17 APR 2024

Alejandro Veciana: "Our content strategy remains focused on the ad-supported model"

The Senior Manager of International Digital Distribution at Filmrise analyses the AVOD/SVOD landscape and the company's moves to widen its portfolio and reach the Spanish-speaking audience.

17 APR 2024

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FilmRise's content strategy focuses on reality, true crime, and classic TV, but its co-productions, creator-content partnerships, and most recent deals with Buzzfeed have expanded its content offerings for AVOD and FAST platforms. Alejandro Veciana, Senior Manager of International Digital Distribution, explained this successful business model and the company's goal to extend its reach to Spanish-speaking audiences further.

According to Omdia, SVOD services per home have declined in several markets for the first time, while free video stacking is still on the rise. What does this current landscape represent for FilmRise's FAST and AVOD strategy?
"At first, during the early rise of AVOD and FAST, we had largely cord-cutters who made up most of our audience. Now, the consolidation of SVOD services per household means more and more people are turning to AVOD and SVOD for more premium, fresh, and current content. Our audience is becoming broader and progressively younger. Our content strategy remains focused on the ad-supported model, with reality, true crime, and classic TV continuing to be our bread and butter. However, our co-productions, our creator-content partnerships, and our most recent deals with Buzzfeed, where we've acquired YouTube shows like 'Hot Ones' and 'Sneaker Shopping' means we are widening our content offerings for AVOD and FAST platforms, which are now catering to an audience hungry for relevant content with more widespread appeal".

What business model are you applying to expand your FAST and AVOD offer?
"Our core model remains the same: through a rigorous data-driven analysis, we find 'undervalued' content libraries that are guaranteed to work within the FAST and AVOD model. This method, combined with our close relationships with platforms, allows us to easily create and program content tailored to each platform's specific programming needs."

How would you describe FilmRise's expansion strategy for titles like "Hell's Kitchen" in the Spanish-speaking market?
"Our goal is to have all our tentpole titles available in Neutral Spanish. The US Hispanic audience is our main Spanish-language market, followed by Latin America. Over 63 million Hispanics live in the US, which is more than the entire population of Colombia, Argentina, or Spain. So, there's an enormous opportunity there that we think hasn't been properly tapped into. Some of our partners, like ViX and CanelaTV, understand the need for Spanish-language AVOD and FAST services very well. We always try to find or acquire dubs; if these are unavailable, we sometimes create them ourselves, depending on the title. We've done this for shows like 'Heartland' and 'Cheaters,' and it's worked incredibly well."

FilmRise's Creator Partner Program has been growing lately, with significant deals. What is the strategy for the program this year?
"The way audiences interact with social platforms like TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram is not dissimilar to the way people interact with FAST. Both models appeal to binge-able, laid-back viewing with very high engagement times. We have a dedicated team entirely focused on growing FilmRise's Creator Content catalog by partnering with young creators with niche but massive followers. By bringing this type of content to the AVOD and FAST space, FilmRise is widening the audience for creators and expanding their reach beyond social media."

What were Filmrise's main goals for MIPTV?
"Our main goal was to catch up with our existing international partners, meet with upcoming players in the AVOD and FAST space, and look for new partner opportunities. We also wanted to take a temperature check and learn more about how the market is evolving in the ad-supported streaming world and beyond."

By Romina Rodriguez