Horacio and Tomás Gennari on #PRODUprimetime

The BB Media Day will be face-to-face in Miami the last quarter of the year
21 de mayo de 2021

The BB Media Day will be held in person during the last quarter of this year at the Biltmore hotel in Coral Gables, Miami, announced Horacio and Tomás Gennari from the Business Bureau during #PRODUprimetime with Ríchard Izarra.

BB Media Day is a free one-day event aimed at the TV industry in order to share the most recent data collected by BB. Many executives use that information to fine-tune their strategies and projections.

The first BB Media Day took place in Argentina in 2012, and since then it has been held annually non-stop. The first time it took place in Miami was in 2015. Last year it was held during the first week of March, and it was the last one before going into lockdown.

Bogotá and Madrid, have also hosted the event with an average attendance of 80 to 100 executives.

“Today everything is based on data, on hard data, and if the methodology is right, and the way of estimating and projecting forward is right, it gives you a much greater degree of certainty for what will come in the next five years. When you look at a 2016 Business Bureau report, it is also nice to say: 'Look here we were right in this and that was what happened, we were not crazy," said Tomás Gennari, escorted by his son Tomas. The company was founded by Horacio 34 years ago when Tomás was only 2 years old. Both covered topics that included the company’s beginnings to the reinvention of the industry.

They talked about how they got involved in TV data in Latin America and how now Tomás, at the head of the company, has expanded BB's services to the entire world with content data.

“I am proud, extremely proud of my son Tomás, of how he is managing the company and the leap in quality and innovation that he has achieved in recent years. I am very involved with the company when it comes to big decisions, but I feel quite relieved that he is running it,” Horacio said.

And he added: “And let me tell you something else, Ríchard, that will perhaps catch your attention: When we started building grids of cable operators, there were 740 cable operators in Latin America, with approximately 50-60 cable TV channels each. And what we have done, and Tomás has done and conducted very well, is to replicate that, but on a multiplatform scale with millions of contents. We continue doing the same: investigate where the content is, how it looks, how it is distributed, which is legal and which is illegal. But instead of doing it for 30,000 cable operators -how we ended up doing it in Latin America, now it is done for thousands of platforms in the world and with millions of episodes and millions of series."
Since the beginning of this year Horacio has retired from the day to day operations of the company in order to dedicate himself to more intellectual and advisory tasks from his residence in Miami.

“What always caught my attention were the first pay TV researches that BB kicked off about 30 years ago: calling a home and asking Doña Rosa -who was sitting at her home-, which channel she was watching,” Tomás stressed. He explained that now they are doing the same, but with the contents. They have an expert content team that uses the same modus operandi as BB: finding out what is happening in the industry, searching for data, working with their clients so that they understand what is going on, but not only in the macro level, saying how many subscribers or platform there are, but getting down to the absolute detail.

“As my old man said, first what cable operators exist, what channels do they have, but now replicating that same modus operandi to know how many platforms exist around the world and how much they charge and what content they have. We have moved from over traditional research methodologies such as phone calls to automation. Everything is now automated, controlled by systems engineers; all are developers,” Tomás commented, adding the data is exponentially higher. “The amount of data collected weekly reaches 50 million and when the bills from the servers arrive, there is when you faint. But we are alongside with the change of the industry, in this digital transformation that is happening for all the players and our clients, and we are walking the same path together, looking for the right business model for each of the actors," he said.

How did BB get involved in TV data? Horacio was a marketer from Odol Argentina, a worldwide toothpaste company. He founded BB oriented to brand research and advertising, until Telefe’s boss during those times, Pablo Gali, asked him to find out who was stealing his signal. Since then BB has not stopped in its hard data surveys, becoming a pillar in the development and growth of the region's TV industry.

“What I can say is that during the pandemic the company has grown in revenues, in a number of clients, and in staff. We attribute this to the vocation and the new products that have been launched and, above all, to our proactive attitude to respond immediately to the customers’ needs. I take great pride when a huge, global client asks us: Can you tell me what contents are being watched in South Sudan and Bangladesh, I would need that information for tomorrow?... And that attitude of going out there and looking for the answer, and for tomorrow, it has not been lost, and I like that Tomás carries that flag,” said Horacio.

Possible cannibalization of the pay-TV programmers by launching their own OTT services was among the various topics addressed during the interview.

“This is not the pay TV apocalypse. We look at the numbers and obviously, there are factors of concern, but it is not the apocalypse anyway. Is reinvention, and there is where you do have to hurry to be part of that reinvention and not be left out. It is precisely there that the data is very useful to those who are being proactive; there are so many possibilities and so many doors, so that is why we seek that our data is somehow the answer to many questions that are around. We do not see that they are cannibalizing, but that they are reinventing themselves, and in that reinvention, there is going to be more money than it used to be in traditional pay television. But I think that more money is going to be concentrated in fewer hands.”

Watch the complete interview here