Andiara Petterle, Executive Vice President of Product and Operations at Grupo RBS, recently joined the Local Media Association’s Board of Directors.
We caught up with Andiara to learn about her role, her view on journalism and media and future business models:
Tell us a little about your background. I am currently the EVP of Product and Operations at Grupo RBS, dedicated to cultural change, digital shift and financial turn around of television, radio, newspapers and digital businesses. I lead all newsrooms, subscription businesses, technology and operations. I have more than 15 years experience in leadership positions focused on media, technology and venture capital. I am the Former VP of Newspapers and Executive Director of Strategy and Portfolio Management at e.Bricks Digital – Grupo RBS’ investment company dedicated to digital sector in Latin America – and CEO at Predicta – leading Brazilian ad tech company. I also am the former founder and CEO of Grupo Bolsa de Mulher – largest digital media group for women in Brazil. For the last five years, I have managed investments in growth stage digital companies, helping entrepreneurs to take the next level.
It sounds like your company has had a lot of success with your app. Tell us about the app and what’s working. In fact, we’ve launched about one year ago a digital platform called GauchaZH, converging our largest quality newspaper with our leading news radio. We have about 15MM unique users per month, 80 percent coming from mobile, and we’ve reached 90,000 digital only subscriptions. GauchaZH app is key to the engagement and retention we have, reducing churn dramatically. One of the most consumed feature of the app is the live radio streaming integrated with whatsapp, so the users can interact with live shows. We also have two other apps dedicated to soccer teams of the region.
What strategies in consumer revenues seem to be working for your group? Mainly the idea of having a portfolio of digital products playing a different role for different targeted audience. We’ve learned how to operate more like a telecom and an e-commerce company, using agile method for digital marketing and improving our ability to generate usage. Print subscription is still a very good business for us as well.
You have offered some pretty clear thinking on Facebook and their issues. Tell us where you stand on the topic. As a publisher whose business model is mainly digital subscription (radio and newspaper), we can’t be a real partner with Facebook due to the conflict of interest. We need to focus on having exclusive content and direct traffic to our own platforms. Besides, considering the television business, Facebook became a real media player as much as any television. Lately, they’ve acquired sports right to have their own soccer transmissions. There is no doubt they are not only a tech platform. And they need to be regulated, responsible and accountable as any serious media group. We can’t accept anything different than a radical scrutiny on their way of operating.
Anything you are particularly excited about right now that you all are working on? We are fully integrating newspaper, radio, tv and digital and recreating processes, formats and products having a more data-driven business. In the next year we will be also implementing agile method to the daily newsroom operation. I am excited to see how it is going to turn out. Besides that, we’ve partner with a big telco and universities to create and sell specific digital subscription bundles.