×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Netflix Steps Up Production on Spanish-Language Original Series

Netflix is in production on two Spanish-language skeins in a bid to boost membership in Latin America: “Narcos,” a Colombia-set drug crime thriller co-helmed by Brazilian director Jose Padilha, and soccer-set satire “Club de Cuervos,” from the producers of Mexican blockbuster “Nosotros los Nobles.”

While in Brazil, Netflix has been producing shows with local comics including Danilo Gentili (“Politicamente Incorreto”), Marco Zenni (“So Ria!”) and Fabio Lins (“Atira Sarro”).

“We are investing in content that would be attractive to (Latin America) but would also appeal to viewers across the world,” says Netflix communications chief Jonathan Friedland, who adds that original Netflix shows are also in production in France, the U.K. and Canada. Tony Wible, an analyst with Janney Montgomery Scott, estimated in a report this year that Netflix will spend almost $5 billion on original productions in 2016.

The streaming giant recently said it has signed more than 5 million subscribers in Latin America since its September 2011 launch. It’s quickly risen to become the dominant subscription video-on-demand service in the market, with the second-largest regional over-the-top service, Claro Video, chalking up an estimated 1 million subs.

Given that Latin America claims 66.1 million broadband households, there is massive room for growth. In early February, Netflix announced that it had begun offering the service to Cuba despite the island nation’s extremely limited access to broadband and international credit cards.

“The administration has already lifted controls allowing media companies to operate,” Friedland points out.

Netflix has clearly shaken the status quo in the region, prompting cable and satellite operators to launch their own OTTs, says Buenos Aires-based Dataxis research head Carlos Blanco. Dataxis identified 75 VOD OTT streaming platforms in seven key territories of the region as of October last year. However, 19 other OTT platforms have also folded. Many local MSOs didn’t offer OTT until Netflix came into the market, says Blanco.

“Prices of content went through the roof when Netflix came into the market,” says Antonio Barreto, CEO of Digital Latin America, who thinks it’s no surprise that some OTTs have failed. “It’s a high-stakes game,” he says, requiring considerable expense on content and marketing.

The good news is that it may put a dent in online piracy. “Piracy partly grew here because of the paucity of VOD. Easier accessibility to a greater number of quality VOD from OTTs can only help the market and is much appreciated,” says Blanco.

More Digital

  • YouTube logo

    Why YouTube Is Changing the Way It Reports Subscriber Counts

    Within the next three months, YouTube will change the way it publicly displays channel subscriber counts: It will provide only rounded figures instead of actual follower numbers. For example, under the change, T-Series — the Indian music-video channel that recently surpassed PewDiePie to become the most-subscribed independent channel on the platform — would be listed [...]

  • Phillip Eubanks and Marc Hemeon Join

    Phillip Eubanks and Marc Hemeon Join Troy Carter’s Q&A

    Q&A, the music and tech company founded by former Lady Gaga manager and Spotify exec Troy Carter, today announced the appointments of Phillip Eubanks as Chief Operating Officer (pictured above, right) and Marc Hemeon as Head of Design (left). The pair join Carter, J. Erving (Human Re Sources, Atom Factory), Suzy Ryoo (Atom Factory, OMD) [...]

  • Simran Sethi Quits Netflix India Role

    Simran Sethi Quits Netflix India Role

    Simran Sethi, the Los Angeles-based director of Netflix international originals, responsible for India content, has resigned and will quit after a transition period. Netflix did not comment. Sources familiar with the matter told Variety that Netflix prefers an executive based in India to oversee local original content that has now grown to 11 series and [...]

  • The Secret Life of Pets 2

    ‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Universal Pictures claims the top spot in spending with “The Secret Life of Pets 2.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $11.52 million through Sunday for 869 national ad airings [...]

  • Cory-Haik-Vice

    Vice Media Hires Cory Haik, Former Mic Publisher, as Chief Digital Officer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Vice Media has recruited Cory Haik, former publisher of digital news start-up Mic, as chief digital officer to lead the youth-culture company’s global internet businesses. Haik will be based at Vice’s Brooklyn headquarters and report to CEO Nancy Dubuc. She most recently worked at Mic, which last fall laid off virtually its entire staff before [...]

  • Snapchat logos

    Porn Studio Starts Building X-Rated Snapchat Lenses, Encourages Users to Do the Same

    Adult entertainment company Naughty America wants to use augmented reality to get the word out about its paid services. The company has begun to make Snapchat lenses featuring some of its models, and is teaching its audience to do the same. Naughty America shared three such lenses on its website (link not safe for work) [...]

  • New, Likely Cheaper Galaxy Home Speaker

    Samsung Is Getting Ready to Introduce Second Smart Speaker

    Samsung still isn’t selling its Galaxy Home smart speaker, but the company may be getting ready to introduce a second model soon: An FCC filing for an “AI speaker” suggests that the new model, like the original Galaxy Home, will be dual-branded, featuring both Samsung’s own brand name as well as that of its audio [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content