Future of TV Briefing: Why Latin America is so big on the ad-supported streaming market’s radar
By Tim Peterson
The Future of TV Briefing this week looks at how Latin America is emerging as a new hotbed for the ad-supported streaming industry.
- Latin America grows FAST
- Latest on Nielsen’s measurement shortfall
- Streaming “roadblock” ads, Netflix+, cable TV news post-Trump and more
Latin America grows FAST
The free, ad-supported streaming TV market has grown pretty drastically in the past few years. But it’s growing even more dramatically in Latin America, to the point of already rivaling more established markets like Europe.
For ViacomCBS’s free, ad-supported streaming TV service Pluto TV, Latin America is “our second-biggest region outside the U.S.,” said ViacomCBS Networks International COO and president of streaming Kelly Day.
That designation is especially notable considering that Pluto TV only launched in Latin America in April 2020, starting in 17 countries and expanded to Brazil in November. By the end of 2020, its app had been downloaded more than 19 million times in the region. Day declined to say how many monthly active users Pluto TV has in Latin America but described the audience segment as “a very significant portion” of the service’s non-U.S. monthly active user base. In total, Pluto TV has nearly 50 million monthly active users worldwide.
“If you look at the growth in streaming consumption and usage — both on the free and [subscription-based] side of things — it really has been taking off in a really substantial way in the last year. It’s now one of the fastest-growing video markets in the world,” Day said.
The fastest, in fact.
In the first quarter of 2021, the amount of time that people in South America spent streaming shows and movies increased by 240% year over year, and 63% of that viewing happened on a TV screen, according to video measurement and analytics firm Conviva.
The key hits:
- Streaming viewership in Latin America has surged in the past year.
- Ad-supported streaming viewership, in particular, has risen to rival more established markets like Europe.
- Adoption among advertisers, however, has been slower.
- But ad-supported streaming viewership will likely only continue to grow given Latin American audiences’ appetites for ad-supported programming.
In light of Latin America’s streaming viewership surge, media and entertainment companies are upping their efforts in the region. Pluto TV, for example, has increased the number of channels on its Latin American service to more than 90, and on May 4, the company rolled out three new channels for Spanish-speaking countries in the region and three for Brazil. Meanwhile, Samsung’s FAST service Samsung TV Plus debuted in Brazil in December and expanded to Mexico in January.
Companies in the free, ad-supported streaming market are not the only ones taking greater notice of Latin America and the broader Latinx audience. WarnerMedia plans to develop more than 100 Latin American original shows and movies over the next two years. NBCUniversal’s NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises has formed a production studio specifically to produce streaming shows for Latinx audiences in the U.S. and internationally. And in March, Univision — which is merging with another major Spanish-language media company, Grupo Televisa — …read more