Move over Netflix. Mexican media giant Televisa is pitting itself against the leading OTT in the region with the launch yesterday of blim, its new Streaming Video-on-Demand (SVOD) service available across Mexico and Latin America, with the exception of Portuguese-speaking Brazil.
Blim also faces competition from ClaroVideo, a subsidiary of Carlos Slim’s telco America Movil, which has been producing original series, and claims over a million subs in the region. Netflix claims more than 5 million subs in Latin America, where it launched in 2011.
“Televisa sees blim as a mid- to long-term investment and will seek to constantly generate and sustain its audience,” said blim general director Carlos Sandoval. “Quality of content will be the variable that will set us apart,” he added. Broadband Internet is a requisite for prime OTT reception. Mexico has up to 13 million broadband Internet users compared to 19.4 million in the entire region, excluding Brazil.
Aside from exclusive pacts with Spanish and Hollywood studios, the company has clinched the exclusive OTT rights to Fox series “Wayward Pines” and the James Bond franchise, starting with “Spectre” in the spring, and plans to make six to seven original series a year aside from being the first window of distribution for all content from Televisa and its film division, Videocine.
At present, all its content of more than 13,000 hours are available across Mexico and Latin America but rights issues per territory could crop up with future product. Televisa shows currently on Netflix will transfer to blim once the contracts expire. Original shows “El Hotel de los Secretos” and “Burocratas” are already streaming on blim, with other new shows in the pipeline.
Blim is now also available across iOS and Android devices, and will soon be streaming in the next three months on Smart TVs such as XBox, PlayStation and Apple TV.
The new SVOD is charging competitive monthly fees of 109. Pesos ($6) — with the first month free – and offers an array of payment options: Paypal, credit card, pre-paid cash outlets and through its telco Izzi Telecom, formerly known as Cablevision, which offers cable, TV, Broadband Internet, telephone and HDTV services.
Research company Dataxis forecasts that VOD OTT revenues will rise to $3.17 billion in Latin America in 2018. Brazil and Mexico will remain the largest markets – with Brazil capturing 35.3% of total revenues and Mexico 34.6%.