Millicom, DirecTV hail mobile as transforming content business – Mobile World Live

Millicom, DirecTV hail mobile as transforming content business

21 SEP 2016

LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE 360 LATIN AMERICA, MEXICO: Executives from Millicom and DirecTV Latin America highlighted the impact mobile is having on the media sector, as customers consume more and more on the move.

Jeff McElfresh, president of DirectTV Latin America (pictured left), said: “Consumers are pulling the content from the house to mobile. That’s not something that we’re trying to drive, that is occurring. It’s not something we are looking to stop, we are looking to enable.”

DirecTV is in an interesting position. While, as part of AT&T, it is in a group that includes mobile businesses in the US and Mexico, it also operates in a number of markets where AT&T is not present.

“In some markets, our company is a standalone PayTV operator, and OTT options for us look no different than those for Amazon or Netflix. Whereas in other territories we are more of an integrated carrier, with broadband assets, and wireless assets, so our positioning will differ,” he said.

“But the goals are the same: get as much content in the hands of the end user, wherever they are, however they want it.”

Operator assets
Martin Gallone, regional mobile commercial director at Millicom (pictured right), said that operators have a number of assets which enable them to thrive in the content space, including deep knowledge of customers. “There is no one who can have more information available than an operator who does things well,” he said.

The executive said that as the industry continues to evolve, it is important to work with OTT players to build different value experiences.

“Many OTT players are starting to have an open mind and position, they are approaching operators to see how we can improve the customer experience together.”

Both agreed that local content is a crucial part of the customer proposition, even when a provider offers big-ticket sporting content.

McElfresh said: “Sometimes there are similarities across cultural borders or countries, but for the most part, people want local content.”

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Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

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