Streaming abhors a vacuum almost as much as nature does. So, it shouldn’t be too surprising to see Viacom/Pluto TV’s latest launch Pluto TV Latino, an ad-supported amalgam of 11 channels of Spanish- and Portuguese-language content targeting America’s booming Hispanic audience.
The curated, linear channels are part of the Pluto TV platform and offer a substantial number of new titles, more than 2,000 hours-worth, aimed at an expanding U.S. Hispanic market. The linear content covers everything from classical Telemundo Telenovelas to original series from MTV Brazil and even Mexican wrestling.
“Pluto TV Latino was designed to bring premium streaming programming to an underserved OTT audience with cross-generational appeal,” said Tom Ryan, CEO and co-founder of Pluto TV. “To be the first ad-supported streaming platform to offer an entire category dedicated to US Hispanic audiences is something we are incredibly proud of and furthers our mission to entertain the planet.”
Growing content lineup
Included in the launch:
- Cine Estelar: Classic movies (like Terms of Endearment) dubbed in Spanish;
- Películas: Action/adventure movies (like 48 Hours) dubbed;
- Cine Latino: Spanish language movies;
- Investiga: True crime series, dubbed, like The FBI Files and The New Detectives.
- Novelas: Classic novelas from Argentina and Colombia (including Fanny La Fan, Los Hombres También Lloran and more);
- Telemundo Telenovelas Clásicas:
- Classic dramas, romantic comedies and popular telenovelas.
- MTV Latino: The best of MTV Latino, including TV shows like Acapulco Shore, Catfish, Are You The One? and Latin Unplugged concerts.
- Comedy Central Latino: Latin standups like El Diablito, Isaac Salame and Alejandra Ley along with series like La Culpa es de Cortés and Bar Central.
- Pluto TV Brasil: Original series from MTV Brasil, Comedy Central Brasil and Porta dos Fundos.
- Combate World: Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) content. Featuring world championship level events, reality television and lifestyle programming.
- Lucha Libre: Mexican professional wrestling with all the flair.
Pluto says it expects to add additional channels in the fall. Topics will include, food, travel, competition, kids and single-series channels.
Can it reach a modern Hispanic audience?
Is there really a significant demand for an AVOD service featuring Spanish-language programing. Of the 131 million multicultural Americans consumers, Hispanics make up the largest segment, according to a report from Claritas, “The Growth Majority.” More than 58.9 million Hispanics live in the US, according to a 2017 Census estimate.
That’s significant market.
But how that audience consumes content is a huge question. Brands looking to engage with it have been throwing hopeful darts at it for awhile, now.
But the market represent one of the – if not the – youngest consumer segments in the country. Data from the Pew Research Center said Hispanics in the US average 28-years-old, with 61% of them 35 or younger. And that’s a decidedly Millennial audience.
And, what’s the bane of Millennials? TV ads, Pluto TV’s chosen business model.
A report released just last week notes that “of all the sources for television content available today, Netflix commands the greatest share of streamed TV viewing among Latinx Millennials (22-37-year-olds).” The report from Horowitz Research, FOCUS Latino: The Media Landscape 2019, found 38% of Latinx Millennial viewers with a TV set say Netflix is their go-to source, significantly higher than among other groups. There are several other SVOD services targeting the Hispanic audience, including, for example, Univision’s.
Is there real demand for another Spanish-language streaming service?
The bottom line
As Horowitz says, the Hispanic audience is “linguistically and culturally fluid.” Pew’s research, meanwhile, found that 41% of Latinx say they are English dominant (compared to 24% of Hispanics 36-years-old and older).
The US Hispanic audience has been underserved by the TV and movie industry for a long time. A study from the National Latino Media Council, way back in 2004, said Nielsen was undercounting Hispanic viewers of English-language TV shows, which, the council said, resulted in Latinx being relatively “invisible” in the film and TV industry.
That said, the current market is different, and the Hispanic audience has become more fragmented and even more sophisticated. Will Pluto’s approach – a fully ad-supported over-the-top service rich with predominantly library-type, Spanish-language content be the key to accessing that audience? Nope.
The Hispanic TV audience is increasingly youthful and multi-cultural. Engaging that audience is more about engaging with Millennials than anything else.
Pluto TV Latino is a generation removed.