Whip Media and NATPE Launch New Report on Domestic Consumption of International TV Series

Software platform and data provider Whip Media and the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) have announced a partnership to provide a new data report on how U.S. audiences are consuming international TV series.

The new NATPE Navigator report highlights what original content produced outside the U.S. is among the most viewed domestically, according to Whip. It is available every other week on the NATPE and Whip Media websites and will be distributed in the NATPE newsletter.

Netflix’s Spanish series “Money Heist” topped the first report for Sept. 6-19.

The NATPE report is compiled utilizing Whip Media’s proprietary global panel of consumers who report what programs they follow and watch and, further, how they feel about those shows, according to Whip. The panel is made up of 18 million viewers in more than 170 countries and provides data on more than 4.5 million movie and TV episodes on 1,100 global platforms.

The NATPE Navigator ranks the top 10 most viewed non-U.S. TV series among U.S. viewers. According to Whip, the report also provides a snapshot of a specific global title, including who is watching it, how people feel about it, what else they are watching, and where that title is available on SVOD services globally based on real-time streaming availability data provided by Whip Media’s partner, BB, a media intelligence and content distribution researcher.

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“We at NATPE are proud of our position as a resource for this industry that has seen countless changes to the global content marketplace and are always looking for new ways to provide additional insights and guidance to our members,” said J.P. Bommel, president and CEO of NATPE, in a statement. “This partnership with Whip Media will do just that, and we are eager to see the results of their study as we continue to navigate the shifts our industry is going through.”

“With the growing consumer demand for new TV series and movies, content is no longer staying within its originating territories, but it’s still difficult to predict hits and what content will resonate with local viewers,” said Carol Hanley, president of Whip Media, in a statement. “We’re excited to partner with NATPE to provide this new actionable data to the industry along with insights on how to fill gaps in their programming in a marketplace now unbound by geography.”

HBO Max Launching in Latin America and Caribbean June 29

SVOD service HBO Max will be available in 39 territories in Latin America and the Caribbean starting June 29 with catalog and Max Originals plus live sports in Brazil and Mexico later this year.

“Our launch in Latin America and the Caribbean is the first step in our global rollout of HBO Max,” Johannes Larcher, head of HBO Max International, said in a statement. “We are thrilled that fans across the region will soon be able to enjoy HBO Max and its amazing collection of content. WarnerMedia is one of the most popular and trusted sources of entertainment across Latin America, and we are very excited that our global journey starts here.”

The platform will offer Warner Bros. movies at no additional cost 35 days after being released in theaters in Latin America, with titles such as Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical In the Heights, Space Jam: A New Legacy starring LeBron James, The Suicide Squad directed by James Gunn and starring Margot Robbie and John Cena, and Dune starring Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya and directed by Denis Villeneuve, among many other films. Recent premieres such as Tom & Jerry, Mortal Kombat, Judas and the Black Messiah and Godzilla vs. Kong will be available on HBO Max in 2021.

HBO Max will have exclusively new local original titles produced in the region with stories such as “Pop Divas,” a competition for the pop genre crown hosted by Pabllo Vittar and Luísa Sonza; the documentary series “PCC Secret Power”; the astrology show “Astral Journey” hosted by Giovanna Ewbank; a competition with the best stylists in “The Cut, Last Bravas”; a Mexican series about women’s soccer with screenwriters such as José Javier Reguilón, Luis Gamboa, Paula Rendón and Helen Santiago; “Love Spells,” a comedy starring Gabriela de la Garza; and the action comedy “Bunker,” among other titles.

Later this year, soccer fans in Brazil and Mexico can see matches of the UEFA Champions League.

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HBO Max will offer two subscription plans, starting from $3 (U.S.) per month; prices per plan and country can be found on HBOMax.com. The standard plan offers access to three simultaneous users, five personalized profiles, content downloads and video in high definition with some titles in 4K, across all supported devices. The mobile plan offers access to the same content catalog with a single, standard-definition stream on supported smartphones and tablets. Subscriptions for recurring periods of three or 12 months will also be also available with a discount of up to 30%.
HBO Max will also offer a seven-day free trial period and an option where users will be able to sample some of the best series and documentaries at no cost.

The platform will also be available through partners such as AT&T Mexico and regional partners such as DirecTV Latin America, Sky Brasil, DirecTV Go and Grupo América Móvil, which will offer HBO Max to their subscribers.

Those users who have an existing HBO linear subscription through participating distribution partners such as Claro Video (Mexico), Claro (Brazil), Claro (Latam), Oi (Brazil), Tim (Brazil), TotalPlay (Mexico), Vivo (Brazil), VTR (Chile), will have access to HBO Max at no additional cost. Additional distribution partners that will offer HBO Max will continue to be announced in the upcoming weeks.

Existing HBO Go users will receive instructions before the launch on how to access HBO Max.  As of HBO Max launch, the current HBO Go service in Latin America and the Caribbean will be discontinued.

“HBO Max is a platform built in Latin America for latinoamericanos,” Luis Durán, GM for HBO Max in the region, said in a statement. “In this context, our catalog delivers on the intensity and the passion of our region, our plans deliver on the experience users expect, and our prices deliver on our promise to entertain every member of the family. Our goal is to transform the streaming experience in Latin America, one word, one shot, one pixel at a time. And we are just getting started.”

Malaysian Martial Arts Film ‘Silat Warriors: Deed of Death’ Hitting Hi-Yah! Streaming Service June 4, Digital and Disc July 6 From Well Go

The Malaysian martial arts epic Silat Warriors: Deed of Death will debut exclusively on the martial arts streaming service Hi-Yah! on June 4, before hitting digital, Blu-ray and DVD July 6 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

When a reckless young gambler’s wild lifestyle of illegal betting, drag racing, and brutal street fights pits him against a ruthless criminal enterprise, his luck finally runs out. The gang shows up at his father’s home to collect on the debt, forcing his family to fight in order to save their land — and his life.

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In addition to actors Namron (One Two JagaDukunRedha) and Fad Anuar (Dollah Superstar, TV’s “KL Gangster: Underworld”), first-time film director Areel Abu Bakar selected much of the talent from martial arts training facilities and competitions in order to give a sense of realism the action sequences.

Silat Warriors: Deed of Death won the Daniel A. Craft Award for Excellence in Action Cinema at the 2020 New York Asian Film Festival, the first Malaysian film to win the award.

Netflix to Open Office in Colombia

Netflix will open an office in Bogotá, Colombia, the company announced.

“Ten years ago Colombia opened its doors to Netflix, a new way to enjoy the best series and movies directly in their homes,” read a Netflix announcement. “A few years later we embarked on our first local production and quickly witnessed the incredible talent of the country and the opportunity to create Colombian stories, by Colombians. This led to series such as ‘Siempre Bruja,’ ‘Distrito Salvaje,’ ‘Chichipatos,’ ‘Frontera Verde’ and ‘El Robo del Siglo’; comedy specials such as those of Liss Pereira, Ricardo Quevedo, Antonio Sanint, Julian Arango and Alejandro Riaño; and movies such as Lavaperros, but our story in Colombia is only starting.”

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The new office “will allow us to be even closer to the creative community and our members, taking Colombian stories to millions of homes around the world so that they can discover the incredible potential, talent, landscapes and culture of this country,” according to the Netflix announcement.

Additionally, through 2022, Netflix will bow more than 30 new projects, which include the already announced “Ritmo Salvaje,” “Locombianos,” “Juanpis,” “Nada Es Igual,” a comedy show starring Alejandra Azcárate, “Goles en Contra,” ‘Pálpito,” “Perfil Falso,” “Diomedes” and “Chichipatos” season two.

The titles are part of Netflix’s local content investment of more than $175 million since 2014, according to the announce.

Netflix Germany’s ‘The Barbarians’ Most-Popular Foreign-Language Series in the U.S. in 2020

Nielsen’s weekly Top 10 chart quantifying Netflix’s most-popular shows suggests U.S. television viewers love network reruns such as “The Office,” “Friends” and “NCIS,” among others.

Now, new data from the SVOD behemoth contends American subscribers covet non-English-language movies and TV shows just as much. Indeed, the streamer’s most-viewed foreign titles in the U.S. in 2020 included The Platform (Spain), a dystopian prison hell where inmates eat food off a platform lowered to the ground between floors; “Kidnapping Stella,” in which a pregnant woman outsmarts her abductors; and Cuties, the controversial French film about young girls coming of age in the social media world.

On the episodic programming side, German original series “The Barbarians” features Germanic warriors holding off Roman Empire soldiers in Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 A.D.; Denmark’s “The Rain” showcases a brother and sister navigating post-pandemic Scandinavia; and “Dark” finds four families in a rural German town looking for two missing children.

“We have local-language original shows and local offices in many countries around the world — the growth in that area is very important to the company,” Bela Bajaria, head of global TV at Netflix, told The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the lists.

Again, Netflix registers a viewer of original programming two minutes after the start of streaming. The SVOD service’s most-popular international movies in the U.S.:

1. The Platform (Spain)
2. Lost Bullet (France)
3. Rogue City (France)
4. #Alive (South Korea)
5. Ip Man 4: The Finale (Hong Kong)
6. Kidnapping Stella (Germany)
7. Cuties (France)
8. The Crew (France)
9. The Paramedic (Spain)
10. Freaks: You’re One of Us (Germany)

Netflix’s most-viewed TV series in the U.S.:

1. “The Barbarians” (Germany)
2. “The Rain” (Denmark)
3. “Dark” (Germany)
4. “Money Heist” (Spain)
5. “Dark Desire” (Mexico)
6. “Ragnarok “(Norway)
7. “Always a Witch” (Colombia)
8. “To the Lake” (Russia)
9. “The Seven Deadly Sins: Imperial Wrath of the Gods” (Japan)
10.” The Protector” (Turkey)

CFO: Amazon Upping AVOD Focus, Growth in Foreign Prime Video Use

Lost in the glow of another colossal fiscal quarter for Amazon was an e-commerce launch in Sweden and increased focus on ad-supported VOD distribution going into 2021.

Speaking on the Oct. 28 fiscal call, CFO Brian Olsavsky said the number of Prime members who stream Prime Video outside the U.S. grew by more than 80% year-over-year in the third quarter, and international customers more than doubled the hours of content they watched on Prime video compared to last year. Prime Video expanded globally in 2016 to more than 2o0 countries.

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While Prime Video, like Netflix, remains ad-free, Amazon isn’t turning its back on ad-supported content and incremental revenue opportunities. The company owns and operates ad-supported IMDb TV, and is working with third-party apps on Fire TV for advertising opportunities.

“We’re seeing some good momentum with that,” Olsavsky said. “I think good momentum and a lot of good learning on some of those initiatives there. I won’t say too much about what we’ll look like next year, but that gives you kind of sense of priorities where we’re spending our time and focused on.”

Netflix Launches Hindi Interface

Netflix Aug. 9 launched its user interface in Hindi. The Netflix experience in Hindi, from sign up to search rows, collections and payment, is available across all devices on mobile, TV and Web.

Netflix members can switch to the Hindi user interface from the “Language” option in the “Manage Profiles” section on their desktop, TV or mobile browsers. On Netflix, members can set up to five profiles in each account, and each profile can have its own language setting. Netflix members outside India will also have the option to switch their user interface to Hindi.

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“Delivering a great Netflix experience is as important to us as creating great content. We believe the new user interface will make Netflix even more accessible and better suit members who prefer Hindi,” said Monika Shergill, VP of content for Netflix India.

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Netflix is investing heavily in Indian films and series across all genres and for all generations, including “Sacred Games,” “Bulbbul,” “Choked: Paisa Bolta Hai” and “Mighty Little Bheem.” The company recently announced a lineup of 17 stories, including “Ludo,” “A Suitable Boy” and “Mismatched” and the upcoming film Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, which will bow Aug. 12. Netflix members can also view stories from other parts of the world, such as “Stranger Things,” “Extraction, Narcos: Mexico,” The Protector, Klaus, “The Witcher” and “Old Guard” with Hindi dubs or subtitles.

Last year, Netflix introduced the mobile plan in India for Rs. 199 per month.

Johannes Larcher to Head HBO Max International

WarnerMedia has named Johannes Larcher head of HBO Max International. He will join the company in August and report to Gerhard Zeiler, chief revenue officer of WarnerMedia and president of WarnerMedia International Networks.

Larcher will be responsible for the international rollout and management of the WarnerMedia subscription streaming service, which launched in the United States May 27. His first focus will be the launch in Latin America, which is expected in 2021, according to the company.

Larcher will work closely with Whit Richardson, president of WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks in Latin America, and Priya Dogra, president of WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks in EMEA and APAC.

Larcher currently serves as managing director of digital at MBC Group, the Middle East’s leading media company based in Dubai where he successfully transformed the group’s flagship digital product Shahid VIP into the world’s largest Arabic language video streaming service with more than 1.4 million subscribers. From 2016 to 2018, he was co-founder and CEO of SubVRsive in Austin, Texas, a virtual and augmented reality studio. From 2009 to 2013, he served Hulu as SVP, international, where he led the launch and initial growth phase of Hulu Japan. Earlier, Larcher was president and CEO of online video education start-up Academy123, sold to Discovery and served as GM International for paid search pioneer Overture Services until its acquisition by Yahoo! in 2003. Larcher started his career in 1995 at McKinsey in Los Angeles, where he served media, entertainment and technology clients. He holds an M.A. from the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, and an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

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“I got to know Johannes as a passionate entrepreneur,” Zeiler said in a statement. “His leadership skills, together with his strong direct-to-consumer and digital experience, international business foundations and tech expertise give him the perfect background to drive the growth of HBO Max beyond the United States.”

“Living at the crossroads of digital technology and content, I’m thrilled to help create unforgettable entertainment experiences for consumers in international markets and make HBO Max an indispensable streaming service around the world,” Larcher said in a statement.

‘Scoob!’ Rolling Out Internationally in July Via Theatrical and Premium In-Home Release

Warner Bros. Pictures will roll out Scoob! internationally via a combination of theatrical exhibition and premium in-home release through premium VOD and premium digital ownership.

The international theatrical release will begin on July 8 in France, Holland and Switzerland, with additional countries rolling out over the summer months.

Premium home offerings will begin on July 1 in Australia and New Zealand.

With theaters closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the animated Scoob! debuted for both rental via PVOD and for digital ownership in the U.S. and Canada May 15. The film is now the No. 2 digital release of all time and the No. 1 digital release for Warner Bros., according to the studio. Scoob! June 26 became available in the U.S. on WarnerMedia’s recently launched streaming service HBO Max.

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“Our decision to release Scoob! as an in-home offering in May came during an unprecedented time in history, and we are delighted by the success of the film and the way it was embraced by long-time fans of this iconic character, families and children,” said Ron Sanders, president of worldwide theatrical distribution and home entertainment, and EVP of international business operations for Warner. “Following its strong domestic debut, our international strategy will combine both theatrical and in-home releases to make it easily accessible to worldwide audiences.”

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The film, which will be released on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray July 21 in the U.S., recounts the meeting of Scooby-Doo and his best pal Shaggy, and how they joined with young detectives Fred, Velma and Daphne to form Mystery Inc. Now, after hundreds of adventures, Scooby and the gang encounter the larger world of the Hanna-Barbera universe, teaming with Blue Falcon and Dynomutt to stop Dick Dasterdly from unleashing the legendary ghost dog Cerberus upon the world. The voice cast includes Will Forte, Mark Wahlberg, Jason Isaacs, Gina Rodriguez, Zac Efron, Amanda Seyfried, Kiersey Clemons, Ken Jeong, Tracy Morgan, Simon Cowell and Frank Welker.

‘The Last Dance’ Draws 23.8 Million International Household Viewers for Netflix

The Last Dance, the documentary series about basketball star Michael Jordan and the 1990s Chicago Bulls championship team, attracted 23.8 million households outside the United States on Netflix, the service announced May 20.

The miniseries, a co-production of Netflix and ESPN Films, aired on ESPN in the United States April 19 through May 17 with each episode being made available the day after airing to international audiences via the SVOD service.

“23 was always his lucky number! 23.8 million households outside the U.S. checked out The Last Dance in its first four weeks on Netflix,” the service tweeted.

Jordan’s jersey number was 23.

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