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Brazilian media giant Globo has forged a long-term strategic partnership with Google Cloud in its bid to become a full-fledged mediatech company. The new deal aims to bring more scale, efficiency and innovation to Globo’s operations and distribution.

The brand new alliance dovetails with Globo’s recent digital transformation, with a restructuring focused on direct-to-consumer deliveries.

Starting April 2021, over the next seven years, Globo will use Google’s experience in data management, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), as well as its global, scalable and secure infrastructure, to bolster the company’s digital evolution.

“In recent years, we dove deeply into our processes, so that the company was in fact prepared for the many challenges of the future,” said Globo CEO Jorge Nóbrega, adding: “This strategic partnership will help us accelerate the main pillars of our transformation, such as focus on the public, data management, partnership for innovation and new business models.”

“We’ve been facing the challenge of managing a high content consumption of programs like ‘Big Brother Brazil,’ which has been leading Globo’s platforms to one of its best audience ratings in decades and hitting historic milestones on [streaming service] Globoplay, such as the record of three million votes per minute in this 21st season,” Nobrega explained. “Therefore, having surpassed the 100 million monthly active users (MAU) mark and 100 million Globo IDs on our identity management system, Globo will benefit from the scale and AI/ML (artificial intelligence / machine learning) capabilities of Google Cloud to deliver a unique and personalized experience to our users,” he continued.

Nobrega added: “By advancing our data-based strategy, and strengthening partnerships that allows us to integrate broadband and broadcast, we will be able to offer a more fluid and complementary navigation between digital and linear, but also new possibilities of hyper-segmentation of the content offer, personalizing recommendations in real time to our audience.”

The deal is one of Google Cloud’s biggest customer win in Latin America to date after in June 2019 Latin America became a dedicated Google Cloud region under new leadership, said Google Cloud President Robert Enslin,

“Businesses across industries are turning to Google Cloud to help them transform and modernize,” he added, citing Mercado Libre, a regional online retailer, Grupo Herdez, a leading consumer goods company in Mexico, Brazilian bank BV, Alpargatas, a manufacturing company using Workspace, and Rubin Observatory, an astronomic research in Chile.

“Over the past year, media and entertainment companies have gone through immense changes, and a lot of companies are looking to build new services — streaming and otherwise — using technology, “ Enslin added. “We’re here to help them do that, and our partnership with Grupo Globo exemplifies this.”

Nobrega pointed out that over 50% of the Brazilian households might have access to a connected TV ecosystem – which represents a strong opportunity to (re)start thinking TV as a mainstream media for communication, bringing all the metrics and business models typical of digital advertising to open TV.

Within the scope of the partnership, Globo said it aims to:

*Migrate 100% of its data centers to Google Cloud, enabling scale in the production and distribution of media, launching new channels, among other initiatives;

* Transfer its content to Google Cloud, as well as digital products and services, such as Globoplay and the “G family” — G1, GE.com and Gshow;

* Optimize, modernize, and unify platforms through a scalable and flexible cloud-based technological architecture that will serve as a backbone for all the services and products of the media conglomerate;

* Optimize personalized recommendations in real time to its audience. Google Cloud will also accelerate the training of Globo employees with advanced machine learning knowledge.

The first project will be the customized integration of Globoplay with Android TV OS, with the purpose of combining the programming of open TV (digital signal, broadcast) and TV via internet (broadband), resulting in new ways for audiences to watch Globo TV through a standard digital signal.

“Having Globoplay natively embedded into the Android TV OS opens up new opportunities to provide to our consumers a seamless and unique experience of watching free-to-air digital TV and enjoying their preferred shows on demand over Globoplay,” said Nobrega. “This is the concept of hybrid TV, combining in a single experience the big reach of the Globo broadcast TV in Brazil that reaches 100 million every day on its linear channel with the highly personalized experience of the Globoplay streaming service,” he noted.

John Hopewell contributed to this article.