5:00 MINUTES WITH: Nickhil Jakatdar

Nickhil Jakatdar, founder and CEO, Vuclip
Nickhil Jakatdar
Nickhil Jakatdar

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DS: What has been the primary driving factor behind the increasing number of partnerships between telcos and broadcasting service providers in the recent times?

Mobile penetration in the region has risen exponentially over the years. According to Vuclip’s most recent Global Video Insights (GVI) report, 69% of respondents in the UAE indicated a preference for smartphones when it came to video consumption, while 75% of respondents reported using smartphones for daily video consumption. In fact, this number is higher than for developed nations where daily video consumption on smartphones is reported by 52% of respondents. High levels of smartphone penetration and access to mobile devices at low costs are the crucial factors that have democratised video consumption. VOD is gaining high popularity in the Middle East and the potential for capitalising on this opportunity is significant. OTTs and telcos need to realise that collaboration will bring about mutual and long-term benefits.

DS: How can telcos and broadcasters complement their offerings?

The telecom industry has unequivocal reach; hence a better understanding of the evolving needs of the consumer. On the other hand, broadcasting service providers bring innovative value additions which bring new experiences to the table. Traditional services will have to keep the evolving needs of their customer in mind and incorporate digital services that can be accessed through multiple devices. Together, by means of leveraging their innovation and outreach strategies, the telecom industry and broadcast service providers can map untapped markets. We see customers responding most to a combination of premium content, unbuffered seamless viewing supported by technology innovations and personalised, regionalised experience which we’ve been able to deliver as a result of our 8 years of consumer insights.

DS: What kind of opportunities do broadcasting services hold for telcos to augment their revenues?

Capturing customer loyalty, whilst keeping pace with a rapidly evolving technology landscape, is the real challenge. Interactive technology has increased the customer’s appetite for premium content that ensures a consistent experience. As a result, providing the customer with new experiences through premium content has become critical. As increasing mobile consumption democratises the market, the telecom industry is driven to leverage their customer reach, monetise their infrastructure, rationalise their offerings and augment their business models to meet customer expectations. In this scenario, the telecom industry has started collaborating with broadcast service providers to improve their customer experience. Driving such alliances forward, broadcast service providers leverage their distinct assets and data logistics to add immense value to the telecom industry and their customer base.

DS: Is a change in business models of telcos required?

Mobile consumption is altering consumer behavior significantly, indicating the need to introduce evolving business models. Business models across the telecom sector are based on a standard that stipulates the categorisation of products. Formulating a business model that accommodates adoption of new technologies and embraces a broad offering of services like video-on-demand is key to staying relevant at the present time. To pull ahead of the curve, creating a win-win scenario for the benefit of all involved can ensure quality value additions.

DS: In the MEA, could you give examples of successful telco-broadcast partnerships?

The MEA region represents a vast market with great potential. To this end, Vuclip works with several content providers in the region to enhance the viewing experience. nine million paying subscribers in more than 34 languages across more than 25 genres.

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