For a decade, from 2010-2020, the third week in January meant that television buyers, programmers, and producers met for NATPE (National Association of Television Programming Executives) in Miami. In late-2022, NATPE declared bankruptcy, and London-based C21 Media, hot off their successful Content London event in late-November, announced the launch of Content Americas, which presented a fresh look at the burgeoning Latin American content business. The inaugural event, held at the Miami Hilton Downtown from January 23-26, was sold out; a crowd of 1,500 executives gathered to do business in a post-pandemic landscape that looked vastly different than the last in-person NATPE in 2020.
One of the major inflection points in the LATAM media universe is the migration to Free Ad-Supported Streaming Television, or FAST, models, both with U.S. Latino populations and across Latin America. Wrapping up Day #2 on Wednesday, January 25th was the session ‘FAST Across the Americas: How Latin Brands Are Migrating to Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV,’ which discussed the growth of FAST models in Latin America and with U.S. Latino populations, and how advertisers and brands are collaborating on models for existing and new streaming audiences.
Left to right: Chris Pfaff, Jorge Balleste, Jasmin Rezai, Tony Kelly, Jonathan French
The OTT landscape across the Americas has, until recently, consisted mainly of operator-driven curation of video channels. Now, the FAST revolution has taken hold, and channels are being launched to support existing OTT brands, including SVOD services, to create upsell momentum and brand recognition amongst Spanish, Portuguese and English audiences alike.
Moderated by Chris Pfaff, CEO of Chris Pfaff Tech Media LLC, the session included Jasmin Rezai, vice president content distribution & partnerships, Olympusat; Tony Kelly, CEO, DMD Limited/CINDIE; Jorge Balleste, VP, content partnerships and acquisitions, Vix/Vix+, TelevisaUnivision, and Jonathan French, SVP, sales & business development, MuxIP.
Jonathan French, Chris Pfaff, Jasmin Rezai, Jorge Balleste, Tony Kelly
You can listen to the full session here:
Pfaff kicked off the session discussing what he called ‘FAST Figures,’ including:
- There are more than 1,500 FAST channels in the U.S.
- Omdia has reported that FAST channel revenues will each $12bn in 2027
- According to TVRev, by 2025, more money will be spent on FASTs ($33.7B or 35% of total ad spend) than on cable, broadcast or SVOD. That number will grow to $42.6B or 42% of total ad spend by 2027
- According to Omdia, two of the top 10 CTV markets are in LATAM: Brazil is #2 and Mexico is #7. Will we see further regional LATAM growth in CTV in the next 3 years
- In the U.S., leading FAST channels massively increased their Spanish language catalogs during the pandemic (March, 2020-Sept. 2022): Pluto from 389 to 5,529; Roku On Demand from 0 to 3,815 and Tubi from 1665 to 9,455
- According to GSMA, Take-up of 4G has more than doubled across Latin America in the past 5 years, with more than 410 million connections at the end of 2021. This is projected to peak in 2024, as consumers increasingly migrate to 5G plans.
Pfaff directed the conversation to the emerging FAST strategy in LATAM, including using FAST channels to upsell viewers to premium content, as Tony Kelly acknowledged for CINDIE. Jorge Ballesta’s Vix – which encompasses more than 40,000 hours of content in all genres – became part of the discussion. Pfaff discussed the “FAST is the new cable” mantra with the panel, and even discussed how FAST is also the new “independent TV.” With a shout-out to TelevisaUnivision’s Luis de la Parra, a leader in branded content, Pfaff discussed the growth of FAST channels as a promotional vehicle.