Joe Fregoso, Guest Contributor - August 24th 2021
In our first ever Stream Of Consciousness blog post, Director of Business Development, Latin America, Joe Fregoso discusses the state of over-the-top (OTT) TV in the region. Reminiscent of the advent of cable TV, the shift to connected TV (CTV) and streaming platforms is opening new doors for distribution and monetization, presenting a huge opportunity for Latin America.
It is without question that we’re amid a global shift in how video content is distributed, monetized and consumed. The shift to online video and OTT platforms has been happening for the better part of the last decade, with content companies launching their own video-on-demand (VOD), subscription video-on-demand (SVOD), and ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) platforms. The largest media companies have also entered this space with their direct-to-consumer platforms, utilizing both subscription and ad-supported models.
Recently, however, there has been a new shift, or a movement within the movement if you will, that is breaking paradigms and opening new doors for content creators to effectively distribute, monetize, and connect with their audiences through connected TVs (CTVs) and streaming platforms. This shift is reminiscent of the advent of cable TV, but this time with a global reach, lesser infrastructure investments, and it is happening at blazing speed.
Although this shift is global, many believe that Latin America will follow the US in experiencing the largest growth in unique users, hours-of-viewing (HOV), and most importantly, content monetization per capita. And this movement is happening FAST, no pun intended (FAST = free-ad-supported-TV). I tend to agree, as the Latin American market has the right conditions to flourish: a growing smart TV market penetration; a reliable broadband infrastructure in urban areas; quality content that’s appealing to viewers in several countries; a strong advertiser ecosystem; and an audience embracing FAST given limited disposable income to subscribe to Premium services.
So, what does this mean for the way TV is consumed in Latin America?
If you’re a streamer, your platform can now have multiple free ad-supported channels to appeal to your audience’s wide array of tastes. It means you have access to actionable data on who is viewing content, and how it’s performing. It means you are jumping into the next content monetization engine that will be worth billions of dollars just in Latin America and the Caribbean. You are now able to reach an already large market that is growing by the day. You can promote and steer audiences to your premium subscription services, and ultimately, you are the next generation broadcaster, even if you’ve been in the broadcast market for decades.
If you’re a content creator, or content owner, regardless of whether you’re a small, medium, or large studio, FAST means that your content can be distributed globally with minimum effort and cost. Wurl is connected to a global network of streamers that target multiple international markets. It also means that you can monetize your content globally, whether through your own ad sales operations, and/or partnerships, or via Wurl’s suite of ad products and services. If you have content that people want to see, you are now able to reach your audience, without having to launch your own platform. This is an opportunity for your content to reach homes around the world.
As an advertiser, you’re now able to target your campaigns with laser-like precision. You can reach a growing market that understands that they need to view ads in exchange for free content, and they often prefer this exchange over paying for a recurring subscription fee. Additionally, you are reaching a market that is more attentive, and thus more engaged with your ads. This is particularly relevant in markets like Mexico and Brazil, where disposable income is low and the preference for streaming is on the rise versus traditional broadcast and Pay TV.
If you’re a viewer, the shift to CTV and streaming TV means that you have access to premium content, and it’s free. There are only so many services you can afford to subscribe to. Through streaming platforms, you can connect with global content. You’re also provided with a wide range of channels and genres to view, including content you may not have discovered otherwise. Today’s consumers want to view content on-demand where and when they want it. But people are also turning back to linear TV, and the convenience of not needing to decide what to watch, but rather allowing a channel to choose for them.
Undoubtedly, the way content is distributed, monetized and consumed is changing. Mexico and Brazil may be the markets where FAST has begun taking off, but sooner rather than later, all of Latin America will be onboard. Are you ready?