VoD has found a successful home in mainland Spain, with a handful of companies streaming content to paying subscribers. Netflix is very noticeable by its absence, but since 2011, when Voddler launched in Spain, several SVOD platforms have appeared, all of them with different business models: advertisement based, transaction based, cloud based Electronic Sell –Through, subscription, etc.
According to the number of subscribers and stream views, the most successful VOD platforms operating in the Spanish market nowadays are:
- Voddler: Swedish film and TV streaming service
- Wuaki TV: a Spanish start up acquired in June 2012 by Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten
- Filmin: created by Spanish independent production companies to control and monetize the online distribution of their own movies
- Nubeox: owned by Atresmedia (one of the most important media groups in Spain), focused on blockbusters
- Yomvi: Canal Plus VOD platform, mainly focused on movies, series and football
The digital distribution of audiovisual content through VOD models is a hot topic in Spain because more and more people are willing to pay for a legal and high quality service. Canal Plus’s (Yomvi) strategic partnership with Rentrak, the leader in multi-screen media measurement serving the advertising, television and movie industries, is proof that VoD is becoming more and more important for the Spanish media industry. But apparently and despite this favorable scenario the “king” Netflix, the most important VOD player, is not coming to Spain in the short term.
Netflix's Expansion into Europe
Back in 2011, Netflix announced its decision to expand its business into Europe, starting in the Spanish market. But at the last second it changed its strategy without an official explanation, launching their platform in the Nordics but cancelling other European plans. Rumors said that the main reason for Netflix’s withdrawal was the high cost of Intellectual Property, much more expensive in Spain than in other European countries. Now Netflix has announced that they will pick up again their European plans. Even though there is no confirmation yet about which countries they would be entering in, according to The Hollywood Reporter France, Belgium and Germany would be the chosen ones.
Is Spain Still Part of Netflix's Plan?
What about Spain? Is it still a target country for them? Well, apparently not. Economic crisis, piracy and slow growth of movie distribution on the Internet are some of the reasons why. Although it seems that the current contractual commitments of the industry, especially with pay TV players, is the key issue for Netflix to finally disembark in the Spanish market.
Most of the VOD players already operating in Spain suggest that the entry of Netflix on the Spanish stage, far from posing a threat to the platforms that are already in place, would be a big boost for VOD in this country, a new content distribution model that has come to stay. But I am afraid that we will have to wait a little longer.