7 JUL 2022

Why are media companies expanding their Spanish-language content?

Seven in ten Latinx TV content viewers watch Spanish-language programming –up 11% from last year–, and two-thirds watch international content, according to Horowitz Research’s latest report.

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As the streaming ecosystem evolves and Latinx audiences continue to grow, the Spanish-language TV landscape is transforming dramatically. According to Horowitz Research’s “FOCUS Latinx: State of Pay TV, OTT & SVOD 2022” report, seven in ten Latinx TV content viewers watch Spanish-language programming –up 11% from last year–, and two-thirds watch international content, an increasing amount of which is accessed via SVOD and AVOD streaming services.

With more Spanish-language and Latinx-themed SVOD and AVOD content and services available, Latinx households —who have been among the most loyal to MVPD services— are now as likely to have similar penetrations of MVPD services compared to the total market, at 52% and 51%, respectively. Today, the share of Latinx TV content viewers who rely only on streaming has continued its upward trajectory: 38% of Latinx only subscribe to streaming services and not to an MVPD.

In fact, Horowitz Research’s study shows that Latinx TV content viewers over-index for subscribing to SVODs and using AVODs compared to the total market. This is due, in part, to the fact that these households want access to both Spanish/Latinx-themed and English/mainstream content.

On the SVOD side, Latinx households subscribe to an average of 4.7 streaming services, an increase from just four last year. Concomitantly, spending on streaming services among Latinx also grew dramatically: Latinx SVOD subscribers report spending an average of US$70.7 in 2022 on subscriptions to streaming services, compared to just US$48.83 in 2021 and US$38.54 in 2020.

On the AVOD side, YouTube and Peacock are the most-used free streaming services for Latinx TV content viewers. Notably, Peacock offers content not just from NBC’s family of mainstream networks, but also has a wide array of content from Telemundo, one of the two leading Spanish-language broadcasters in the United States.

Despite the increase in Spanish-language content now available, almost half (45%) of Latinx TV content viewers find the quality of Spanish content to not be on par with the quality of English content. This is likely to change moving forward as media companies continue to invest in quality Latinx-themed and Spanish-language content. For example, Peacock recently doubled down on its commitment to the Latinx market by announcing Tplus, a bilingual content hub. YouTube TV added Spanish-language plans for its subscribers. Meanwhile, Pantaya, the Spanish-language SVOD service whose popularity grew tremendously with the success of its original series “El Juego de Las Llaves,” was recently acquired by Spanish-language media powerhouse TelevisaUnivision.

“We have always been bullish about the Spanish-language and Latinx-themed content space, but until recently, this was an audience that was underserved and an opportunity that was not being fully realized. The fact that Spanish and English mainstream and Latinx-themed content were offered in silos, rather than within the same channel or platform, was a major barrier to its growth and evolution. The introduction of Spanish-language content within ‘mainstream’ platforms, starting with shows like ‘Narcos,’ ‘La Casa De Papel,’ and others on Netflix, has made media companies rethink their Latinx strategies. We are excited to see what lies ahead,”  said Adriana Waterston, Chief Revenue Officer and Insights & Strategy Lead for Horowitz Research.

The full “FOCUS Latinx: State of Pay TV, OTT & SVOD 2022” report provides analysis of US TV content viewers and antenna users. The survey was conducted in February - March 2022 in English and Spanish among 2.200 TV content viewers. Data have been weighted to ensure results are representative of the overall TV universe.

We have always been bullish about the Spanish-language and Latinx-themed content space, but until recently, this was an audience that was underserved and an opportunity that was not being fully realized” Adriana Waterston Chief Revenue Officer and Insights & Strategy Lead for Horowitz Research