‘Breaking Bad’ Tops YOMVI 2013 VOD Chart in Spain

Per Rentrak, legal Spanish VOD viewership continues to enjoy exponential growth

Netflix Breaking Bad

MADRID – “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead” were by far the most-watched series in 2013 on YOMVI, the high-flying catch-up/TVOD/SVOD service of pay TV giant Canal Plus, according to the first-ever Spanish VOD stats made public by Rentrak.

“Bad” punched 954,359 views last year, “Dead” 629,648. Number 3 show was “The Big Bang Theory” (382,959), followed by “Game of Thrones” (342,230), “Arrow” (292,829) and “Orange Is the New Black” (227,395).

Goosing Spain’s feeding-frenzy for U.S series, YOMVI is experiencing near spectacular growth.

In the latest Rentrak figures, YOMVI transactions passed 3.5 million views in January, 17% up on December 2013, said Arturo Guillen, Rentrak VP, EMEA. “Breaking Bad” has now smashed the one million views mark.

Over 2013, VOD views of YOMVI shows built at an average 13% per month; connected devices – tablets, smartphones, PCs and TVs, via Canal Plus’ iPLus service – increased at a 11% monthly rate, Guillen added.

On free-to-air broadcasters, U.S series has long played second fiddle to local fiction in Spain, as over much of Europe, rarely even commanding primetime timeslots on major channels.

Spain’s burgeoning VOD space is a completely different matter. Here, as in satellite/cable TV in Spain, it’s the U.S. water-coolers that make the running.

Rentrak’s stats also underscored new Spanish consumer habits. YOMVI offers Canal Plus catch-up viewership, YOMVI’s SVOD service and TVOD for Canal Plus’ most recent VOD titles.

Runway rankings leadership for “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead” vs. hot newbie “Orange Is the New Black,” serves witness to booming binge viewing as Spaniards wise up to the virtues of recent classics, served up by YOMVI in their entirety – in the case of “Breaking Bad,” in its full first five seasons.

Rentrak’s first-ever public VOD figures for Spain were introduced a Madrid round table, where Spain’s leading digital TV specialists debated the knock-ons and challenges of audience measurement systems in the digital era.

Panelists included Joaquin Becerra, Fox’s business development manager, TV contents, Internet.  Until very recently, legal VOD was written off in Spain as a pipedream in a country still under threat, due to rampant piracy, of returning to the Special 301 Watch List of the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA).

Now, supported by Hollywood’s studios, legal VOD is booming, though as a catch-up service, it still needs to be framed in a business model that successfully monetizes vibrant take-up.

But “Rentrak’s figures are not estimates of a future, they talk about realities in the here and now,” Guillen said.

“Until recently, VOD was swimming against the current, now the current’s in our favor, and everybody wants to go in the same direction,” he added.