Globoplay grows subscriber base by nearly 400% since local production pivoted

Latin America's established networks are investing in local production to face the foreign competition; Star Plus arrives in August

Streaming service Globoplay app in a smartphone
Brazilian streaming platform Globoplay. Photo: Shutterstock
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  • A great ally to Globoplay was the reality show Big Brother Brasil, which since last year has broken audience records and has increasingly engaged the social media networks in the country;
  • Brazil’s largest broadcaster Grupo Globo has been investing in Globoplay’s originals;
  • Disney’s Star Plus will debut on August 31, increasing competition in the sector.

When it was created in 2015, Latin America streaming provider Globoplay was catch-up for Brazilian broadcaster TV Globo. In 2017 and 2018, the service went through changes, and in 2019 Globo appointed a new director, Erick Bretas, to run the streaming.

“At that moment, the strategy became focused on national content. Before, we had an SVOD very focused on international content,” commented Ana Carolina Lima, head of content at Globoplay, during Roku‘s Streaming Day event.

READ ALSO: Disney’s Star Plus to debut in Latin America on August 31, offering a full slate of ESPN content

Since then, Brazil‘s largest broadcaster Grupo Globo has been investing in Globoplay‘s originals. The company doesn’t disclose subscriber numbers but told LABS the change made Globoplay increase its base by 374% in Q1 2021 compared to the same period in 2019.

According to the streaming guide JustWatch, that measured interest in Globoplay on JustWatch in Brazil over the last year (Jan 2020-March 2021), Globoplay’s market share stayed at just over 7% for most of 2020, but started gaining market share in October and currently stands at 8%.

Source: JustWatch

As the battleground for streaming subscribers has gone overseas, well known television networks such as Mexican Televisa and Brazil‘s Globo have been forced to use the production of their famous soap operas, the so-called telenovelas, for streaming.

Globoplay has changed a lot. I think this movement to focus on national content was very logical because Globo has a large studio, has an OTA (over-the-air) television partner in a large majority of actions. Today, Globoplay offers its own content with independent producers, journalism, sports, and entertainment from Globo Studios.”

READ ALSO: Tough competition? Not at all. The ‘streaming war’ in Latin America has a whole different meaning for Roku

A great ally to Globoplay was the reality show Big Brother Brasil, which since last year has broken audience records and has increasingly engaged people on social media. “Big Brother Brasil ended, and No Limite (another reality show) started, so we have this junction of SVOD platform with AVOD. Local content is very important because the consumer sees himself in that content; he knows the cast.”

Currently, Globoplay works as SVOD and has and a package with live channels, which includes children’s content, soap operas, and live sports. Something similar to what ViacomCBSParamount Plus has in the U.S.

READ ALSO: The contest for Latin America’s audiences intensifies

The service claims to have more than 200 million hours of consumption per month. But Globoplay has not given up international content and continues to have contracts with international distributors. “The idea is to put this content together so that the consumer says what he or she wants to see. We have had wonderful feedback of national content on the platform, even in pandemic times when production is a challenge,” she comments.

Meanwhile, foreigners are spreading their wings in the region. Disney has announced that its new streaming service for Latin America, Star Plus, will debut on August 31.

Juliana Oliveira, head of Strategy and Partnerships in LatAm for Disney Plus said that in Europe Star is part of Disney Plus. “We had a price increase and people can have access to the adult content of Star through Disney Plus,” she explains.

READ ALSO: Paramount Plus lands in Latin America: deep catalog and fresh originals to face Netflix and Disney Plus

On the other hand, in Latin America, Disney‘s strategy was different. “We believe that the content is so strong that it justifies a separate app.”

Star Plus in Latin America will have movies, series, adult animations (like The Simpsons), and sports. “We don’t have sports in Star in Europe. But we know how strong sports are for Brazilians, especially soccer.”

With ESPN, Star Plus intends to offer additional content. The streaming will also have original productions especially made to Brazilians.

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