EP #25: How Indonesia’s Vision+ (MNC) Uses Personalization as an OTT Growth Lever

EP #25: How Indonesia’s Vision+ (MNC) Uses Personalization as an OTT Growth Lever

About this Podcast

Social distancing measures due to COVID-19 – which include shutting down of movie theaters – have made consumers turn to and rely more on OTT platforms for entertainment, leading to a surge in digital content consumption. We wanted to understand how these evolving consumer behavior trends are impacting the OTT space in emerging markets and caught up with Daniel Hartono, CEO of Vision+ and MD of MNC-Vision Network, Indonesia. Founded in 1994, Vision+ (MNC) is a pioneer in the broadcast media industry. An award-winning, customer-centric company, it has now expanded its offerings into the OTT vertical as a leading player in Indonesia. Daniel Hartono shares his thoughts on:

  • The positive impacts on the OTT industrial landscape due to COVID-19
  • How a customer-centric content strategy is the key to increase market share
  • The important role of personalization and AI-led recommendation engines to increase user retention in OTT
  •  The need for an AI-driven content strategy to ensure sustainability in this changing digital landscape

Hear how Indonesia’s top OTT platform is powering user engagement and retention with AI-led personalization as a growth level.

Episode Transcripts

Rendi Peterson: Hi! Good morning, Daniel Hartono. How are you?

Daniel Hartono: I am good. Thank you. How are you? 

Rendi Peterson: Good, so let me just introduce myself, but I’m Rendi Peterson, the Managing Director from Frontier Technology who handles the network also in Indonesia. You’re also the partner of the Netcore Association. So now in our podcast, we have Daniel Hartono as CEO of MNC OTT Networks. So I think you can also say something back. 

Daniel Hartono: Yes. Hi everybody. I’m Daniel Hartono. I’m here. Thank you for the invitation for this podcast from Frontier as well as Netcore. I am taking care of MNC within the Network and our product’s brand name is Vision Plus. So yeah, we hope we have an interesting and lively discussion this morning. Thank you.

Rendi Peterson: Thank you so much. I think just early this year you do the rebranding from MNC now to Vision plus, can you please explain a bit why the decision likes these changes.

Daniel Hartono: Yes. It’s really early this year. You should be cold as I mentioned. Surely aside from the brand itself, we do a lot of things not only in SME or packaging but also in a content strategy. So we pick the name Vision Plus because one is that this is a part of the NVN or Vision Network. So we should also defend that it’s easier and more understandable for the users on the market to have a clear DNA of the branding which is Vision and many International Brands they put plus symbols like this Disney plus and so on. I think it’s only more acceptable and easy to understand if we just add the Vision Plus with the people who understand that basically, this is one of a group of vision, which is also MNC own. Second is that we provide value so aside from just being a subscriber and they watch at home the content of our pay-TV. They can also watch anywhere at any time anywhere outside.

Rendi Peterson: So in this pandemic or covid-19 all of us should be working from home and one of the industries who we see significant increases like at the OTT, so can you please explain how is the industrial landscape for the OTT in this pandemic? 

Daniel Hartono: Yes, of course. This is challenging times but also interesting times yet because people’s market behavior has changed a lot and now people stay at home they do activities without his personal business now at home mostly so we see that this is an opportunity for us to increase our market share and we respond that in terms of content strategy, on the strategy as well as on our promotion and branding for the requirements. Number one is that we see the behavior now that is for the family now more family-oriented activities increase so you can see that our content kids related content have been increasing a lot. The other thing is that for example content of teen romance also has been increasing because I think all these youngsters are not going out so thinking about their romance activities is now reflected in the contents. So yeah, the content strategy has changed and of course, the number of video Pace increased a lot for us.

Rendi Peterson: This love wow, because I think a lot of people actually stay at home and they have more time. They watch more entertainment, especially like this OTT.  

Daniel Hartono: Yes. It’s like the synergy with our TV business because either way, you know people watching television at home but not necessarily they watch it the TV which is a touch too. You know, probably the living room or having a bigger, but a lot of people now personality was to brigade just while they’re at home as well, for example now a lot of parents gave mobile phones or iPad, tablets and even laptops for the kids so that they can watch different content with their parents. For example, young people can watch through their jobs at home inside their bathrooms.

Rendi Peterson: All right and for this OTT industry the content is also very important. You also mention some who like the family-oriented and the kid’s program. So in this case, how’s your strategy to create or it to improve the personalization I mean to give a better customer experience?

Daniel Hartono: Well personalization what we call is Artificial Intelligence as well as Machine Learning. It is part of the whole process, part of the features that is very critical for us because people watch our content under their gadgets. And in the digital world, everything is about to become personal, everybody now carries one mobile phone at least. So we want to create the content as well as the User Interface so the whole experience with Vision Plus is like you are having a personal friend; somebody or something that really understands you. That’s why it has to shoot the personalities of each individual user.

Rendi Peterson: For each individual user bias or in the interest of the individual user? 

Daniel Hartono: Not only for interest. So for example-content is about interest but also the experience; it’s like the Vision Plus application understands you very well. So, you know, the application must be able to read your mood for example; whether you’re happy, you’re sad; you want to have fun and everything. So it will provide contents or offer to you continuity suitable to your mood for the day. 

Rendi Peterson: So I think Vision Plus already uses a lot of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning capability. 

Daniel Hartono: Yes. Yes, not perfect yet because we are continuously improving our features of course using third-party tools as well.

Rendi Peterson: Let’s say, in this situation, what is the strategy of Vision Plus to increase customer engagement?

Daniel Hartono: First of all, we do a lot of interactivity, meaning that we have quizzes and social media also for open conversation. We are very active through social media in order to get feedback, requests, comments, and everything. From the apps we are able to read their behavior like a dislike, meets unwanted things and everything and we could also do some test, for example, some experiments in order to sharpen up our understanding about the consumer or the user need especially with our content probably about our pricing here; probably about our UI and UX and so on. 

Rendi Peterson: So that’s like a lot of things. Is there any special Innovation campaign happening right now, especially to tackle the Covid-19 situation?

Daniel Hartono: Yes. We do have a new campaign now because we know the situation is not comfortable for everybody. A lot of people are anxious because of the current business or job situation, as well as health, so it creates some little bit of unrest, so we should have an opportunity here because our new campaign is about New Found Happiness that they can get at home. So we create especially emotional campaigns, very emotional campaigns where people are usually very busy outside, working and then they kind of forget about how they actually lost some of the love, some of the intimacy with the wife, with the husband, children, with the parents, everything. So we create everything now that basically, it is really newfound happiness; something that they find it basically is really happy to be with the family at home and Visual Plus is part of their family with them. We are always there; to keep them company to console them when they are sad and to be as happy as they are happy, we provide love; we provide educational information and everything. That’s it. 

Rendi Peterson: That’s very good support. I think because a lot of people stay at home, they feel some stress, they have to accept the new normal. I think your company is giving us a lot of joy and love so far.

Daniel Hartono: Yes, that’s right. 

Rendi Peterson: I think now it’s like from your company you provide a lot of personalization you try. So thank you so much Daniel for your insight. So then can you share with us for example, what’s the post-Covid strategy for efficiency?

Daniel Hartono: Okay, there are some major changes in behavior or family behavior, even for the businessman. For example, now a lot of I would say newly created chefs here suddenly, especially the ladies as well as the young teenagers female; they now experiment with cooking or baking, so we provide will provide more culinary content number one, and then entertainment for the kids, for the children because I think more and more education institution will provide remote learning and remote education. So a lot of young people will be studying from home as well as they will still limit their activities outdoors. So we provide a combination of education and entertainment called it at the low payment for the young people. So we provide more content models, but at the same time, we also see that people are yearning for being able to make some trips and travel. So this is not a thing that we see people will find more information or places to visit to travel. So we provide more contexts about traveling, about the beautiful places in the world. And then what else romance is still the thing. Yeah, because I used to tell my team that love, friendship, and music are always the three things people love. So whatever the circumstances; these three things are the stripping of friendship and love so this is basically also the raw material for content. 

Rendi Peterson: I think thank you so much Daniel for sharing your insights. It’s very useful for us.

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