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FOLHA DE SÃO PAULO – BRAZIL HAS RECORD NUMBER OF SERIES AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY THROUGH STREAMING IN 2018

25.10.2018

Brazil has a record number of series available exclusively through streaming in 2018

The projection of services like Netflix and the increase in the number of Brazilian productions for next year

Following a global trend, Brazil will end 2018 with a record number of original series produced exclusively by large streaming services operating in the country, of which there are at least seven. Up until this year, the only series made for ‘on demand’ platforms was the science fiction series 3% on Netflix in 2016.

This year, in addition to the second season of the above-mentioned series, Netflix will stream The Mechanism and Samantha! Super Drags, an adult animation narrated by Pabllo Vittar, will premiere on November 9. By the end of the year, the Netflix catalog will also include the documentary series Vai Anitta (Go Anitta), a Brazilian co-production, which depicts the life of the singer from Rio de Janeiro and her international career.

Two other original and exclusive series premiered this year on Globoplay, the Globo Network’s streaming service: the comedy Alem da Ilha (Beyond the Island) and the drama Assedio (Harassment), whose first episode was exhibited on network TV, with the rest of the season being available just to platform subscribers.

The forecast for 2019 is for even more growth, and Netflix alone will show 10 original Brazilian series. Among the premieres will be Coisa Mais Linda (The Most Beautiful Thing), a drama set during the height Bossa Nova in the 1960s, and the suspense series O Escolhido (The Chosen One), based on the Mexican series Nino Santo (Sainted Nest) which takes place in the remote village of Pantanal, where a team of doctors fights against the resistance of the local population who believe in the curing powers of a religious leader.

Actress Paloma Bernardi in Natividade, Tocantins where she’s filming O Escolhido (The Chosen One), a new Brazilian series for Netflix, which is scheduled to premiere in 2019. Photo: Emiliano Capozoli/Netflix

Other new titles include Spectros (Spectres), Sintonia (In Synch), Nobody’s Watching, Invisible Cities and The Faction. According to the Vice President for International Original Content at Netflix Erik Barmack, the expectation is that in 2019, six or seven new original series in total will premiere. Their plan is for this number to rise even higher. “Our plan is to make 10 series a year in Brazil consisting of various genres, including sci-fi, thrillers and comedies.”

Netflix’s investment is long term, and that’s why not all of the announced series will premiere next year. “To arrive where we want to be, we have to invest in and develop series that will take a while to produce, sometimes 20 months or a few years,” the executive explains. “We have one team in São Paulo focused on searching for new series, we already have a few that we still haven’t announced, and we’ll continue to develop more material.” According to Erik, among the next productions that Netflix will be producing will be series about zombies and the auto racing community.

To him, the greatest challenge related to Brazil is the older audience and reaching the audience outside of the Rio-São Paulo axis. “We have to think of programming that will help us grow in other parts of Brazil. The challenge is how to become more sophisticated in such a diverse country.” The new series O Escolhido (The Chosen One), for example, was filmed in Tocantins.

Competition

This year Globoplay entered the market of distributing Brazilian series exclusively for streaming. To Barmack this is something positive. “It’s a great time to be a consumer and producer of content in Brazil,” the executive states, and says he isn’t worried about the competition. “Our future is in our own hands and this market is different from the United States, where we have Disney, Hulu and Amazon competing for the hours of entertainment.”

In addition to the debut of two original Brazilian series, Alem da Ilha (Beyond the Island) and Assedio (Harassment), Globoplay has also been working on the exclusive distribution of foreign productions in this country, including Killing Eve, starring Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy), and The Good Doctor, whose first two episodes were exhibited on Globo TV as a film.

Antonio Calloni as Roger Sadala in the series Assedio (Harassment) by Globoplay. Photo: Globo/Ramon Vasconcelos

Asked to comment, Globoplay did not respond to reporters’ questions about investment in original productions for streaming in Brazil.

Beginning in 2016, however, before these exclusive original series, the Globo Network had been investing in a different streaming strategy. Series like Jailers and Supermax premiered first on the ‘on demand’ platform and then were broadcast on Network TV.

Summing Globo Productions, foreign series, Brazilian and international films, the Globoplay streaming service hopes to have 100 new productions in its catalogue by the end of this year.

The Fox group has a strategy that’s similar to Globo’s original strategy. Even though they don’t produce content specifically for streaming, the channel has made all of the episodes of its original Brazilian series, like Impuros (The Impure) and One Against All, available on its Fox App platform from the first day that series debut on Network TV. The channel’s streaming can be accessed by Pay TV subscribers or anyone else who wants to pay a one-time price for the service.

“They’re equivalent products. Our idea is to follow a consumer demand trend,” explains Michel Piestun, the general manager of the Fox Networks Group in Brazil. To him, the difference between TV and streaming consumers does not generate internal competition. “We want to reach more people.”

Fox’s service also offers sports channel programming and the chance to see TV programming broadcast during the past 24 hours. Even though they don’t publish streaming data, Piestun states that the amount of time users spend on the Fox App rose 30% in September compared with the same period last year.

The country also has two other large streaming services, HBO Go and Amazon Prime Video. Asked for comment, the Pay TV channel HBO informed us that “currently we generate content that is distributed by the channels in our HBO/MAX package and HBO Go.” Questioned about rumors that they will produce original series in Brazil, Amazon Prime responded by releasing a note that “we don’t comment on rumors or speculation about our future plans.”