Latin America has overtaken Europe and North America and is already the second-fastest-growing streaming market in the world, behind only Asia and the Middle East. The region reached the end of 2021 with a 21% growth in video streaming and 20% growth in audio platforms, consolidating itself as a strategic market for global companies to expand as Europe and the US approach saturation point. Jason Simon, a behavioral analyst of different industries, explains why the Latin American streaming market is of great relevance in the global industry.
A survey conducted by the consulting firm Netscribes shows that in 2021 the streaming market in Latin America reached approximately $7 billion ($5.5 billion for video and $1.2 billion for audio). This boom can be attributed to a number of factors, including a change in behavior due to the COVID-19 pandemic, something that has been observed worldwide. But most of all, thanks to the increased penetration of Internet services, both fixed and mobile, across the region.
This is what continues to drive Latin America’s streaming market growth. Simon stated that the pandemic was only one of many factors driving the growth of streaming services in Latin America. Brazil and Mexico are the largest video and audio streaming market in the region, followed closely by Argentina, Chile, and Colombia.
Just as Latin American consumers are increasingly using their cell phones to make online purchases, the device is also being used en masse to consume streaming audio or video content. In fact, another study with consumers in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Argentina showed that 90% of them prefer to use their smartphones for streaming, much more than smart TVs (70%) or computers (65%).
As smartphones have established themselves as the gateway for millions of Latin American consumers to digital services, global giants interested in conquering a slice of this market have been looking to adapt their services to mobile devices. In addition, they are also looking to invest in applications with good user experience and an intuitive interface, as well as in specific subscription plans for mobile devices, as HBO Max did when it arrived in the region.
In 2020, Latin America was the scene of the debut of several global players. Disney Plus, Discovery and Paramount Plus were among the big video streaming services that began operating in the region.
“The massive arrival of these services is because the subscriber base in more mature markets such as the US and European countries has reached a plateau, and the number of paying users has stagnated,” Simon asserts. “It is, therefore time to explore markets with a more receptive audience. In Latin America, the number of video streaming subscriptions was expected to reach 76 million by the end of last year, a growth of 43% from 53 million the previous year.”
The growth of the streaming market has also driven audio streaming services, which reached $1.2 billion by the end of 2021. This made Latin America the fastest growing region for audio streaming in the world.
Audio streaming players, like video streaming platforms are also investing in local content via partnerships with established and emerging artists from different Latin American countries. When it comes to choosing a service, users are influenced by whether they want original and local content.
But perhaps the most important news when analyzing the audio streaming market in the region is the rapid rise of original podcasts. Spotify, currently the leading audio streaming platform in Latin America, reported in a letter to its shareholders that podcasts are useful even in new user acquisition strategies. Deezer, for its part, reported that Brazil and Mexico are two of its main consumers of podcasts worldwide.