Senior Product Manager Barny Ajetunmobi talks technology, innovation and the importance of thinking big, both in childhood and professional life.
• How would you sum up your role at DAZN and what your team does?
“I’m a Senior Product Manager for Content Discovery and therefore I’m responsible for everything the user sees after they’ve signed in. This can be anything from discovering content via search, to seeing your schedule, to the rails that appear on the home and category pages. My priority is to ensure our users can find the content that they want to watch as quickly and easily as possible.. Ultimately, we want it to be an enjoyable experience where the customer is not thinking about how they discovered the content but is instead engaging with it.”
• What are the things you’ve found most challenging about making the DAZN customer experience consistent across all devices?
“Each device type poses it’s own set of challenges. We have a great UX team here at DAZN that take our features and adapt their user interfaces for devices (mobile vs web vs TV) and then take into account the various means of navigating those devices. For example, it’s very easy to navigate with your thumb on a mobile or select tiles with your finger, but when it comes to TV, the remote control can be cumbersome, so trying to make that experience as painless as possible for the users is something they do really well.”
• What product innovations do you think will take a hold of the sport and tech industry in the next few years?
“I think it’s important for us to not just jump on the bandwagon of AI, AR and VR, but to ensure that it works with the DAZN experience. We can use sports data and social integration, but how can we make the DAZN experience more immersive for the sports viewer? How can we capture the emotion of a sporting event? The build-up in anticipation; the in-game action; the conversation post-match – I think any innovation or application of technology that supports these ‘emotions’ is something we should apply to DAZN.”
• What brought you to DAZN, and what has your experience been like here so far?
“The scale of what we’re trying to deliver is incredible. Whether we are attempting to disrupt such established OTT markets as the US, or entering a country like Japan where we are now a key OTT provider, being able to think globally as opposed to locally, is amazing. It’s great to be a part of a company that has that level of drive and ambition – and I want to play my part in creating this.”
• What advice would you give anyone looking to get into the tech industry or a project such as this?
“Our dreams and imaginations are the drivers for technology, and being in a place like this, I’ve got the chance to live out something I dreamt about when I was eleven years old. I used to think about how I could get TV into a small handheld device and watch my favourite sporting events in the car, and now, twenty years later, I’m doing just that! If anybody is interested in coming to this area, then do your research, yes – but if you have a passion for sport and technology, and your ambitions extend beyond the UK, this is definitely the place to be. For me, it’s a fantastic opportunity, and I’m grateful to be here.”