Hispanic superbrand Univision is in the middle of a transformation designed to see it compete head on with Netflix and the big studios for the lucrative global Spanish language market.
The unrivalled leader in Spanish-language media and content in the United States, is deploying Blackbird to scale and expand its streaming capabilities.
In February 2021, it acquired independent Spanish-language streaming service VIX and in March 2021 it launched AVOD platform PrendeTV. That was a prelude to a $4.8 billion mega-merger of media, content, and production businesses with Mexican giant Grupo Televisa, announced in April.
A key ambition for the combined US-Mexican operator is to create a vehicle with sufficient Spanish-language content to supply a global streaming service that can target the world’s 600 million native Spanish speakers, of which some 130 million are in Mexico and 60 million are in the US.
Global streaming service on launchpad
That new free ad-supported and premium SVOD streaming service will debut in 2022 – beginning with the US and Latin America.
Pierluigi Gazzolo, president and chief transformation officer at Univision, called the move “a quantum leap” for Univision “providing us the opportunity to reach global audiences with high-quality, original programming from distinguished producers and top talent not available anywhere else.”
The global streaming service will offer a vast content scope built on an expansive content library and an ambitious slate of new Spanish-language originals targeted to be more than any other streaming service.
The multi-year deal to deploy Blackbird will enable Univision to drive the large-scale video production efficiencies required to power growth across its streaming and digital media operations. Univision’s multi-site production team will use browser-based Blackbird both remotely and in the office to rapidly reversion large volumes of partner content in the cloud – removing the need to upload and download files, saving significant time and cost.
Blackbird powers content versioning
Deployed within Univision’s Google Cloud Platform infrastructure, editors can seamlessly publish short, medium and long form content to multiple digital end points including social, web, OTT and VOD platforms.
Blackbird technology will allow the company to reversion, enrich and publish over 40,000 hours of wholly-owned and acquired content across a wide range of genres.
The 2020/2021 season results will mark the 29th consecutive season that the Univision network is ranked No. 1 on Spanish-language television in the US. Driven by strategic editorial content and digital-first programming, the company’s digital wing is also the No. 1 Spanish-language digital property in the US. To date, Univision Digital is averaging 17.5 million unique visitors per month vs. 9.8 million in the previous season.
Number 1 in America
Univision’s multimedia sports brand TUDN produces and distributes unparalleled multi-platform coverage for the 2021-2022 UEFA Champions and Europa League seasons. This must-see live programming has continued to drive engagement on social. Univision ranks as the No. 1 most-social Spanish-language broadcast network with over 132 million total interactions. Additionally, Univision owns the three most-social Spanish-language award shows “Latin Grammy Awards,” “Premios Juventud” and “Premio Lo Nuestro” and the No. 1 most-social broadcast network news regardless of language with Noticiero Univision.
The Spanish-language giant’s plans for a comprehensive global streaming service are destined to see it compete with heavyweight competition from Netflix, ViacomCBS, Telefonica, Disney, WarnerMedia, and NBCUniversal all of which are investing heavily in Spanish-language content.
With extensive experience of scaling large streaming video audiences and with given the resources it is allocating, there’s no doubt Univision will launch a service that is differentiated, high quality and best in class.
Blackbird is best-of-breed
Jon Hanford - Group CTO, Deltatre