Number of cord cutters, cord nevers grow in Latin America

More than one in 10 Latin American consumers between 20 and 30 years old have cut the pay-TV cord, opting instead for subscription video on demand services like Netflix, a new report says.

Business Bureau Media Report said another 13% of consumers younger than 20 also have recently become cord cutters, a troubling rend for Latin America’s pay-TV industry.

And, said BBMR, close to 10% more users in those two groups are considered cord nevers, consumers who have never subscribed to pay TV.

Latin American pay-TV operators increasingly are taking their businesses over the top, offering some of their programming in the form of TV Everywhere. A number of of other OTT players also have comeinto the market – notably Netflix – increasing competition and demanding that operators respond.

The big question, of course, will be: “Are they doing enough?”

“It’s ours to lose,” said Mauricio Ramos, president of Liberty Global Latin America, during a recent panel discussion at NexTV CEO’s Summit, Latin America. “It’s completely ours to lose.”

Ramos pointed to new-generation technologies like real-time video, search and aggregation of video and video on demand iterations as examples of where operators could expand services.

By 2018, some 18 million consumers in Latin America will take some sort of subscription video-on-demand service, according to research from Dataxis, with the bulk of the market continuing to belong to Netflix.

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of SVOD subscribers currently use the U.S.-based video aggregator, with about 16% of the market using Claro and 12% using other SVOD services.

Overall, said BBMR, some 34 million consumers in Latin America have paid for content on-demand, using either SVOD or TVOD, and nearly 35 million have used a TV everywhere service, more than double the number Y/Y.

According to analyst Veronica Bianchini, OTT and streaming technologies are developing rapidly, with big potential for disrupting the pay-TV market.

It’s “not yet clear how users coexist with both technologies,” she said.

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Editor of Videomind and Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn