MICHELE MORETTI and FRANCESCO MORETTI speak to Digital TV Europe about the evolving requirements of the broadcast industry at a time of accelerating change.
DIGITAL TV EUROPE Based on your 36 years’ experience, in Europe and more recently in US, what changes have you witnessed in the broadcast industry over the period?
MICHELE MORETTI: Until about a decade ago the pace of change in technology was much slower and the market was quite traditional. Now, however, technology is driving change. A decade ago, Europe witnessed the entry of big players with big content accessible to anyone, so broadcasters had to transform to compete. The effects of this market shake-up continue to trigger new strategies and innovation with the convergence between broadcast and broadband technology even leading to the development of new standards such as HbbTV in Europe and ATSC 3.0 in the US. Talking about HbbTV, we have developed significant skills in Europe working on high-profile projects with top broadcasters, and then we have exported all this experience to the US, where we recently opened two locations, helping the market adapt to the ATSC 3.0 standard and build its own unique vision.
FRANCESCO MORETTI: Digitisation has certainly been the most disruptive change over the last decade, with European broadcasters trying to defend themselves from OTT natives such as Netflix by developing their own OTT service complementary to their traditional offering. There has been acceleration in the past two years towards more viewer personalisation based on preference and interaction to produce better editorial and to fuel addressable and targeted advertising models.
DTVE: What do you see as the key challenges facing broadcasters today?
FM: Broadcasters today need to find a way to ensure that they extract the intrinsic value of their content.
One key strategy to achieve this is alliances: broadcasters typically invest in content for their local market which in turn has access to global content. Alliances, such as subscription video-on-demand joint ventures, Salto and Españolflix™, Loves TV ES, Pro7-Discovery DE or Freeview UK as well as the partnerships between Mediaset-Pro7, RTL-Pro7 and Media4Europe are a way of breaking down borders and producing more international content.
DTVE: What is Fincons’ role in this changing landscape and how has the company had to adapt and evolve to respond to market demand?
MM: We have a clear vision of the future of television from long-lasting and successful collaborations with Tier 1 companies globally. These experiences have provided us with deep industry knowledge that we leverage to bring innovative solutions to the market and to help our clients. Some of our pioneering efforts in various areas of media tech have been in partnership with universities and supported by EU Commission funding for cutting edge research, alongside our own strategic R&D investment and future scoping.
Our internationalisation strategy also plays a key role providing our clients with the most cutting-edge solutions, as we have been exporting the experience and skills acquired in Europe to the US and vice versa.
DTVE: What role do partnerships play in your way of doing business and developing technology?
FM: We have selected partnerships that enable us to make targeted and tailored best-of-breed technology suggestions that respond to the client’s specific requirements.
To cite a few successful examples, this is the process we applied working with our partner Comcast Technology Solutions on clients such as RTÉ and Mediaset, or with Operative and Mediamorph on brand and rights management. From a User Experience and front-end technology standpoint, we have partnered with 24i and You.i, while Irdeto and Nagra are valuable partners in delivering content protection solutions to integrate into our systems. Obviously, we also directly develop tailored systems for clients based on our own ad hoc solutions wherever this is required.
DTVE: What strategies will you be focusing on to continue to support the media industry in the future?
MM: We plan to continue to provide our global clients with our deep and ever-growing knowledge of the sector based on expertise acquired directly in the field. To achieve this, we remain committed to growing internationally. The media sector is an industry that we know well. Our experience has helped to position and differentiate us in markets as competitive as the US.
In addition to this, we are continuing to expand in Europe thanks to our media capabilities and we have just opened a new office in Munich in Germany. This new opening comes on the back of several years of experience in the German market, based on the long and fruitful relationship with leading media companies such as Sky Deutschland and the more recent partnership with BurdaForward, a leading German digital publishing company that selected us on the basis of our experience in media and publishing and for our Southern Italy-based Smart Shore Delivery Centre, which has facilitated the establishment of BurdaForward’s own product and development site in Bari, providing an incubator environment for this strategic operation.
- Michele Moretti and Francesco Moretti are the CEO of Fincons Group, and Deputy CEO Fincons Group and CEO Fincons. US, respectively.