It´s not TV, it´s OTT: Dish lauched HBO Go in Mexico

It´s not TV, it´s OTT: Dish lauched HBO Go in Mexico

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If you ever have the opportunity to ask Reed Hastings (@reedhastings), Netflix CEO: “What keeps you awake at night?” Most probably, the answer would be “TV Everywhere”. These days, TV business is trying to figure out how to monetize premium content on a hyper connected sharing economy.

Dish Mexico, operated by MVS Comunicaciones, just launched HBO Go as a standalone service for its own subscribers and non-customers. On Q2 2015, Dish reported 1.24 million users for its CATV services to the IFT (Mexican antitrust and regulatory agency).

According to The Competitive Intelligence Unit, Netflix has over 1.4 Million sVOD clients, which represents 70% of the market in Mexico. While these numbers are still low in comparison to the 17 Million of subscribers of CATV, the current circumnstances of the greater TV market make “TV Everywhere” promising.

CATV incumbents are challenging regulation. Claro Video (Telmex) is on the rise, but still looking for a CATV authorization. Cinepolis, biggest cinema operator in Mexico, is making synergies for engaging movie goers to online rentals. Vudu closed and left some tricky lessons behind. YouTube is playing great so far. Services like Cracker, Mubi, Snag Films and others arrived to Mexico. Government plans to tender another Free-to-air TV network and a 700 MHz shared network. ATT bought Iusacell and Nextel.

Winter is coming for the greater TV market and House of Dish just moved closer to cable droppers. Will they follow?

Photo Credit: HBO GO online application – Bigstockphoto.com

A few Statistitcs from 2015

A few Statistitcs from 2015

Hits: 3956

The business year ended a couple of weeks ago. A fair year for business in Mexico with the traction provoked by the opening markets (telecom, energy, transport, etc.) Numbers on this blog were good too. Here are some statistics I would like to share with you.

The blog had 1.4 Million hits with a more than 86 thousand visitors. This is a slight improvement from previous year.

As to the most popular posts, below is the list, if you want to read them:

1 – What Would the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Mean for Mexico?
2 – Wind Power Opportunities in Mexico
3 – Mexico to Spend $100 Billion Dollars to Develop Shale Resources
4 – Mexico Reforms Attract U.S. Investors
5 – Chrysler invests US$1.2 Bn in Mexico and could cast away the IMMEX drawback
6 – As expected, Mexican telecom operators are showing tough love
7 – [INFOGRAPHIC] The US$590 Bn Mexican Infrastructure Plan in a Nutshell
8 – What if IFETEL Mexico unleashes the unseen power of free?
9 – Mexico Consumer Entertainment Spend Grows Rapidly; Now at 4.5 Billion USD
10 – Televisa and Telmex on two legs after Watchdog resolutions

The most popular searches were related and around to these topics:

1. Green energy investment.
2. Telecom antitrust proceedings.
3. San Diego – Tijuana business traction.
4. Construction companies in Mexico.
5. Oil drilling opportunities.

We have planned many projects for this year and hope all readers and sharers support this blog. Stay tuned.

Photo credit: Rear view of the business lady who is looking for the new business ideas. Blue growing arrow as a concept of successful business. Business icons are drawn on the concrete wall. / Bigstockphoto.com

IFTMX said OTT and PaidTV were not created equal

IFTMX said OTT and PaidTV were not created equal

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Last week IFT, telecom antitrust and regulator in Mexico, issued a resolution declaring that Televisa is not dominant in paidTV. The resolution was controversial to many, of course. However, it threw some legal precedents on OTT, for subscription video-on-demand (SVOD).

According to IFT, SVOD is not, in terms of relevant market for antitrust proceedings, substitute to paid TV, based on the facts that content is not enough, the audience is limited and internet access is not universal.

Netflix is betting high on good original content, but live sports and prime time is still keep audience on traditional TV, according to official data form IFT. However in OTT-SVOD, Netflix has 55.7% of Mexican market, with Slim´s Claro following with 39.7%, according to Daxis. Audience is expected to grow with 4G mobile tenders happening this year.

Then, if you double-read the resolution from a telecom-media-antitrust-legal-regulatory point of view: This resolution is a space of freedom that Netflix can enjoy to grow. A victory that Uber, another icon of on-demand services, only can wish for its own market.

The Netflix app is displayed alongside other streaming media services on the homepage of a Roku Streaming Stick. (Photo credit: Matthew Keys / Flickr Creative Commons

#StartupsMX The legal certainty for the rest of us

#StartupsMX The legal certainty for the rest of us

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FinTech revolution is happening around the world. While sound financial institutions are exploring business possibilities, the real deal is happening in the startup scene. Bitcoin is just one of them.

Beyond decentralizing payments system around the world, Bitcoin is set to aid several industries. Legal services are a growing niche.

Mifiel is a Guadalajara-based initiative launched by the same team behind Volabit, a bitcoin transfers and exchange service in Mexican pesos. Mifiel allows Mexican people to use its electronic signature developed and supported by Mexican Ministry of Finance (FIEL) to sign any type of document.

Potential is clear for certification services, but in fact many other legal services could benefit. Namely e-discovery, M&As, contract management and judicial/administrative proceedings.

As NewLaw by non-lawyers is pushing traditional legal services to tech-driven law practices, Bitcoin could deliver the legal certainty for the rest of us.

The question is: Who will dare to become incumbent? Lawyers or Non-Lawyers.

Photo credit: Close Up 3D Illustration Of Paneled Golden Bitcoins by mdorottya / http://www.bigstockphoto.com

The 2014 Year in Review

The 2014 Year in Review

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2014 is done. Business in Mexico was quite active in response to reforms in progress by Peña Nieto Administration. Some industries like energy, telecom, antitrust and financial services are on the spotlight, but all together with education, tax and judicial pretend to set a backbone for a new Mexican economy. Of course, foreign investment caps were reduced in some areas.

Mexico kept investment attraction with its free trade strategy, some governments with remarkable interest were UK, China, Japan, Singapore, California and Los Angeles. This strategy was fueled by negotiation efforts with the Pacific Alliance and TPP, and efforts to integrate more with the US.

Most of the attention was attracted to oil and gas, the Mexican Eagle Ford, the solar potential and the liberalization of clean energies, and the moves of related industries to the opportunities. Here is a summary of the energy reform to see the big picture.

Telecoms was another industry that was shaken by the reforms. Historic reform indeed, specially on broadcasting. Reform tried to set fair market conditions for everyone, and some were taken to court. Regulator learned the high cost of constitutional autonomy. All these changes deserved an ethical hacking on the new telecom law and regulation, specially on three hot topics: Telmex on TV, the arrival of Virgin Mobile and telecom antitrust.

Sectors like automotive and manufacturing grew strong during 2014, as expected. Aerospace is now following that path. Mexico is living a manufacturing momentum and if combined with R&D, could take it to the next level: a technology hub. During 2014, the Government announced a $590 Bn infrastructure plan, which is expected to boost in 2015.

The business opportunities are creating great expectations around the services industries. Lawyers, among other services firms, are moving to Mexico. Some of them under new law business models, as the global law industry is being shaken. Mexican legal market will have a very different landscape at the end of 2015. Quite diverse if new law moves from experimentation to business phase.

2015 is expected to be great for Mexico and those who believe in this momentum. Have you found an opportunity yet?

Photo credit by: Monumento de la independencia, México D.f. by Moreno Novello / www.bigstock.com
eCommerce Giants Focus On Mexico

eCommerce Giants Focus On Mexico

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eCommerce is starting to gain momentum in Mexico. According to the estimates by eMarketer, the Latin American country is expected to be one of the fastest-growing markets for B2C eCommerce in 2014. The independent market research company calculated that sales would increase by 20% this year, which is almost equal to US$11.43 billion. Sales would continue to expand at a 17.6% annual growth rate up till 2017, pushing the total to $15.11 billion by the end of the company’s forecast period.

One of the biggest reasons behind this growth is the increasing internet user base. Numbers show that 21.3% of the population (10.4 million people) have web access now, which is more than the 16.5% recorded in 2013. Of this 21.3%, the Competitive Intelligence Unit (CIU) reported that 71% have at least made one digital purchase, starting from ringtones to other micro-purchases.

Interestingly, most digital transactions have been made through computers rather than mobile devices. CIU reports that 84% of eCommerce and internet users in Mexico used computers whereas 22% relied on mobile phones, 7% on tablets, and 1% on video game consoles. These statistics shouldn’t come as a surprise considering that Mexico is yet a developing country. CIU pointed out that computers reign eCommerce operations because the Mexican population still distrust security of mobile devices and don’t have much experience handling them. However, buyers may start shopping with their devices before sealing the deal on their computers.

One of the first companies to tap into the growing eCommerce power is the Mexican branch of Wal-Mart. Despite a 1.3% drop in revenues due to a countrywide economic slowdown in 2013, the chain recovered this year through its online shopping services. By offering same-day delivery and extending the same advantage through its local upscale subsidiary Superama, Wal-Mart has been able to ensure that 92% of Mexican retail purchases on the web belong to both. Online shopping further pushed the performance of physical stores; more than 50% of the population have started shopping from Wal-Mart, making it the highest-earning supermarket and a top contributor to total retail revenues at 61%.

With such a warm welcome, Wal-Mart intends to triple the number of its stores by the second half of this year. This way, it can provide grocery deliveries quickly to its online shoppers, as well as an extensive consumer electronics stock. The U.S. based retailer also plans on opening a few dark stores – retail outlets that exclusively handle online orders and act as an order fulfilment platform – in 2015. With limited Amazon’s services in Mexico, and eBay took its first steps last week, Wal-Mart may successfully dominate the market. It’ll even profit immensely as its pickers, i.e. the people in charge of assembling online orders and at times providing customer support, are paid $360 a month while deliveries cost $1.5 per delivery. Additional costs like health care and fuel are covered by the delivery men themselves. Wal-Mart is also installing in-store costumer service modules for eCommerce clients to address a better UX.

Other companies are bound to jump on this opportunity as well, especially U.S. based ones. Fredjoseph Goldner, CEO of Aeropost, told the audience of Multichannel Merchant’s Growing Global conference that Mexico among other countries has a predisposition towards U.S. merchants. “[Latin countries] have good logistics, and in Mexico in particular most of the transactions are in cash at the store or through consumer financing. It’s a great market, and a piece of the eCommerce pie no one is paying attention to.”

With internet users expected to reach 78.2 million in Mexico with new telecom reform, online retailers and eCommerce website owners are bound to make a handsome profit. In addition, going the delivery duty paid (DDP) route will be very helpful as consumers hate paying more on delivery and the experience of delivery duty unpaid (DDU) since it’s a hassle going to the post office to pick their purchases and pay by cash. Still, Mexico´s banks and authorities have set plans for increasing access to credit card to lower income population.

Now, maybe B2B and B2G eCommerce will follow the path of the growth. And if NAFTA can go further, maybe eCommerce will become a regional indicator of growth.

Photo credit: Sleepy beagle dog in funny glasses near laptop by soloway / Bigstockphoto.com

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