Marcelo Correa, the Chilean-born director of content acquisition and programming for Verizon, spends his days developing business relationships with media-content partners and overseeing retransmission-consent negotiations—a role that has given him a close look at the future of media. Below, he tells us about the changing nature of media and how Verizon FiOS TV, the nation’s fifth-largest video-services provider, stays a relevant provider as customers increasingly consume their media on the go.
How is mobile changing media?
The ability to view media on the go helps deliver a borderless lifestyle and gives people the freedom to view media—essentially, anytime, anywhere access—on a growing variety of digital devices.
What have you seen change over the years?
I’m a huge soccer fan, but when I was growing up, I remember having to sit around the radio with my family to follow Chile in Copa América. Then, in the 1980s and 1990s, there was limited access to fútbol tournaments and leagues, such as the Chilean league, English Premier, and World Cup qualifiers. When I first started in this industry, I had a hard time watching a game coming in from South America. I had to go to establishments showing it via closed-circuit TV. In the 15 years that I’ve been in this industry, that’s all radically changed.
How has the Hispanic market driven this change?
The Hispanic consumption of soccer has influenced large media companies such as NBC and Fox to make these games accessible to the entire country. Hispanics’ over-index in early adoption of technology in order to stay in touch with family and follow news and events from their homeland. They are one of the main reasons why smartphone, tablet, and mobility on a growing base of devices have been able to evolve to its current state.
What is your company’s role in this?
We reach agreements with major broadcasters to put their content on our mobile platforms. We recently relaunched a mobility app nationwide with 76 channels that is enhanced by our FiOS Quantum service, which delivers ultrafast broadband speeds to the home over a hair-thin strand of fiber optics. Our growing content and our superfast broadband help provide a better video experience for our customers.
What kind of content can your customers access?
We’ve liberated live TV programming from the confines of the home by giving FiOS TV customers the ability to watch up to nine of our most popular live TV channels wherever they are and whenever they want—using the FiOS mobile app for the iPad, select Android tablets, and phones, as well as now on the iPhone and Kindle Fire tablets. Today, FiOS customers can use their tablets and/or various mobile phones to view BBC World News, EPIX, the NFL Network, and the Tennis Channel. They can also view shows on networks from Scripps Networks Interactive, including the Food Network and Travel Channel, outside of their homes, and the number of networks that can be viewed outside the home will keep growing. In New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC, customers can also watch local news and weather at home on the local affiliates of ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and the Spanish-language channels, such as UniMas and Univision.
What’s been the market reaction to the app?
We just relaunched it, but I’m extremely proud of it. When I was in broadcasting, I never put a product out like this. We’re literally taking games, news, shows, and recipes from people’s living rooms into every room of the house. To be able to work on a major endeavor like this, take it to market, and see people enjoy it is gratifying. I was at a friend’s house recently, and he was a FiOS customer. To see his excitement over a product I helped develop was the benefit of the most fulfilling thing I’ve done in my career.
Do you have any advice for people working in the industry?
Every day you should feel good when you go home about the work you performed. It’s also good to think about where you could end up in your career, and recognize the impact you could have on others.
What’s the end result of the growth of mobility?
It’s enhancing our customers’ experiences with our product, and we think it will make our product “stickier,” meaning customers will use it longer without switching, and that will lead to a higher subscriber count. It’s amazing that we’ve been able to grow the video segment of our business so quickly, and there’s plenty of room to grow more. Mobility will be an instrumental aspect of how we’ll further change the way we do business for the benefit of customers.