Magazine article Variety

Spain's TV Revolution WRIT SMALL

Magazine article Variety

Spain's TV Revolution WRIT SMALL

Article excerpt

While Spain's economy and box office are still reeling, the country also is undergoing a revolution in the way consumers, particularly younger ones, watch TV, as new technology including smartphones and tablets drive up numbers in the exploding video-on-demand market.

Netflix and Amazon Prime have yet to bow such services in Spain, but the country's audiences have access to several local and international VOD platforms such as, owned by Japan's Rakuten Group; Apple TV; Cineclick; and Yomvi, the video on demand/Internet service of Canal Plus, Spain's biggest pay TV operator.

None has seen more spectacular growth than Yomvi, which is accessible - as are many of the other services - on smart TVs, smartphones, iPads, iPhones and, in the case of Yomvi, on XBox 360s.

According to Rentrak, Yomvi users shot up 96% from July to November to 546,996. VOD views are growing at 9% per month on TVs and smart TVs, while views on connected devices such as smartphones and tablets are increasing 11% each month. That is outstanding growth, said Arturo Guillen, Rentrak VP of Europe, Middle East and Africa. On Dec. 30, Wuaki. tv announced 900,000 registered users, although its range of series and films is more limited than Yomvi's.

Meanwhile, the percentage of Spanish households with three or more TV sets dipped from 42% to 40% between 2012 and 2013, according to market research film the Cocktail Analysis. But 85% of households now have a smartphone, up 23% from 2012; and 31% of households own a tablet, up 10% in that timeframe.

"Before, the proliferation of new freeto-air DTT channels encouraged consumers to buy new TV sets. This isn't happening any more," maintained Pablo Romero, Yomvi content director.

Guillen said tablets and smartphones generate almost 50% of VOD transactions on Yomvi. As elsewhere, monthly mobile rates from telcos - Spain's Telefonica offers smartphone TV from a flat rate of euro19.40 ($26.70) - and smartphone messaging services such as Wassap TV are driving TV viewing on mobile devices. A traditional Canal Plus subscription costs $21-$69 per month, but Spaniards can subscribe to a Yomvi movies and series package for as little as $14 a month.

Another factor driving VOD uptake is the popularity of imports and the binge viewing that comes with those imports. Spanish auds can't get enough of "Breaking Bad," "Sherlock," "Orange Is the New Black" and "House of Lies" - the latter two exclusive to Yomvi. According to Canal Plus, catch-up viewership rose from 2 million views to 3. …

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