mobile streaming

Smartphone streaming surges across Latin America

While television remains the dominant media in the region, people now use mobile devices nearly six times as much as they did in 2012.
March 2, 2016

Should Latin America’s potential as a rich digital market ever be in doubt, there is new research available destined to cast that lingering feeling aside once and for all.

The latest study by New York-based market research firm GfK found that media consumption via devices like cell phones and tablets is now more prolific by residents across the region than desktop computers, and is quickly catching up to television.

The study surveyed 9,000 people in Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Argentina and Brazil. It was commissioned by sports network ESPN in an effort to better understand media consumption trends in the region. (It’s worth noting that the study looked at overall consumption and not just sports-content consumption).

Television remains the preferred viewing platform in the region — respondents reported watching an average of more than 20 hours per week, only down slightly from 2012 results.

However, they also spend an average of 17 hours and 49 minutes per week consuming media on cell phones and tablets, up from only three hours per week in 2012. PC usage also grew slightly, from nine hours per week in 2012 to 11 hours per week in 2015.

The findings are unlikely to come as any surprise to those in the Latin American MCN scene. The GfK research is just one of many studies that indicate that there is a massive market of Latin American consumers.

A recent study by IMS Group and ComScore surveyed the region (also including Peru in its findings) and determined that Gen Z Latin Americans are big fans of streaming, spending an average of 13 hours per week watching video online (both on computers and on mobile). In addition, 80% of digital video viewers prefer to use mobile devices for viewing video.

MCNs such as Santa Monica-based MiTu and Buenos Aires-based Fav have made moves to capitalize on the growing number of people spending time on their phones. Fav CEO Alejandro Burato told StreamDaily in a previous interview that he founded his network specifically to provide Latin American audiences with more local content.

“If you are a millennial in Latin America there are a lot of verticals that you don’t have original content in your native language – you end up consuming content from the U.S. or from Europe,” he said.

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