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Profile: David Moss

May 13, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Title: President and CEO of Cupertino, Calif.-based Canal Plus Technologies, which provides interactive TV middleware and applications.
Background: Mr. Moss joined Canal Plus in January 2000 after working in sales for several years at Motorola and General Instruments.
The churn factor: “Digital churn rates are a lot higher than they ever thought they would be. I believe customers’ expectations are higher. They expect more than digital channels. I think they expect new services like video-on-demand. Operators have gone full circle and realized they need to roll out more than one new service every two years.”
The role of middleware: As operators introduce more services, the importance of middleware increases since it is the layer that manages all those different services, almost acting like a traffic cop, Mr. Moss said. “The way we feel we differentiate [as a company] is we have ITV applications worldwide- since 1996 in Europe. We feel we have an advantage because of our unique positions with our cousin in Vivendi to develop compelling applications.”
Industry forces: ITV hasn’t rolled out very quickly, and Mr. Moss attributes the sluggishness to the reluctance of cable operators to allocate the necessary resources. Given the recent wave of consolidation, they have been focused instead on minimizing costs and merging businesses. “Any time you have as much consolidation as we’ve seen over the last three years, it restricts the ability of operators to roll out new services. When consolidation slows down, we will see product roll out at a faster rate.”
Competition: Precedent has shown that the satellite industry is usually first to roll out new services, and that trend will likely continue, Mr. Moss said. “I believe the satellite guy has continued to raise the bar from the new-services standpoint.” While cable has finally gained a bit of an edge with its ability to deliver VOD, satellite companies counter with personal video recorders, and Mr. Moss believes the two are equally strong consumer offerings. “I’m not sure one is going to win. I think the majority of customers don’t know the difference.”