One of the panel discussions that took place during the first of Nextv Series Andean’s virtual edition was titled ‘The new challenge of D2C and VOD’. There, Gabriel Hernandez, Win Sports Digital Products Manager, reported that the D2C OTT Win Sports Online may add more views at the same time. Another of the industry executives who participated in the panel was Orestes Aja Gurría, Head of Digital & OTT at ATRESplayer, who reported that Latin America and the US already represent 60% of the platform’s international subscribers portfolio. The panel was moderated by David Rios, Head, Latin America, US Hispanic, Brazil at Dailymotion.
Regarding the launch of ATRESplayer, Atresmedia’s D2C OTT, recently launched in Latin America, Aja Gurría explained that ‘ATRESplayer today is a global platform, which brings together live channels, original and exclusive content, series and programs’. The executive also explained that ‘as a D2C offer, we have been on the continent for a short time. What happens is that the international channels of the Atresmedia Group and our large productions have been available in the region for 25 years, and that, without a doubt, is a good base on which to grow’. According to the executive, ‘with ATRESplayer we have seen an opportunity for growth in Latin America and the US, focusing on a large audience, such as Spanish-speaking people. In 2020, the interest of international users in the platform resulted in a 70% increase in the number of subscriptions. There are markets such as Latin America and the US, where we have doubled the subscriber base in the last year, and these two regions already represent 60% of the international portfolio’. Looking ahead to the coming months, Aja Gurria explained that the platform is about to launch ‘new fictions, new seasons and titles expected to enlarge its catalog’, and that ‘today, ATRESplayer is hosting the largest catalog of content produced in Spain, in Latin America’.
On the other hand, Hernandez expressed himself on the offer of Win Sports Online, and explained that ‘Win Sports is a pay TV channel, with a penetration of around 97% of that market. That is, we are practically in all cable operators. When the channel was born, the market penetration of pay TV was not as great as it is today. It is in this context that the ‘Win Sports Online’ brand was born, which arises with the need to reach the final consumer, who did not have the Win Sports channel as part of their pay TV operator offer to be able to enjoy Colombian football matches’. Later, the executive explained that ‘Win was born because it acquires all the rights to Colombian football, and the only way to watch the local championship matches was through Win Sports. At that time, a large part of the audience did not have the channel available on their operator, for different reasons. Due to the consumer’s need to watch football matches, we are always fighting against piracy and we knew that there were networks in which those matches were offered, and we considered setting up our own OTT, to reach the consumer directly through the platform.
In 2014, Win Sports Online was born, which at that time carried the channel via streaming, and a library of programs so that, if our audiences missed any content, they could access it through the OTT’. The executive also explained that ‘over time, the Win Sports channel managed to penetrate the entire market, but Win Sports Online continues to gain importance, because it also allows users outside of Colombia to access local football matches. In addition, nowadays, Win Sports also has its premium channel (Win Sports+), and the user must contact his cable operator to hire it’. Regarding the countries in which Win Sports Online is available, the executive assured that ‘it is in any country in the world, and the channel is also available from any country through the platform’.
After launching ATRESplayer on Claro Video in several Latin American countries, Aja Gurria expressed himself about the integration and super-aggregation possibilities now available for an OTT, and assured that ‘for us they are key and strategic agreements. The market is going through these integration models, and they make perfect sense from a strategic point of view. They safeguard the good relationship between operators and content providers, since we provide them with a type of content that they would not otherwise have; and it is another very important way for us to reach the end user, because it allows us to continue exploiting the ‘ATRESplayer’ brand. The agreement with Claro Video allows us to reach a massive and important audience for us, such as Spanish-speaking people’.
‘Live content on a sports platform gets all the attention’, said Hernandez, then added that ‘VOD creates added value for those who want to watch the matches they like the most’. The executive also reported that ‘we have found that those who most watch matches again are, basically, football players or coaches who want to analyze the behavior of their team. There is very little audience that watches the matches again, because the excitement of such events is guaranteed in live broadcasts of the match. We have more than 10 thousand contents in our VOD catalog, and the most consumed by our audiences are the programs, but sports are consumed live’, he reported. On the other hand, the executive assured that ‘every business model tends to evolve, and we are analyzing, in the medium term, the possibility of adding more simultaneous views for Win Sports Online, because we know that this is what the audience demands’. In the case of ATRESplayer Premium, consumption is offered on up to two screens at the same time.
Regarding the possibility of considering advertising as a monetization alternative, Aja Gurria explained that ‘in Spain, the platform features a hybrid model, between AVOD and SVOD. At the same time, for two years we have been betting on the SVOD offer, to create value with original and exclusive content. Outside of Spain, the global platform is 100% SVOD. Like our international channels, the content we offer is aimed at an audience that demands our productions and is demanding with audiovisual quality. At the moment, we are not considering the possibility of migrating to an AVOD model in the international market’. Similarly, Hernandez explained that ‘it is necessary to offer additional value to the user who is paying to access a platform. Precisely, one of those added values is that you find the platform completely free of digital native advertising. In the broadcast of live content, advertisements are already offered by default. Therefore, at the moment, we do not have contemplated adding digital native advertising in Win Sports Online. Today, live content represents between 90% and 95% of the consumption of our platform ”.
‘The strategy goes through the content’, said Aja Gurria, when talking about strategies to reduce churn. ‘This year, we are reinforcing this strategy, and we are going to simultaneously launch a large part of the planned launches at ATRESplayer in Spain. We also continue working on content outside the field of fiction. Contents such as ‘Pasapalabra’, which is a TV program that we broadcast in prime time on our linear channels, creates a subscriber base that connects itself with the platform on a daily basis. In addition, we are working on improving personalized recommendations, which allow the user to discover more content. Furthermore, last year we launched, apart from the monthly plan, an annual plan, which guarantees that the user remains for 12 months’. Likewise, according to Hernandez, once the sports leagues are over, ‘you have to bet on a different content initiative, which generates attraction in the audience. In addition, at Win Sports Online, during these periods we bet on semester and annual plans, which guarantee a payment in those months. In turn, in the Colombian Football League, two championships are played per year, and there are very short periods where there is no sporting activity. That allows us to be constantly attracting users all the time. It is also true that people’s behaviour changes a lot according to the results of their team. If the team achieves good results, the subscriber will always want to be on the platform, and if the results are bad, we must create strategies to captivate that user’, the executive reported