Interview: Jacques-Edouard Guillemot, NAGRA

NAGRA’s new Insight white paper shows content providers how they can safeguard their businesses post-Coronavirus by using AI to accelerate subscription acquisition and re-engagement, writes David Davies.

NAGRA’s new Insight white paper shows content providers how they can safeguard their businesses post-Coronavirus by using AI to accelerate subscription acquisition and re-engagement, writes David Davies.

“Covid-19 is in many ways the ultimate stress-test of the operational capabilities of our customers. But it also presents an opportunity to find out what is important and what is not, and to review the way in which you make decisions – more than ever, decisions have to be more fact-based in all kinds of ways.”

That’s the view of Jacques-Edouard Guillemot, senior VP executive affairs at Kudelski Group, who is responsible for the NAGRA Insight business performance offering. He believes the present moment is essential in determining the future of premium content.

Geared towards the requirements of premium content providers, pay TV operators and telcos, NAGRA Insight is a business performance platform that uses AI to drive subscriber value, content acquisition and management, operations and advertising.

Acknowledging that current circumstances mean that management, marketing and data science teams are in urgent need of new forecasting models and workflow capabilities, the white paper asserts that “the winners in the post-Covid world will be the ones who adapt their business models and strategies more frequently to accelerate the speed of subscriber re-acquisition and re-engagement.” It then proceeds to explain how content businesses of all types can take account of new parameters and stabilise their prospects by “leveraging an AI-driven data science platform”.

Above all, the primary takeaway message of the white paper is that businesses have to “think about their strategic plans in a holistic way, and that tends to mean asking some difficult questions! For example, as an organisation can you complete the tasks you have to do, and which ones can be done remotely? How do the different departments interact with each other, and can I afford to have miscommunication taking place, for instance between marketing and business intelligence teams…?

“Then there is the whole matter of how [content providers] interact with their customers. In the current crisis it may well be that some customers cannot pay for a few months as they have lost their jobs. So you might want to consider whether you should change your offering to make sure that at least some revenues are still coming in. It could also be worth thinking about the kind of waiting times that customers face when they ring through to your call centre.”

By utilising NAGRA’s AI-driven platform it is possible to make more informed decisions and “ensure that each dollar of acquisition marketing is spent more efficiently,” says Guillemot. With marketing budgets unlikely to go up in the foreseeable future, AI holds the key to more effective up-selling and targeted viewing packages that can boost retention in a time of intense competition for eyeballs: “The ability to put an expert ‘brain’ behind every customer – that’s the power of AI right there.”

Seamless security for the IP world
But whilst Insight is undoubtedly one of NAGRA’s cornerstone projects for 2020, the company has also been active in other core areas – not least security. NAGRA’s established offers in this area include the NAGRA Security Services Platform (SSP), which is a scalable and flexible unified security platform using CAS and DRM technologies to facilitate successful content monetisation through secure premium content delivery.

In its latest development, the company is responding to the accelerating migration to IP-based workflows with a new toolkit entitled NAGRA Active Streaming Protection. Forensic watermarking, secure streaming and playback, complete CAS/DRM/multi-DRM protection, and anti-piracy services – including deep intelligence, real-time monitoring, take-downs and litigation – are among the features of a solution designed to resonate with the full spectrum of OTT services.

As service providers and operators extend or migrate to IP environments, new challenges are emerging, notably from commercial pirates. Formed of a series of tools designed to disrupt pirate activity and protect services, Active Streaming Protection enables operators to protect themselves now and in the future.

NAGRA continues to innovate and will soon be presenting new developments in different areas of the business, including the user experience, subscriber retention and stickiness, business performance, and end-to-end content security.

“Our energies now are focused on these main pillars, and in helping to show a real value in each one in terms of the bottom line for our customers. That will translate to more features that make our customers even more successful in dealing with this crisis. Whilst operators are fighting to remain relevant to subscribers in the crisis and post-crisis period, Insight provides actionable outputs on a per-subscriber basis, advising operators on “what to do next” on all key topics,” says Guillemot.

To access and read the NAGRA white paper on the Insight platform, please click here.