Over the last decade, the telecom industry has seen 1239% user growth and added more than 483.3 million users. This opens new avenues for telecom operators to monetize new opportunities such as content with better reach to the consumers through wireless and wired business. It also helps them with a better understanding of consumers’ dynamic and ever-changing preferences. With the pandemic forcing people to the new normal of work from home, the content business has seen a sharp rise as people spend more time-consuming OTT services. Hence ‘Content’ is one of the favorite lines of business to expand. But monetizing the content partnerships is not as easy as the traditional interconnect partnerships. The content settlement models are dynamic and complex, and each partner can have a different settlement model, making it difficult for operators to achieve efficiency.
It’s all about Content, Content, & Content…
With lockdown restrictions in place, access to concerts, live shows, theatres, and other entertainment sources have been curbed, which brings in a lot of scope for Telcos to fill in customers’ entertainment hunger by enabling access over the internet. A big spike for OTT services has led to a huge increase in revenue for streaming video platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HULU, Disney+, HBO+. Partnerships models with television channels like Vodafone Play with 300 Live channels and VoD services have made the content more accessible, especially for the customers from growing economies like India.
But this opportunity has come with its complexities – Telcos, now, cannot afford to be lax when it comes to managing multiple solutions for myriad combinations for its evolving customers. It needs to move beyond its traditional aggregator-based content partnership to more direct engagement, including its customers, to create innovative content and sell on the telco platform. The below image covers some of the known and some to-be partnership models of a Telco:
With Telco (as Digital Service Provider) as a direct partnership with content creators (individual or companies), it can take care of some of the major challenges of Content Creators (in any form) like time spent for an exclusive distribution contract, revenue sharing (of content aggregator approx. 40% margin) and time to market.
On the other side, Telcos wants to remove the dependency on intermediators or Content Aggregator platforms. Additionally, Telco can use its position to make some of its consumers/subscribers as Partners like an App Developer in Play Store or use this opportunity to convert its subscribers to provide innovative content or content review.
Furthermore, Telco can carve Values Adds for its niche category to access Chatrooms with Celebrity and Personalities, and more such live marketplace opportunities with premium prices. This brings in loyalty and revenue to Telcos and keeps its consumers engaged over the network. And to mention a WIN-WIN arrangement for both Content Creator and Telco.
Good collaboration leads everywhere
And to bring trust and automation factors for these Partnership Models we discussed, Operators can leverage the advanced version of Blockchain Technology. Alvin Toffler said, ‘The great growling engine of change is Technology’ and Blockchain happens to bring that transformation in the Telecommunications domain.
Blockchain technology has been around for more than a decade but recently started picking pace across industries for its transformational potential. Blockchain resolves a lot of solution complexity from ‘what to bill’ to ‘how to pay’ using a centralized, integrated, and trusted network.
The Power Couple – Blockchain & Content
Blockchain and Content strongly complement and supplement each other, making them a power couple. Below are some of the cases.
Blockchain, as you see and know, will help the Telco to monetize the Content Platform. It can help get rid of Aggregator intermediaries, bringing to the table the most important and valuable propositions – Uncomplicated Business, Right Governance, and Trust. Beginning from Smart Contracts till Reconciliation, Blockchain complements and drives the common objectives. Here, the idea is to monetize blockchain technology to achieve a simple, governed, and secure platform to deploy a complete ecosystem of Content, managing its content partners till settlement and dispute over a unified solution.
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