Shane Smith, founder and chief executive of Vice, a global youth media brand, fired a warning to mobile operators to up their game on content strategy.
“Anyone who says my mobile content strategy is to resell Netflix is lazy, probably stupid and it’s not going to get you where you need to go,” he told delegates at MWC’s Connecting the Main Event keynote.
Premium content, combined with some element of exclusivity, is what will attract consumers to mobile operators, he said. Netflix is readily available from different sources.
“If AT&T is the only place where you can watch Game of Thrones, then it’s going to be very good for AT&T,” said Smith, referencing the possible merger of AT&T and Time Warner. “If you can watch it anywhere, then it’s not so interesting.”
Smith anticipated there will be “massive consolidation and an M&A frenzy over the next few years”, if the largest media deal in history – AT&T and Time Warner – goes through. He speculated that the likes of Verizon, BT, Vodafone Group and Deutsche Telekom would all likely revisit their content strategy.
“Everyone’s investing in platform, platform, platform, but what are you going to fill the pipe with? asked Smith. “At the end of the day, algorithms can’t make content. People have to make content.”