We’ve already talked at length about the massive effect America’s growing Hispanic population is having on the entertainment landscape. Reaching these viewers isn’t just a moral imperative; it’s a financial one as well.
Thankfully, OTT and CTV platforms have opened up an entirely new avenue to these audiences, who are hungry for content that reflects their lived experiences. With CTV, you can create a profitable content home for these viewers.
ViacomCBS’ PlutoTV is the gold standard for this approach to OTT: You look at a growing market segment—the young, CTV-using Hispanic and Latinx population—and you create a content home for them, somewhere they can automatically navigate to and find something they know they’ll want to watch.
Pluto TV did this by creating 22 new channels geared toward viewers of Latin American descent—not just Spanish speakers, but Portuguese as well. Pluto TV Latino’s channels are a mixture of native-language content and dubbed content like the James Bond 007 films, providing a diverse audience with a diversity of content.
Other OTT players have dipped toes into catering to Latinx audiences (Dish’s Sling TV has a Latino package). Still, with so many streaming services launching (Disney+, Apple TV+, forthcoming HBO Max and Peacock), you’d think you’d see more of them attempting to capture this massive, important audience segment. Oddly, the major new streamers are essentially ignoring Latinx audiences—or, if not outright ignoring, simply considering them to have only the same interests as non-Latinx audiences.
Using Underserved to Reaggregate Audiences
It’s not hard to see how Pluto Latino’s approach can be applied in other content areas that are currently considered underserved by mainstream observers. Pluto itself has been doing this since its inception.
Let’s take eSports, for example. The eSports audience is young and already used to streaming content. That’s why Amazon bought Twitch for $970 million back in 2014. The eSports industry was set to top $1.1 billion in revenue in 2019, a 27% increase from the prior year. eSports tournaments can fill arenas with fans.
So why hasn’t a legacy media company made a real OTT play here? Turner has spent the last half-decade in an eSports partnership with WME/IMG; its ELEAGUE airs championship games on linear channel TBS, with other matches appearing on Twitch and YouTube. Those two digital platforms are natural fits given that they’re so established, but you have to wonder if there isn’t an opportunity being missed out by having an ELEAGUE-branded OTT suite of channels. The fans and brands are there (brand investment was forecast to make up 82% of eSports revenue);, all that’s needed is the right destination.
The possibilities with CTV are endless—not just with Latinx audiences, or eSports fanatics, but with every audience segment you can imagine. The audiences themselves are already fragmented. CTV is a way to bring them all home.