Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

Keys to Innovating in the Audiovisual Entertainment Industry for the Hispanic Market

Jonathan Blum

The Hispanic audience’s consumption of audiovisual content is evolving faster than we thought. We are not the conservative market that we used to be. Netflix’s huge growth in Latin America is one of many indicators of how traditionally established patterns are changing. In this context, innovation is a must for those who work in the audiovisual entertainment industry.

Competition in the sector is huge, and the environment is changing as never before. With growing media outlets and a more demanding audience, the key for differentiation seems to be own content and more productions. But production costs are challenging.

So, how do we provide creative programming, lower costs and take advantage of the digital platform to monetize and attract advertisement? A couple of weeks ago, NATPE’s panel on Content Twists in Latin America (¡En Español!), an event promoted by the National Association of Television Program Executives of the United States, gathered several industry executives from the Hispanic market, who shared their experiences on how they are looking for innovation in an ever changing environment. The following are the three key takeaways extracted from the panel’s participants:

Multi-platform as solution to get into new consumption habits
“The conversation is not about which screen should we be on, that is an old debate” said Adriana Cisneros in an interview in NATPE. “The trend is to make and distribute content that is designed for a multi-platform viewing, which provides innovative experiences for viewers and solutions for advertisers. We may call it a strategic adaptation to the current consumption.

Raphael Correa Netto, Executive Director for international business at TV Globo (Brazil), mentioned that one of the organization’s greatest dilemmas is its obsession to understand the new consumer and to make contact with it. The proposed way to connect is through content, and they are completely convinced that there is no way to offer content that does not fit a multi-platform. There are several experiences in which their open television content is linked to its online platform Globo Play.

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Note: Globo Play provides access to exclusive online content. From pilots to previews of an upcoming show on open television .

The Latin American consumer is not as conservative as we thought
The executives in the panel agreed that, one way or another, the content narrative is being reinvented. Marcos Santana, President of Telemundo Internacional and Telemundo Internacional Studios explained that the digital era came with an audience micro-segmentation, the selection of content by the user, the demand of quality in the staging, and the preference for consumption of shorter formats: audiences are not as patient as they used to be. This is a profile of the Latin American consumer that we had never seen before.

These changes forced Telemundo to change and test new narratives in its productions, losing their characteristic dramatic flare, which became evident in examples such as Donde esta Elisa which broke all rules on traditional production. La reina del Sur is also a different, audacious and daring proposal featuring an anti-heroine (similar as in House of Cards), which presents a very organic casting, with new actors with different nationalities and languages.

Globo’s Supermax project is very attractive; its innovative narrative structure based on terror storytelling intended to bring people uninterested in TV back to open television. Following the success of its first version, Globo has created an international Supermax project with foreign talent to showcase in the Hispanic market.

Cisneros Media is also working on this new trend, and they have had good results. With Mobius.Lab, they are offering innovative solutions tailored to the clients. If you are interested, this is a link to a post I wrote on this porject.

Using digital media as information intelligence for content strategy
For Bruce Boren, VP at Televisa Networks/Blim, lineal or traditional television is not dead. However, companies that are dedicated to the entertainment sector must evolve and work towards new consumption patterns. With this in mind, Televisa launched Blim, which provides immediate information of what is happening with content consumption. Young consumers are not lineal, and Blim is just the model for them.

Innovating to find different places
2017 is a year to continue rethinking products and mold existing business formats, such as co-productions, second screen and 360 developments. Also, to innovate and find different places. This is the video of the panel, it is worth watching it from beginning to end.

Finally, I would like to add a statement shared by Nicolas Smirnoff, Director of Prensario and panel moderator: “A first approach to madness is doing the same thing always and expecting a different outcome. A first approach to innovation is doing different things to expect different end-states. The latter is exactly what the people in the audiovisual entertainment industry look for. And we have a lot of fun doing it”.


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Jonathan Blum

President of Cisneros Media.

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