My colleague, Jerónimo Macanás, recently talked about the massive potential of the OTT industry in Brazil. From walking around the recent ABTA, that market evolution and innovation was acutely apparent.
As with many regions, the introduction of Netflix was the main catalyst for change in Brazil. At first, the industry felt threatened by the OTT giant entering the space. However, it has made the local incumbents sit up and take note, and the result is a plethora of great OTT services from leading players. The main TV networks, such as GLOBO, BANDEIRANTES, GLOBOSAT, FOX and HBO, have already introduced OTT offerings and the local Brazilian TV operators are starting to consider it as part of the evolution.
Despite the barriers mentioned by Jerónimo, such as payment methods, consumer habits are already changing. According to a study by Consumer Lab, Ericsson Division, most of the Brazilian population spends 36% of its time consuming videos. Today, approximately 60% of Brazilians are using their smartphones to watch videos, which is a significant growth of 71% since 2012.
At the same time, Brazil is a very specific market, with major broadcasters holding the rights to much of the local content, which hinders the entrance of international competitors. Netflix is now looking to overcome this by hiring talented local directors to create its own localised content.
Anyone looking to compete in this market needs three key factors: good content, flexibility, and great experience. We have just announced the introduction of our Brazilian entity, so that we can better help our customers in the region develop the right service to meet the very unique challenges in this market. I am excited to be heading up the operations in Brazil and look forward to watching the market unfold over the coming months and years.