U.S., Mexico Are Top Destinations for Spanish TV Dramas

Having conquered the global SVOD market with large hits such as “La casa de papel” (“Money Heist”) and “Elite,” Spanish dramas continued gaining ground in 2019.

The international presence of Spanish fiction was driven by period dramas and thrillers, as its most demanded TV genres.

By territories, Mexico and the U.S. were the top destinies for Spanish TV shows.

These are some of the trends relating to the impact of Spanish TV content in the world, unveiled Tuesday by Alejandro Rojas, regional director at Parrot Analytics, at the 3rd Madrid TV Pitchbox pitching event.

With a variety of Internet data sources, Parrot has measured the demand for 100,000 TV shows across more than 200 platforms in 35 countries, listing over 100,000 titles.

The international reach of Spanish TV content still has a large room for growth. By past year’s last quarter, only 1.5% of all titles available on global catalogues were Spanish, in a list dominated by TV programs from the U.S. (55.8%), U.K. (13.9%) and Japan (5.5%).

But compared to same period 2018’s, Spanish content boasted a spectacular 117% growth, mainly boosted by the popularity of “Money Heist” and “Elite.”

“Looking at the growth rate, it is one of the highest and there is a clear trend of continuing growth,” Rojas said.

A constant for all Spanish TV genres abroad is that Mexico and the U.S. figure as the highest demand markets.

“In the case of Mexico, we’re finding strong affinities that signal that culturally both markets are the closest to each other; in the U.S., Spanish content is also making headway but is also facing stiff competition from other countries that are also trying to penetrate such an attractive market,” Rojas said.

Over 2018-2019, period dramas such as Netflix original “Cable Girls” and Atresmedia “The Time in Between” found their way into catalogues of markets like the U.K. and France, while crime dramas such as “La casa de papel” and “Vis a Vis” (“Locked Up”) gained entry into Nordic countries like Sweden and Norway.

According to Rojas, “this reflects how across different countries some taste clusters are underserved or over-served.”

“For example, data suggests that British and French audiences are looking for more period drama than their current local offering is currently serving them and Spanish titles are closing that gap. Audiences in Nordic countries seem to enjoy the strength of crime dramas produced in a market like Spain where audiences are very demanding regarding this type of genre,” he said.

In Spain, in terms of content demand on local platforms, Spanish production reached a 7% penetration during 2019’s last quarter, a similar level to TV productions from France and Brazil in their home territories but far from those in the U.S. (60%), U.K. (24%) and Japan (12%), according to Parrot Analytics.

“New releases are still lagging when compared with the level of success reached by prior smash hits like ‘La casa de papel’ and ‘Elite,’” Rojas said.

“Competition for audiences’ attention is getting more intense and the market is becoming more fragmented,” he concluded.

To know the performance of Spanish content at home, Parrot measured 15 platforms and some 2,000 TV programs.

The 3rd Madrid TV Pitchbox, a Spanish TV drama projects’ pitching event organized by online platform Filmarket Hub, brought together in the Cinesa Luxe in La Moraleja, northern Madrid, some emerging fiction talents with leading operators such as Amazon Prime Video Spain, Movistar Plus, Mediaset España, RTVE and Viacom International Studios.

Also attended the event further key companies such as The Mediapro Studio, DeAPlaneta, Dynamo, La Coproductora, Mediacrest, Secuoya Contenidos, Netshow Capital and The Immigrant.

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