LATAM Opportunity Moving to VOD
BlogFeb 14, 2023
The content market in Latin America is currently on course to become even more VOD focused, with both SVOD and AVOD revenues expected to continue their rise over the coming years, while Pay TV is set to decline.
When it comes to the acquisition of US and UK content, 3Vision Show Tracker data reveals the shutdown of once prominent Pay TV channels from the likes of Warner and Disney in favor of their own SVOD services, accelerating a dramatic switch in the types of services in Latin America that are acquiring English language scripted series.
Studio SVOD services almost entirely dominate the English content market in Latin America, supported not just by their Originals slate and studio pipelines, but also from some select third party acquisitions from other distributors.
With fewer non-studio services than ever acquiring scripted series it can be tempting to write off Latin America as a market lost to vertical integration, but these same studio SVODs now serve as potential targets for distributors in the region. Disney, through Disney+ and Star+, have acquired three TV series this season from NBCUniversal, including the Peacock Original ‘Bel-Air’. NBCUniversal has yet to launch Peacock in Latin America, with the majority of its D2C activity in the region limited to Universal+, a collection of Pay TV channels owned by the studio, bucking the trend of its studio rivals who are committed to their SVOD services.
Netflix meanwhile continues to lead in sheer volume of English-language scripted premieres, supplementing their slate in Latin America this season with just two acquisitions – one from NBCUniversal (‘One of Us is Lying’) and another from All3Media (‘You Don’t Know Me’).
In Latin America, Netflix is now trialing a solution to its long-held password-sharing problem that’s been occurring across multiple households. While this isn’t an isolated issue for Netflix alone, repeated losses of global subscribers are forcing the service to act now in order to reignite growth. Touted as the ‘add a home’ feature, users are encouraged to pay an additional fee to add users from outside their household. The trial is currently limited to Argentina, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
When it comes to the production of scripted content local to Latin American countries, Netflix has historically taken the lead over its SVOD rivals, even those such as Warner that was producing Latin American Originals prior to HBO Max’s launch for its broadcast service in the region.
While the number of new Netflix titles peaked in the 19/20 season, the 21/22 season has seen the debut of many more Latin American produced Originals with Amazon Prime also increasing its own output. Local SVOD services have also had a hand in this for some time as well.
Globoplay in Brazil has produced a number of originals over the years, as has Claro Video, with Globo in particular benefitting from its historical channel business. ‘Sob Pressão’ for instance began its life on TV Globo for its first four seasons before becoming exclusive to the Globoplay SVOD for its latest season.
Vix is one of the latest local AVOD platforms to arrive in Latin America, following on from the merger between Univision and Televisa closing in January. The service comes with its own SVOD tier (Vix+), hosting two TelevisaUnivision produced originals so far this season, supported further by acquisitions from Spanish services such as Movistar branded as exclusive Vix+ Originals. The service sits alongside TelevisaUnivision’s other AVOD/SVOD Blim TV, which itself has produced its own digital originals in past seasons. Combined, these services offer over 50,000 hours of Spanish-language programming.
The latest premieres in the 21/22 season show emerging activity from studio SVODs such as Disney+ (as well as its Star+ counterpart), HBO Max and Paramount+ in Originals production. Netflix still leads in locally produced content for now, but with Disney planning to develop 70 Latin American originals for Star+ in the region and Paramount developing 19 for Paramount+ the chances are that Netflix’s lead in local originals will slip further in the seasons to come.
It’s an important strategy for any service in the now SVOD-dominated market of Latin America to focus on driving up their volume of Latin American originals, but the benefits aren’t restricted to this one market. Within the US, over 70% of Latinx population (60.5 million) watch Spanish Language programming, with over half of these in turn feeling that Spanish TV series are generally of a lesser quality compared to their English counterparts (Horowitz Research, 2022). A large push from studios producing high-quality Spanish language (and Portuguese) TV series can take advantage of a huge market in the US pining for top-quality content in their language.
This US-based, Spanish language opportunity is not exclusive to SVODs that originate from the US as many of the local Latin American players have succeeded in both the US and beyond. Globoplay launched in the US in 2020 before subsequently expanding to 17 EMEA markets in 2021 and two key Asia-Pacific markets (Japan and Australia) in 2022. Vix meanwhile launched in both the US and Latin America at the same time in July.
For content distributors, success in Latin America is no longer confined to just one region as that very same content is being demanded more than ever in huge markets like the US and around the world, both from high-profile US studios for their SVOD services and those very same local players looking to create a global footprint for themselves.
The trends emerging in Latin America are encouraging for the content market, both for those running OTT services and those looking to supply them. Without actionable insight, however, data alone won’t increase your revenue. Using tools like Revedia from SymphonyAI Media, companies can understand what content to prioritize for markets like Latin America and maximise the overall value of their assets.