Monday, April 15, 2024

    Oleg Fonarov: Revolutionising books for the mobile multimedia age

    Oleg Fonarov is the Founder and CEO at Cine-Books. Cine-Books produces and distributes unique multimedia content called “cine-books.”  Cine-book is a new type of entertainment that combines the advantages of books and movies. The company provides original storytelling content for Mobile Media and Online Media companies and gives new entertainment experience for their end-users.

    Oleg Fonarov is an entrepreneur with 28 years of experience in management of high-tech companies. He is Founder of Program-Ace. With more than 28 years of history, the Program-Ace is the Global Top 100 outsourcing company (by IAOP) and Global Top 5 AR/VR Company (by Clutch). It is the R&D and innovation-oriented company specialized on Training and Simulation, AR/VR, Virtual Reality, Business Automation, Game Development, complex web-based systems for the wide range of industries.

    During almost three decades at Program-Ace he helps to develop software solutions for both Fortune 500 companies and high-tech startups. Over 800 projects were completed. For now, using this great experience he has created own start up Cine-Books.

    Who are you and what is your current role?

    My name is Oleg Fonarov. I am the Founder and CEO at Cine-Books.

    Which countries or regions do you feel represent the greatest opportunity for telemedia services?

    It is not to say some regions represent the greatest opportunities. Different regions provide different opportunities. In developed countries, competition is high. But on the other hand, customers are willing to pay more. Less developed regions have lower purchasing power of the population, but they provide more opportunities to become a leader in some segments, etc. So the “greatest opportunity” depends on the evaluation criteria.

    For example, for Cine-Books, as for the producer of original English mobile content, countries such as USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand provide the greatest opportunities. But we believe in the great potential of other regions and we are looking for distribution partners in other countries and ready to localize our existing cine-books or produce custom unique content. In particular, the LATAM region seems very promising to us since people there love watching the TV series and our cine-books format is an alternative to a TV series, even a more suitable way to consume stories on mobile devices.

    In general, when you make really unique products or content, many regions can represent fair opportunities. In our opinion, it is important to have a local partner who really understands the features of the local market. Partners can also produce their own content, taking into account the characteristics of this region. In this case, we are ready to provide them with the technology.

    Which content and/or applications do you see being the most likely to benefit from telemedia billing and/or marketing technologies?

    In my opinion, micro-payment apps for content or services can get the greatest benefits. With the development of legislation in the field of cryptocurrencies and banking, financial and banking applications will not just benefit from new opportunities, but will actually be based on them.

    Do you think that Direct Carrier Billing can become mainstream and in which markets?

    DCB will surely become mainstream. This is a very positive trend now. But it will not necessarily be dominant or remain mainstream forever. Monopolization or excessive centralization of services in the hands of operators can negatively affect the market. Neither nature, nor markets, developing according to the same evolutionary laws, can stand monotony. There is always an alternative and competition. For example, cryptocurrency development may lead to the fact that payment through a mobile operator will not be the fastest or the most convenient way of payment. And certainly DCB may not be the most economical way of payment. Having an intermediary always increases the cost of payment.

    What are the key drivers and inhibitors for growth?

    There are many factors and this is a topic for a separate large article. Growth drivers are the demand for digital native content and the need of micro-payments for it, this is the demand for an easy and fast payment method via phone and the popularity of phones itself, this is a weak development of the banking system in developing countries and at the same time a deep insight of mobile phones, etc. But there are also some stumbling blocks. For example, fraudulent actions by rogue sellers who subscribe users behind their backs in the background, cause negative feedback and this alienates users against this payment method. Also, as a representative of the content producer and a potential customer of DCB services, I would like to note that one of the import deterrent is the level of transaction costs. Operators who find ways to reduce transaction costs will be able to attract more app and service sellers.

    Do you see affiliate marketing being a primary, trusted channel for telemedia propositions or do you think alternative routes to market will become more popular?

    Affiliate marketing is by far one of the most important marketing channels – but it certainly has a risk exposure.

    What are they likely to be?  

    Direct advertising on Google and Facebook with the development of machine learning and further profiling of the interests of users will become more and more effective way of marketing. Facebook is especially promising because it has more information about users’ interests.

    How likely is it that crypto currencies will become popular telemedia/mobile payment mechanisms for premium content, services and applications?

    The emergence of new needs in the population and how people make payments, is evolving. Crypto currencies are almost ahead of their time, before a crypto currency is actually introduced for payments, you first need to integrate with their capabilities. If premium content, services and applications can do this by offering crypto currency options, then the path to accepting crypto currencies is already defined.

    Your words of wisdom: On a more personal level, what is the most inspiring piece of advice that has seen you through a life in business to this day and who gave that advice to you?

    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change” – Charles Darwin.

    I am an entrepreneur and use this principle both in life and in business. You cannot be the strongest or the smartest, but you can always be flexible. It is the ability to adapt that allows me to successfully conduct business in my R&D-oriented custom software development company Program-Ace for almost 30 years.

    However, the important thing is that flexibility gives not only the ability to survive through adaptation. It also provides an opportunity for growth. This is what helped me to create Cine-Books with a new innovative media format of visual books. I believe that Cine-Books will change the world of book publishing by providing more immersive storytelling content with the ability to switch consumption modes (read, listen, watch). Moreover, innovations are not only in the new media format, but also in the company’s business model – we are trying to unite all market players to create and sell original visual storytelling content: literary right holders, content producers, content distributors and investors. On the platform there are already thousands of writers and content creators and we can easily create a lot of new content every month. I am now looking for distribution partners who want to have unique content and I hope that flexibility will let me again to negotiate successfully and establish long-term relationships.

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