Content Americas Day 2: The growth potential of Latin America

The second day of the conference welcomed executives who covered topics related to content development and funding in Latin America, the region’s transition to Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV, and new talent-related strategies. 


Content America at Miami’s Downtown Hilton continued its focus on Latin America, covering the global potential of its content, development, and funding, the region’s transition to Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV, and new talent-related strategies. 

During a discussion about the development of Latin American content with global appeal, Writer, film & television scriptwriter, & producer of Netflix, Leonardo Padrón, Co-founder & the head of the development department of The Immigrant, Silvana Aguirre, Showrunner, writer, director, executive producer of Fidelio, Mauricio Leiva-Cock, and Writer of Netflix of Chascas Valenzuela detailed the evolving structure of Latin American narratives. According to Aguirre, classic Latin American melodramas have proven to be successful on a global scale. While the genre is proven to be profitable, Aguirre also warned about the risks that come with relying on solely one genre. Leiva-Cock emphasized the importance of character development and social context that help both local and global viewers resonate with the content. All the executives agree that the transition from broadcast TV to streaming platforms has lifted restrictions and allowed them to innovatively modify narrative structures.

Latin American-based funding initiatives were also discussed by private investment fund representatives, Founder & CEO of BTF Media, Francisco Cordero, CEO of Story-a, Angel Zambrano, and Managing Partner of Screen Capital, Edgar Spielmann. These complimentary funding service help investors determine a budget amount and then develop a profitable portfolio of audiovisual content. With the acceptance of both independent partners and large brand partners, the executives described the stages of the funding process, which includes data analytics that tracks current demands. Spielman confirmed the effectiveness of the financial aid by discussing the success of his $20 million fund Screen Capital launched for Spanish-language TV and movie productions. With a focus on fiction, the company has made a total of three investments, launched two movies, and hopes to continue expanding with additional movie and series productions. Though the firms’ operations are mainly based in Latin American territories, such as Mexico and Chile, they are all capable of expanding beyond just local content. Serving as a “one-stop shop” for content finances, BTF Media, for example, has now established a presence in Mexico and the US, most recently celebrating the launch of six titles, and Screen Capital is open to contributing to projects from any region.

The event’s sponsored Chinese Content session unveiled a slate of Chinese content. The session featured one of Content America’s organizers, Editor-in-chief & managing director of C21 Media, David Jenkinson. Sitting alongside Business Development executive at Google TV, Felipe Rey, Programming manager of Teleantillas, Maria Fernanda Camino, Director of the American office of Jetsen Huashi Wangju Cultural Media Co., Ltd, Fangzhou Cheng (Terry) and VP of JSBC Golden Dreams Media & Communications (USA), Chun Wang (Mark), the executive spoke about the transition from TV trends to streaming on countless screen types, and the potential of the Latin American market. The executives also discussed the potential of Chinese Content in Latin America and the ability to maximize viewership figures through the use of subtitles and language dubbing. During the session, Rey also discussed Google TV’s global reach and technological capabilities. With more than 150 million devices worldwide, the company has seen a 30% year-over-year growth rate resulting from its accessibility on Chromecast and countless carriers worldwide. 

The conference also featured two keynote interviews with the CEO of FOX Entertainment Global & MarVista Entertainment, Fernando Szew, and President and Managing Director at Warner Bros Discovery Latin America/USH, Fernando Medin. According to Szew, Fox’s recently launched distribution line, Fox Entertainment Global, forms part of the company’s expansion efforts. In addition to strengthening its distribution capabilities, the company also hopes to garner additional co-production and advertising opportunities. With more than 80 movies in production, the company hopes to continue expanding in Latam and US/Hispanic markets, as well as other regions worldwide, at a cost-effective price point.

With 42 channels in LATAM and four channels in the US/Hispanic, Warner Bros Discovery also invested in these markets. According to Medin, despite the increasing rate of cord-cutting, Pay-TV continues to be in high demand in many Latin American territories, such as Brazil. The company initially prioritized subscriber count and content volume but is now focusing on content relevancy. Its main priority is to fulfill the demand of customers in the region through various platforms, including Pay TV, gaming, and streaming. “The Latin American Market has enormous potential,” Medin said.

By: Karla Florez