David Hanson, director of digital at the Middle East’s leading pay-TV operator OSN, on delivering Olympics coverage outside the home, and what’s next on the company’s roadmap.
What significant convergence trends have you spotted recently in the MENA region?
Convergence for OSN is about putting the customer experience at the forefront of our technological developments.
Our subscribers pay OSN for content, it’s our responsibility to make sure that they can access that content in a way which is convenient and creates value for them.
The phrase “platform agnostic” is thrown around freely at the moment, but that’s really what it’s about for us – creating an experience which is uniquely OSN and then applying it across multiple delivery methods and end devices.
How do you think these might increase content consumption?
The modern pay-TV subscriber has many demands on their time. We charge a subscription fee and ultimately if the viewer doesn’t have time to view, they’re not going to see value in that fee.
By making the content available to the viewer at the office, in the coffee shop, on the metro or in the airport, we increase the value of their subscription and make OSN more of a lifestyle brand.
Our Olympics coverage was a case in point – we can see from the viewing peaks that people were watching OSN Play, the region’s first online TV platform, from the workplace – the secret is out.
How are viewer relationships evolving, and what are you doing to address their changing needs?
We have a roadmap for adding services and devices based on what we believe will add value to the subscriber. With the launch of OSN Play on the iPad we were behind demand – people were clamouring to have that device added.
As we go forward we have a very clear strategy in terms of growth. We want to add services and devices before the viewer even knows that he or she needs them.
How do you plan to monetise the possibilities created by new digital platforms?
We’re a subscription business, however our digital platform is about choice and providing more convenience to our customers. We’ll create niche bouquets for top-up subscription. We’ll extend our TVOD and PPV services into the digital sphere as well.