Ex-Vodafone director to head internet tv service Babelgum

Former Vodafone director Valerio Zingarelli has been appointed chief executive of global internet TV service Babelgum. Zingarelli takes over from co-founder Erick Lumer who will concentrate instead on strategic product development.

Zingarelli will lead the day to day running of Babelgum and oversee its marketing strategy.
The service is planning an “extensive” marketing campaign aimed at English-speaking viewers around the globe within a year. It also wants to target advertisers to build a viable revenue stream.

Prior to joining Babelgum, Zingarelli was a board member of Fastweb, a fixed-line telecommuncations company in Italy. His career with Vodafone began in 1994 when he joined Omnitel, later acquired from Vodafone, as chief technology officer.

He later became global director of networks and service platforms for the company, managing all Vodafone’s technology activities and strategy. Zingarelli left the telecoms company in 2005.

Babelgum, the free global internet TV and video on-demand service, is backed by Italian billionare Silvio Scaglia. Other global internet TV start-ups like Joost already offer strong internet video services. However, Babelgum says it will include niche content such as independent films.

Babelgum chairman and co-founder Scaglia says Zingarelli’s appointment is a reflection of changing focus from technology to marketing and content acquisition. He says: “The core technology has been proven and whilst our focus right now is on bringing together compelling content, we will soon turn to user acquisition and advertising.”

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