but also in the mid-term. Even if some customers do not pay, maybe the solution is not throwing them out but keeping them, because they could represent revenues in the future”.

Are we really going to a new normality or things are going to be pretty much the same?

“Sometimes is good to accept that we do not have all the information. I do not know if there is going to be a ‘new normal’. The only thing I know is that there are some fundamentals, and those fundamentals are here to stay. People need to be entertained, and Internet and video content will always be part of entertainment. In the short term there might be some changes, but I do not see that changing in the mid or long term.

The report says that “there is no previous reference, so the only solution is to build a new reference on the fly and extrapolate from it, or move forward by trial and error”. What does that mean?

“When it comes to using data in your business, it is way better to have poor quality data than to accept that you do not have data. That is what this concept means. If you are using data from the past, your basis is old. The truth is that we do not have data sets from the past that might be useful in this context. Instead of using that data knowing that it is not relevant, you have to start building your new data set, work from there and accept that it might be trial and error”.

Adopting a "trial and error" strategy might not be risky?

“For me, it is a stress test for organizations. A lot of organizations were running on semi-automatic pilot. Some frameworks from the 90s or the 2000s are not really relevant in 2020, and of course not in 2020 in a Covid period. I like to look at our industry in terms of entertainment as a whole. We have seen that the way that people invest their entertainment time has really changed in the past years. Today, maybe Facebook is the main competitor of operators, or even ‘Fortnite,’ for example”. I think this is a really good wake up call for a lot of players”.

Isn’t this the perfect storm for social media?

“For sure. You have to look at what is happening right now, as they are all having an increase in subscribers, both pay and not paid. For the upcoming years, it looks good. Maybe at the mid or long term it is going to be challenging, as they still have to recover from some very strong content investments, but for the time being, it looks good”.

Do you think that this pandemic teaches the industry something?

“For us in NAGRA, this is a remarkable opportunity, because the stress is increasing in organizations, and customers are also stressed. Therefore, it is really a time to rethink the business and what you bring to the table. It is a really good time to rethink strategies”.

By Federico Marzullo