“Never ever stand in the way of what the customer wants,” said Vodafone CEO Philipp Humm, warning content owners to change their business models.
“We need to convince content owners to change their business model, to monetise customers rather than devices.” At the moment, the owners want to charge for use of their material in each device.
In Humm’s view the business model should be customer centric. If not, they will fail, “many industries have tried that before,”
“We need more access to premium content, as this drives traffic, but as Vodafone we don’t want to buy rights – the only winners will be the soccer clubs. As a result, our industry will pay the bill and be less profitable.”
Vodafone is committed to becoming a converged company, examples being the company’s acquisition of ONO in Spain and Kabel Deutschland in Germany. Convergence not as a defensive move, but as an active strategy.
“True convergence is yet to come,” said Humm, “For convergence to really work we need intelligent regulation. So far convergence not driven by consumer demand, but it is driven by discounts. The higher the discount, the more consumers will choose,”
Humm pointed out that incumbents in Spain and Portugal were giving huge discounts resulting in between 25 – 35% convergent customers. But in countries such as Germany, but also the UK and Netherlands, where discounts are lower, only about 10% are convergent customers.