HBO Max Rolls Out in 39 Territories in Latin America and the Caribbean

HBO Max June 29 rolled out in 39 territories in Latin America and the Caribbean, marking the streaming platform’s first launch outside of the United States, and kicking off its global expansion. Max has made a commitment to produce 100 local originals in Latin American over the next two years, in addition to offering subscribers access to its catalog of brands and programming. Later this year, soccer fans in Brazil and Mexico will be able to stream matches of the UEFA Champions League.

With this launch, subscribers of the HBO Max ad-free plan in the U.S. will be able to access the platform while traveling throughout any of these 39 newly supported territories, and Latin American subscribers will also be able to access the platform while traveling in the U.S. The platform’s international rollout will extend to Europe later this year.

“With today’s launch, we are introducing our global platform and providing a brand new user experience to millions of fans across Latin America and the Caribbean,” Johannes Larcher, head of HBO Max International, said in a statement.

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To celebrate the launch, Max is offering new subs through July 31 a 50% discount on the $14.99 regular monthly plan for as long as they maintain their subscription without interruption.

“This past year with its unprecedented health and economic crises has been challenging for our fans from Tijuana to Tierra del Fuego,” said Luis Durán, GM of HBO Max for Latin America.

Max is available for subscription at HBOMax.com, via participating digital stores and through various distribution partners in the region. It’s accessible from supported smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and compatible streaming devices.

  • The standard plan offers families access to three simultaneous users, five personalized profiles, content downloads (up to 30 titles), video in high-definition and some titles in HD and 4K, on all compatible devices.
  • The mobile plan offers access to the same content catalog, but is designed for an individual experience with content downloads (up to 5 titles) enjoyable in standard-definition on compatible smartphones and tablets.

Max is also available from any of the following internet browsers: Firefox, Chrome, Safari (for Mac users) and Edge (for Windows users). The platform is accessible at launch across a range of supported devices, including: Android TV, Android phones and tablets (OS 5+ or later), Chromecast and Chromecast built-in devices; iPhone, iPad, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD; LG Smart TVs (web OS 3.5 or later); Roku devices and Roku TV models (OS 10+); Samsung Smart TVs (2016 models and later); and Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.

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.”

Disney’s Star+ to Bow Aug. 31 in Latin America

Star+ will launch in Latin America on Aug. 31 as a standalone streaming service that will offer a full slate of ESPN content, including live events from the top leagues and sports shows; series, animated comedies, movies and documentaries; and regional and international original Star productions, including exclusive content, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution announced May 14.

“Star+ will offer a never-before-seen customized experience and will expand our connection with the different audiences,” Diego Lerner, president of The Walt Disney Company Latin America, said in a statement. The strength of the content, that will include all of ESPN, makes Star+ a unique and relevant offering with its own identity that will become a recognized digital service, independent from Disney+. Having said that, its arrival will represent a service that is complementary to Disney+ and it will consolidate The Walt Disney Company’s presence in Latin America’s streaming market. With Star+, we will also reinforce our constant commitment of over 20 years to develop, produce, and offer local content that represents the taste of consumers of the whole region, producing original content with well-known local production companies and talents, to tell stories that connect with Latin American audiences. We will do so through different genres, addressing original fiction stories, and social and historic themes that are relevant and of general interest.”

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The service will be available on Internet-connected devices and users can subscribe separately or as part of a bundled offer with Disney+.

The service includes exclusive premieres of general entertainment TV series and movies from The Walt Disney Company’s content studios, including Disney Television Studios, FX, 20th Century Studios, STAR Original Productions, National Geographic Original Productions and more, and the streaming service for live sports from ESPN. From dramas to comedies (including all seasons of “The Simpsons”) and thrillers for adults, Star+ also features exclusive original programming from the Star general entertainment brand, along with a collection of regional original productions from Latin America.

HBO Max to Launch 100 Original Local Programs With Latin America Rollout

HBO Max April 29 announced it plans to develop more than 100 local productions in Latin America over the next two years, 33 of which are already in production. All of these programs will be exclusive to the HBO platform under the Max Originals brand when in debuts in 39 territories across Latin America and the Caribbean in June.

Max will offer users from Latin America and the Caribbean a new app and diverse subscription options. All HBO-branded streaming services in Europe (the Nordics, Spain, Central Europe, the Baltics and Portugal) will be upgraded to Max later this year.

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From fiction series and documentaries to specials and reality shows, Max programming includes action comedy “Búnker” (Mexico), the contemporary family and romantic drama “Amarres” (Mexico), the youth and musical drama “Días De Gallos” (Argentina) and “The Missing,” a drama series about an agency that focuses on missing persons cases.

Other titles include “Bilardo El Doctor del Fútbol” (Argentina) — a four-episode-long documentary series that will feature stories from the most relevant figures from Argentine soccer; and “Frankelda’s Book of Spooks” (Mexico) — an anthology stop-motion animated series about horror stories for children created by Cinema Fantasma, a studio specializing in and recognized for this technique. The series will take us to Frankelda’s darkest secrets, alongside her book, her faithful companion, with intense and entertaining stories where not everything is as it seems.

“Currently, we are working on productions that cover a wide variety of different genres and formats, with all kinds of local stories that are relevant to our consumers, reinforcing our commitment to local communities with our great Latin American talent and most certainly with our audience,” Tomás Yankelevich, chief content officer of WarnerMedia Latin America, said in a statement. “And this is only the beginning.”

 

Report: Latin America to Have 116 Million SVOD Subs by 2026

With an influx of new subscription streaming video services such as HBO Max, Disney+ and Paramount+ entering Latin America, the region will have 116 million SVOD subscriptions by 2026 — up from the 53 million at end of 2020, according to new data from Digital TV Research. Brazil will contribute 44 million to the 2026 total, followed by Mexico with 29 million.

Five U.S.-based platforms Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV+ and HBO Max will account for 90% of the region’s paying SVOD subscriptions by end-2026.

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“There will be a wave of major SVOD platform launches in Latin America during 2021,” analyst Simon Murray said in a statement. “Paramount+ will start in March, followed by HBO Max and Star+ in June. Discovery+ is also expected expand in the region.”

Meanwhile, poorly-performing economies have hit Latin American pay-TV hard. The number of linear TV subs fell by 4 million in both 2019 and 2020. Venezuela dropped 2.4 million subs in 2020 alone, mainly due to DirecTV’s withdrawal from the market.

Across Latin America, the number of pay-TV subs peaked at 72.2 million in 2017. The total fell to 64.6 million by 2020. A small improvement is expected after 2023, with the 2026 total at 65.1 million subs.

“Brazil’s low point will be 2022, with only a small improvement expected from then,” Murray said. “The country peaked in 2014 with 19.6 million subscribers. We forecast 5.3 million fewer subscribers by 2026.”

Mexico has more pay-TV subscribers than Brazil despite having half as many TV households. Mexico has lost subscribers since its peak year of 2016, when it had 20.9 million. Mexico is not projected to cross the 20 million subscriber mark again until 2026.

HBO Max Launching Across Latin America in June

As expected, HBO Max is scheduled to launch in late June in 39 territories across Latin America and the Caribbean, marking the first availability for the platform outside the U.S. Countries include: Anguilla, Antigua, Argentina, Aruba, B.V.I., Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks and Caicos, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Audiences in the region will have access to programming from WarnerMedia’s brands like HBO, DC and Warner Bros., in addition to children’s programming.

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“By combining HBO with the very best of WarnerMedia’s series and film catalog, as well as locally produced content from master-storytellers in Latin America, HBO Max will offer fans in the region an enriching entertainment experience,” Johannes Larcher, Head of HBO Max International, said in a statement.

At launch, existing HBO Go direct-billed customers, as well as those who are billed through eligible partners will get instant access to HBO Max. The existing HBO Go service in Latin America and the Caribbean will be phased out. Subscribers will have access to an entirely new Max app that mirrors the product experience available in the U.S., including new features that will enhance the way they connect with content.

WarnerMedia programming ranges from Cartoon Network and Looney Tunes Cartoons, to teens and adults from brands like HBO, Warner Bros, New Line, DC, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV and Adult Swim. The platform’s content lineup also includes a wide slate of local original titles, under the Max Originals brand, that are exclusive to the platform and will showcase local storytellers and talent.

Following the arrival of Max in Latin America and the Caribbean, the HBO-branded streaming services in Europe (the Nordics, Spain, Central Europe, and Portugal) are scheduled to be upgraded to Max later this year. HBO and HBO Max ended the most recent fiscal period with 38 million combined subscribers in the United States.

Disney+ Launches in Latin America

Following pre-launch activities earlier this month, Disney+ is now available in 10 countries throughout South America — little more than a year after Disney bowed its branded SVOD platform in the United States. Countries include Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama and Uruguay, with service costing $5.99 monthly or $59.99 per year.

With more than 73 million subscribers through the most-recent fiscal quarter, Disney eyes Latin America as the platform’s next big growth sector after India.

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Research firm eMarketer says Latin America has become a prime focus for SVOD services largely because of its improving digital infrastructure and the growing need for indoor entertainment throughout the coronavirus pandemic. A May 2020 survey from McKinsey & Company revealed that nearly 64% of adults in Mexico reported spending more time watching video content during the pandemic than they did normally.

“We now expect the number of subscription OTT video viewers in Latin America to grow by 27.5% this year to 117.2 million,” analyst   wrote in a post. “That’s a roughly 16-percentage-point increase from the 11.6% growth we previously anticipated in our September 2019 forecast.”

Ceurvels said regional SVOD platforms Claro video and Globoplay have seen subscriber growth, but lack the fiscal scale of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video (launched in 2016) and Disney+ to compete more effectively.

“What’s more, HBO Max and Hulu will be rolling out in these markets in 2021,” he wrote.

Europa+ SVOD Service Launches in Latin America

A new subscription streaming video service based in Atlanta has launched operations in Latin America. Dubbed Europa+ (Europa Más), the $5.99 monthly service features content from the U.K., Germany, France and Nordics.

Designed for European ex-pats, Latin Americans of European descent and the large community of those passionate about European culture throughout the region, Europa+ offers viewers a variety of the latest European TV shows to link them to their roots, culture and tastes.

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The service draws a curated list of programs from from more than 1,500 hours of library content from BBC Studios, Studio Canal, TF1, ZDF, NordicWorld, Studio 100, Spiegel and Mediaset. Programs are presented ad-free, in high-definition and their original language — all with subtitles and the majority sub-titled in Spanish and English. It is available on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices and all shows are available for download for later viewing on portable devices.

Europa+ is owned and operated by Mexico City-based investment fund, Innokap, and Atlanta-based Castalia Communications Corp.

“For nearly 30 years, Castalia Communications has forged a track record of successfully launching new media ventures worldwide,” Luis Torres-Bohl, president of Europa+ and co-owner of Castalia Communications, said in a statement. “Our mission has always been to enable the many and different voices of our world the opportunity to be heard.”

“We provide programming that makes Europeans living and working in Latin America and the Caribbean feel more connected to home,” said Rubén Mendiola, COO and managing director of Europa+. “Subscribers will have the newest European dramas, comedies, documentaries, reality, nature, motor shows, kids’ toons and more at their fingertips.”

Pluto TV Lands on Roku Platform in Latin America

ViacomCBS’s ad-supported VOD platform Pluto TV has inked a distribution deal with Roku for the streaming video device manufacturer’s platform in Latin America.

The agreement is aimed at expanding access to Pluto TV’s planned 70 channels featuring curated Spanish-language content in 17 Latin American countries. Pluto TV, which ViacomCBS acquired in 2019 for $340 million, has more than 33 million users internationally (including the U.S., Europe and Latin America).

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The deal sees Pluto TV available on The Roku Channel Store in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Peru.

“The arrival of Pluto TV to Roku … will allow our users to have an excellent experience of streaming content on a bigger screen, easily, comfortably and without restrictions,” Marco Nobili, SVP of emerging business and strategy at Pluto TV, said in a statement. “We believe Pluto TV is a great complement to all of our distribution partners who can offer free fan-favorite content to their subscribers and users on the same platform that they consume content.”

Yulia Poltorak, director of international content distribution at Roku, said the deal expands upon The Roku Channel’s ad-supported free content outside the U.S., which includes content from film studios, TV channels and production companies from around the world.

“Now more than ever, our users are asking for [more] free content,” Poltorak said.

Analyst: Latin America to Reach 100 Million SVOD Subs by 2025 — Driven by U.S. Platforms

Latin America is projected to go all-in for subscription streaming video-on-demand, topping 100 million subscribers by 2025 — more than double the current 42.1 million subs at the end of 2019, according to new data from Digital TV Research. Sub growth will be driven by market leader Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max and Amazon Prime Video.

Brazil, Netflix’s first foray into Latin America in 2011, will remain the market leader, with 36 million subs projected by 2025 — up from 16 million at the end of 2019. Mexico will reach 28 million subs by 2025, compared with 12 million last year.

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Netflix will continue to grow, but its dominance will decline. The SVOD behemoth will top 47.4 million subs; up from 31.4 million in 2019. Disney+ will grow rapidly following its November 2020 launch, with 25 million subs by 2025.

“Latin America will enjoy a wave of U.S.-based platform launches over the next year,” analyst Simon Murray said in a statement. “Hulu, HBO Max and ViacomCBS are all expected to start platforms in 2021. These launches come despite poor economic conditions driven by COVID-19.”

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