In-Depth

The Euro50 Q&A: Anders Blauenfeldt, senior vice-president, innovation and IT, YouSee

Anders Blauenfeldt has played an instrumental role in taking YouSee’s OTT plans this year. The Danish cable operator has developed a service initially to make content available outside the home to existing subscribers, with a full OTT offering to follow. In a busy year, YouSee has also merged with MVNO Onfone to expand its offering beyond traditional cable TV.

Age 40

Education MSc Engineering, Technical University of Denmark; MA Interactive Media, University of Westminster, London.

Previous positions I’ve been with YouSee since 2006 and took over the joint responsibility of a new division, combining product development activities and IT, in 2011. I came to YouSee after some years in mobile, based in the Middle East with a GSM startup, and telco corporate strategy in Denmark. In the 1990s I mostly worked within the early wave of web and IT development, and in 1999 co-founded one of the Danish internet startups at that time. Have lived and worked in Barcelona, London and the Middle East. Now based in Copenhagen.

Life outside work Three kids, all under the age of 10, tend to keep one busy outside work. Also I do like travel and as a small personal goal I like to maintain having visited more countries than my age – so far I’m still managing to keep ahead.

Achievements of 2012 In 2012 we took two giant leaps ahead as a cable operator. First of all we  developed a new OTT based product were we distribute subscription VOD content over the open internet, introducing a new IP based OTT STB. Second, we have decided to merge YouSee with one of the large virtual mobile operators in Denmark, adding a large mobile customer base. Both of these initiatives are in themselves quite significant, and combined we are now moving the business outside traditional cableco domain. It has taken, and is still taking, tremendous efforts on the IT and development side to prepare for these things and I am quite proud of our achievements here.

Significant industry developments At a product level the most significant development I see is still within the trends of anytime, anywhere – driving a lot of innovation within TV distribution to many new screens and IP devices. In Denmark this is still a key factor in our growth within broadband as TV everywhere is the obvious reason for taking broadband and TV from the same provider.

Key challenges for 2013 Regulation, digital transformation of the customer experience, content rights, the increasing pace of technology development and much more. But to pick one I would go with the global competition entering via OTT as this will most likely accelerate an important discussion on how to manage IP and broadband networks, which is quite fundamental to the industry’s future. With the recent launch of Netflix in the Scandinavian region we can see the start of this and I anticipate it will be one of the key challenges in 2013 and ahead.

Most admired industry personality Difficult, as there are many to admire across the media, telco and internet industry – but to pick some in the latter, I would go with the founders of Google. What they have created in less than 15 years is amazing. I was fortunate to visit the GooglePlex earlier this year, which offered an inspiring insight into a global technology company that has managed to keep an entrepreneurial atmosphere. Very admirable.

Favourite current TV show Recently the public broadcaster in Denmark started another re-run of Matador, the most famous TV series in Denmark, which will run well into 2013. It consists of 24 full hour episodes and was produced 35 years ago, aired for the first time in 1978. It depicts the era of 1930-1945 in small town Denmark, and I would have to mention this as my favorite show right now due to two things: first, it has been the best selling DVD in Denmark ever and has furthermore been available on demand free of charge for several years, and still it draws very impressive viewing numbers on live TV every Saturday night – being an excellent proof that live TV is far from dead and not only because of sports. Second, because it is simply sublime story telling.