Posted by Olaniyi Abodedele on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 Under: Our Headline Articles
On the 6th of November 2013, Mr. Nico Meyer, Multichoice CEO spoke to The Nigerian Voice Newspaper inside the multichoice VIP lounge at the sandton Convention center Johannesburg during the just concluded Discop conference, which took place between the 6th – 8th November 2013. In the interview Mr Meyer touched on issues ranging from content development, competition, consumer satisfaction, technology and new innovations, and challenges faced in the Nigerian market.
The South African satellite pay-TV operator MultiChoice CEO said jokingly “you listen too carefully” when asked we want to know when Multichoice will bring Box office to Nollyhood “We are going to bring the advance PVR (Personal Video Recorder)to Nigeria before Christmas but soon after it will be expanded and we are going to continue to expand on those features, so it is a very exciting product for us’. In excitement of their new support towards Nollyhood and customer satisfaction he continued “from a consumer perspective, they are going to be completely blown away in-terms of the capabilities here because it allows for so much more, it’s another platform for content producers and if we get the right content, the right quality of content I think it is going to further this industry significantly, so I say, I am very excited about the technology we are bringing into the market and its going to take the industry to the next level”.
Mr Meyer while shedding lights on what has been his biggest challenge in Nigeria since he assumed office as the CEO of the multibillion dollar organization in February 2012, he noted the challenge has always kept him awake and he has to continuously thinks how he can do it “I want to give the consumer what they want and so it comes down to giving content that they want but also, I think the issue is we have challenges sometime around electricity; we have challenges around access points” using an illustrated example to further enhance his challenges he stated “a good example, when somebody for instance pay for the service, I want the payment to go through immediately and switch on the box, the challenge I have is that the box are not necessarily switched on, so I have to think how do we do things better for people and, as I have also indicated, I don’t want people to move away from their couch, if they want something from us, it must be simple, they must be able to send a very simple sms instruction and we can give them the service as opposed to somebody needs to get off their couch and go somewhere to be able to get a service from us. I want to bring the service to the consumer and it’s to actually deal with this are some of our biggest challenges in Nigeria”. Mr Nico Meyer is very passionate about consumer satisfaction and it is of great concern to him within the Nigerian environment, he sees this as a big challenge “Because I want from service prospective that the consumer says wow, this is a great service. This is where I want to get to and wow this is great content, this really is something that appeals to me and my family and that is the biggest challenge that I have and this keeps me awake, how can I do this”.
The Nigerian Voice Newspaper in appreciation of a wonderful job Multichoice has done in the last two decades in Nigeria and on the African continent especially successfully giving Africans a voice to tell their story and giving them the best content across Africa, Mr Meyer seized the opportunity to re affirm Multichoice commitment to Nigeria and the African Continent as a whole, and he insisted that their customers is key “Our message is our customers is key and I want to bring the best content in the best possible way to the consumers through our subscribers and that’s been our drive. So not only do we want to improve in-terms of content, we can talk a little bit in terms of what we want to do around content, because the focus is around local content for instance to bring it into pegin English, something that resonates with the consumer to the subscribers. I also want to make it easy for people because I have been to Lagos and many towns in Nigeria, and I have a full appreciation of the challenges that people are facing and part of our drive is to make the services so much easier for people so may it be payments, may it be distribution point. This are the area’s we focusing on and which I want to significantly improve in Nigeria”.
Discop 2013 celebrated Nigeria as a guest country, Multichoice invested so much in the conference because of their policy drive towards local content and talent, and giving Africans the platform to say their own story as the world is ready to hear the African voice. We sort his opinion on what the conference means to Africa and Multichoice. In his response using examples to drive clear his point “If I can use some of the other example; when we do the CNN awards, it’s really to help the journalist and to actually give them a platform and to give a voice to the voiceless. As we move on and we do the Africa Magic viewer choice awards, again, it is to promote the industry and to further the growth of the industry. We believe content is key and we also want to improve the industry, so our participation is absolutely key for me even though we participate and some of our competitors also participate I think at the end of the day competition helps to grow the industry. I have said it before, it sounds wired when I say it but, we want the industry to grow, if the industry grows the quality will improve, and as the quality improves, the exportability of the content will continue to grow, then you have a much bigger industry to work with”.
Haven slipped out the issue of competition, we say to him the question has always popped up in almost every interview with Nico Meyer, and he has always insisted that they welcome competition because it is healthy for the industry and it helps to improve both technology and content. Mr Nico Meyer affirms this, but rather, we chose to ask him what the next big thing is coming from Multichoice that will further keep them apart from their competitors, an excited Nico Meyer taking advantage of the platform confidently said “I think innovation as I have demonstrated over the last 27 to 28 years is quite key to what we do”. “So is technology, we use the best technology, for instance the DVB T2 (Digital Video Broadcasting – Second Generation Terrestrial), we’ve actually waited before we actually lunched our terrestrial network to bring the best technology which is T2, some operators have gone with T1 (Transmission System) which now leaves prospective governments in a bit predicaments because now they need to think how do we get out of this, how do we actually advance in technology”. In further excitement about their future technology he wished he could show their carts “I can’t show you my cart in-terms of all the technological developments, but we invest heavily in future technology and that what we are proud of, we’ve showed it in our history and we will continue to do it in the future, content is key to us and as we invest in studios and we grow the studios, that means that contents will improve and we can have more and more local content, more content that speaks to the respective countries that we operate in”.
In appreciation of multichoice investments in staffing, he made it clear “And as I have indicated we invest heavily in our staff, local staff and staff development over time, this is absolutely key to us. As you can see staff is one of our biggest assets and as we continue to develop staff and we grow this, we also find that a lot of the innovation actually coming out of the countries, our staff are the ones saying why don’t we do this and this, so on the one side we promote technology but what is also important to me is people are incredibly creative and with ideas that come out, I think you going to see more and more of that because we are now on many platforms, so people can use mobile devices, they can use tablets etc etc, so in terms of the new things we going to make available, I think it is going to help grow this industry a lot because all this means is now ready. I think you going to see a lot of new innovation coming to play”.
In his final words to conclude the interview, ha had something’s to say about The Nigerian Voice Newspaper “you have to speak to the people and clearly you have done it in-terms of your coverage here, and I also think your coverage is wider because you also deal with key issues, for instance, the independence celebration. These are issue I think are key to the country and it speaks to the hearth of Nigerians; it’s something to be absolutely proud of. I think you should just continue what you are doing. I think you doing a great job”.
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