New streaming services are coming to Latin America, bringing with them huge opportunities and competition.
Apple TV Plus launches in Latin America on Nov. 1, HBO Max will launch around spring 2020; and Disney Plus will arrive in October 2020.
Manuel Martí at Argentina’s Pol-ka argues, two strong business models will thrive. He told Variety
“There won’t be money in the world for platforms to 100% finance all the content they need, targeting each and every demographic.”
According to Martí, one is “work-for-hire for platforms in a global environment, where they buy all rights and fund 100% of production costs”; the other, “co-production, where production companies work as studios, sourcing co-funding in other countries from other channels, networks and local operators, where no one owns 100% of the IP and platforms buy a stake in shows.”
reports that as free-to-air advertising deteriorates, only co-production can allow companies to attain efficient production values to compete with, produce for or sell to streamers.
In response to this competitive atmosphere, co-productions and larger production alliances have proliferated: Telemundo with Spain’s Movistar Plus; Globo with Sony; Turner with Mexico’s Dopamine, Spain’s Mediapro Studio and Argentina’s Telefe, Canal13 and
As reported by Variety
, Latin American players are forging their own event series, whether in scale (“Hernán”); novel distribution (Globo’s Netflix-style global distribution for “Aruanas”); English-language production (Globo’s “The Angel of Hamburg” and “Rio Connection”); or remaking legendary novelas (Televisa’s “Fábrica de Sueños” short-format series).
According to Globo CEO Carlos Henrique Schroder, the company’s OTT service Globoplay is “producing ever more original content,” with six new series this year, in addition returning titles. With new sound stages created in August at Globo Studios, the company has increased its production capacity by 50%.
“This effort aims at offering an ever broader range of options,” Schroder added.
Mediapro announced its first production in Chile in addition to the company’s appointment of TV producer Juliana Barrera to lead the production in Colombia.
Yankelevich from Turner Latin America stated,
“Latin American action series used to have the highest production values. Dramas and comedies were not treated as high-quality content. Now, we’re trying to make them at the same production level, as high as action series or thrillers.”
Not only is the Spanish-language market massive, but is also being increasingly well received around the world. 90% of people who watched Spanish-language series “Money Heist” and “Cable Girls” have done so outside of Spain, according to Netflix’s Francisco Ramos.
Many series are, however, Latin American targeted, not global market plays, said the Wit’s Bertrand Villegas.
“The main market TV operators have to care for is their own,” he said.
There is a potential loss for operators if they focus too much on international appeal.
“Latin America is working more and more with Latin America,” Villegas continued.
One thing does seem certain, however. As stated by Santana,
“The TV [model] which functioned for 60 years making low cost novelas is dying. Latin American audiences have migrated to quality TV made in their language. It’s irreversible.”