Spain Has Piracy Problems But Legal VOD Market Growing

Netflix is highly unlikely likely to launch in Spain and Portugal in 2014, according to multiple sources, who don’t foresee the entire Southern European market getting Netflix for a few years.

And while Netflix made overtures to the Spanish biz in June 2011,offering distributors contracts for content at sky-high prices, the U.S. company pulled back, reportedly because of Spain’s high piracy levels.

Piracy is still a huge problem in Spain: 87% of Spanish Internet users still file-share unauthorized content or download from illegal sites such as Mega and Rapidshare, per the Cocktail Analysis, a Madrid-based consultancy.

“Netflix doesn’t see an investment case in coming to Spain because of piracy issues, as well as rights issues,” one analyst said, adding that OTT TV rights are mostly owned by Spain’s Canal Plus via its pay TV platform.

Yomvi, Canal Plus’ SVOD service, has its own ambitions to become the Netflix of Spain. The service has inked deals with all of the Hollywood majors who see Yomvi as a way to boost the value of Spain’s pay TV window. It’s also priced below a cable or satellite subscription at $14 per month, and airs U.S. shows nearly day and date with their American bows while offering complete seasons for binge viewing via TVs, iPhones and tablets. according to Arturo Guillen, Rentrak VP, EMEA.

That is “outstanding legal VOD growth,” he added, in a country written off until recently as an impossible piracy haven.

Popular on Variety

Canal Plus’ SVOD service Yomvi buys Netflix series from Sony. Season 2 of “House of Cards” was offered two days after its U.S. bow;

“Orange Is the New Black” was the sixth best ranking series on Yomvi in 2013. But the service depends on parent Canal Plus’ ability to buy expensive premium TV rights.

“This is a temporary strategy since it is very costly to offer first pay TV window to make our point, Finding a business model that makes sense is the challenge,” said Pablo Romero, Yomvi content director.

More Digital

  • Josh Simon - Netflix

    Netflix Hires Nike Exec Josh Simon as VP of Consumer Products

    Netflix’s burgeoning consumer products group has a new boss: Josh Simon, who is leaving Nike to join the streaming giant. Simon, who’s also a Disney and Color Force alum, has been named VP of consumer products for Netflix. Based in L.A., he will start at the company the week of March 2 to oversee the [...]

  • Bob Chapek Disney CEO

    Why Wall Street Is Unhappy (for Now) With Disney's CEO Change

    We all knew the end was coming. Bob Iger had promised, time and again, that the end was coming. But the rather abrupt announcement Tuesday afternoon that he would relinquish his longtime role as CEO of the Walt Disney Co. — and that theme parks head Bob Chapek would succeed him at the top of [...]

  • FandangoNow - Amazon Fire TV

    Fandango's Video Streaming Service Lands on Amazon Fire TV

    FandangoNow, the on-demand transactional movie and TV service from NBCUniversal-owned Fandango, is now available on Amazon Fire TV devices and Fire TV Edition Smart TVs. The expansion to Amazon’s TV hardware platform comes as Fandango vies to get a bigger slice of the digital-entertainment pie — competing with Amazon Video, as well as Apple, Google [...]

  • The Spanish Princess Starz

    Starz CEO Jeffrey Hirsch Lifts Lid on Local Originals Drive for SVOD Starzplay

    Starz CEO Jeffrey Hirsch has outlined the local originals strategy for Starzplay, revealing that a slate of shows are being planned out of the Middle East and India as the business looks to complement its U.S. and English-language pipeline of content. Speaking at the Berlinale Series Market and Conference on Wednesday, the executive told Variety that the [...]

  • Netflix-logo-N-icon

    Netflix Adds Deals With Six Anime Creators in Japan

    Global streaming giant, Netflix is partnering with six different Japanese creators in order to expand its slate of originals anime content. Among the deals are ones with Clamp, the female manga collective that was responsible for the “Cardcaptor Sakura” franchise. Another is with Mari Yamazaki, whose “Thermae Romae” manga was turned into two hit live-action [...]

  • Netflix Corporate Headquarters in Los Gatos

    Netflix Looks to Dispel Myths in Berlin as it Ramps Up European Production

    Netflix is looking to create more transparency and dispel some of the myths around working with the streaming giant as it ramps up its European operations, though the company’s fast-paced shooting schedules are “not for everyone,” director of international originals Rachel Eggebeen said Tuesday morning at the Berlinale Series Market. “It’s a fast pace that [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content