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19 Jul 2021

Digital Content Monetisation – Juniper Research Interview with Domagoj Rakitic

Domagoj Rakitić

Head of Mobile Payment Sales

This short interview was also featured in the Digital Content Monetisation: Emerging Opportunities, Future Outlook & Market Forecasts 2021-2026 report by Juniper Research.

1.    Can you give us an overview of your company?

NTH Group presents an international group of brands, companies, and partners present on the market since 1999, delivering various IT solutions and services in telecommunications, mobile payments & digital monetization, A2P messaging & cloud communications.

As a global mobile payment aggregator, we provide the technology which enables monetization of content, services, and goods through several billing methods, such as Direct Carrier Billing, Premium SMS, Premium Voice, and more.

Apart from the technology for processing payments from end-users to merchants, we also offer a complete customer support solution for VAS and a unique mobile testing platform for testing mobile services on real SIM cards worldwide.

2.    Where do you see your company in 5 years?

In terms of payments & monetization, in 5 years we see ourselves expanding our global carrier billing coverage, but also making more of an impact in payments for physical goods enabled by the PSD2 license in the EU. Having met all the requirements by the Croatian National Bank, we are one of the few Croatian companies holding an official PSD2 license.

It presents a great opportunity for innovative payment providers such as us to simplify customer payments and offer alternative payment methods as opposed to traditional banking and credit card processing.

3.    Are there any key partnerships that you have agreed on recently?

We have been establishing big MNO connections in the past several months, such as the one with Cosmote and Vodafone for DCB in Greece, as well as the one with O2 in the Czech Republic. In the first half of this year, we have established similar partnerships with local MNOs in UAE, KSA, Morocco, and Pakistan. Of course, we are always aiming to keep expanding our coverage even more.

4.    Which areas of digital content monetization do you feel are set for the most disruption over the next few years?

One of the areas we feel will keep having a significant impact is telco bundling. There are still a lot of opportunities for OTT service providers and MNOs to join forces and provide their consumers the opportunity to pay a single (mobile phone) bill for several different services, instead of paying separately through credit cards, etc. The markets with high mobile penetration and a large percentage of the unbanked population will especially benefit from this.

Illustration of a subscription-based streaming service
Illustration of a subscription-based streaming service

Another area is the PSD2-licensed physical goods payment which we already mentioned, which fosters more competition in the EU-fintech market and encourages innovation in terms of alternative payment solutions.

5.    How do you plan on capitalizing on this disruption?

Expanding partnerships and coverage to emerging, unbanked markets where mobile payments have the greatest potential is definitely on our roadmap. Also, the key factor for the telco bundling model based on revenue sharing between OTT service providers and MNOs is overcoming technical integration challenges, which is precisely what specialized payment solution providers like us can help with.

The same goes for the PSD2 license, which enables us to offer more methods of payment to merchants in the EU selling physical goods online.

6.    Are you seeing any changes in how users pay for content?

In general, everything is moving towards simplifying and minimizing the number of steps the consumer needs to take, from creating an account for a service, authentication to the payment itself.

When it comes to completing payments, there is no simpler and faster billing method than through a direct connection to the MNO, where the user needs to just click on the payment page to subscribe to a service, without the need to enter any personal data. This is an added benefit to users who do not wish to enter their personal information online, including their credit card data.

7.    How did COVID-19 impact your company in the last 12 months?

As everything had to move online very fast because of the pandemic, the entire IT industry got a big “push”. Since we provide a number of other solutions for different industries in our group, we saw stable growth in demand not just for the mobile payments segment, but in other business areas as well.

8.    What are your views on the subscription model? We have seen it have significant impacts on music and video streaming, and in-roads are being made into the digital games market. Are there any other areas where you feel it could apply in the future?

Subscriptions are very popular for the segments mentioned, and there is a growing trend of entertainment streaming services that offer access to their entire content for a low monthly fee. Many of them are turning to mobile payment as a solution precisely because of how easy it is for the user to subscribe – all they need is a few clicks from their mobile phone.

Other than being simpler for users, mobile payment methods cost less for service providers and merchants, while also enabling MNOs to earn revenue as well. The best part is that this applies to almost any on-demand market segment, whether music, video, games, sports, etc.

Illustration of a sports/fitness service with a subscription model
Illustration of a sports/fitness service with a subscription model

9.    What are your views on user-generated content? Given the high prevalence of Internet connectivity and user devices, do you expect that to have any impact on the creation of digital content?

Since the dawn of social media platforms, consumers have been increasingly turning into content creators themselves. This will keep on resulting in a bigger boom of content in terms of production and the emergence of new platforms for content distribution, but will also surely offer new possibilities for monetization.

Conclusion

Upcoming trends on digital monetization solutions are more dynamic than ever. Adapting to these trends and implementing them is crucial for any business that wants to keep up with consumers. We hope we gave you a good insight into how much has changed in the digital content industry and how you can use those changes to your advantage. If you would like to know more about this topic you can contact Domagoj here. 

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