Since entering the Latin American market in 2014, AMC Networks International - Latin America has been driven by original productions, diverse programming and a strong focus on digital innovation, says Luisa Valor Casali, vice president of marketing and communications.
The group had “the challenge of penetrating a market in the process of consolidation, with frequently changing consumption habits and [viewers who are] flooded with entertainment options of all genres in pay TV,” she says. AMC NI - LA responded with a regional strategy that focuses on defining each of its brands with a unique and distinctive voice both on and off air, and with solid digital campaigns.
And the group has found success. In just three years, subscribers to the group’s flagship channel have increased by 40 percent and the network’s ratings have risen 250 percent across the board.
In addition, in 2016 the group managed to outpace the market in terms of distribution, ratings and advertising sales. Agreements with Sky Mexico and Claro’s DTH platform in Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Paraguay, as well as deals with Tigo, Megacable and regional operators in Brazil helped AMC NI - LA add nearly 8 million new subscribers.
Providing Complementary Content
For example, as part of the campaign for Fear the Walking Dead, which returns to the first weeks of the zombie apocalypse introduced in AMC’s mega-hit The Walking Dead, AMC launched a special Snapchat filter as well as a “transfiguration” app where the user could turn him or herself into an infected person of the apocalyptic world. The network was the first channel to work globally with Snapchat.
“Our goal was to intrigue and invite the audience to tune in to AMC and to understand how the zombie apocalypse began, through our screens and digital platforms,” explains Valor Casali. “As people got to know the series, we invited them to further interact.”
AMC also used social media to debut the complementary web series Fear the Walking Dead: Flight 462, which told the story of a group of passengers aboard a commercial flight during the outbreak’s earliest moments. The mini-series, which was nominated for a 2016 Emmy Award in the outstanding short-form drama series category, introduced a new character ahead of the second season.
“[This initiative] engaged the public on social networks and drew viewers to watch the series on AMC,” says Valor Casali.
Along those same lines, AMC developed Blade Battle, a free mobile game that AMC dropped before the second-season premiere of martial-arts series Into the Badlands.
To promote another series, Mad Dog, AMC NI - LA partnered with online video platform Clarovideo to exclusively offer subscribers premiere episodes.
“This strategy has not only allowed us to increase brand awareness of our AMC channel and attract new viewers to the screen, but it has also strengthened our relationship with this popular video-streaming platform,” says Valor Casali. “We are leveraging the best of both worlds to consolidate our brand presence in the Latin American market and to continue growing.”
Offering Diverse Programming Across Channels
AMC NI - LA also has focused on providing a range of programming in order to strengthen its overall position across the region. According to Valor Casali, the network fits into the Latin American identity thanks to the “originality, creative independence and local relevance of our content.”
Channels El Gourmet and Más Chic, for example, broadcast local original content developed in various Latin American countries and entirely in Spanish. The content’s regional relevance also breaks through in some of the network’s global series, such as Fear the Walking Dead. That series’ first two seasons were filmed in Baja California, Mexico, and it features Latin American celebrities, such as Panamanian Rubén Blades and Mexican Patricia Reyes Spíndola.
“We are guided by the passion for creative independence, originality and original production, both locally and globally,” says Valor Casali. “From this perspective, our portfolio is designed to meet the entertainment needs of very different audience segments with content characterized by new story lines. All of this has helped us to become relevant to this market in record time.”
Each of the group’s channels contributes its own distinctive voice by offering new original and acquired series. This year, AMC Latin America, launched new seasons of Humans, Into the Badlands, Animal Kingdom, the second season of Hap & Leonard, the third season of Halt and Catch Fire and plans to premiere the third season of Fear the Walking Dead. Expectations are also high for original production The Terror, based on the Dan Simmons novel of the same name, which speculates on what could have happened to a boat that disappeared in an expedition to the Arctic during 1847.
SundanceTV is expected to debut a new cycle of Fresh from Sundance Film Festival, with a selection of the best films from 2017. Another premiere was Jack Irish, a series starring Guy Pearce based on the feature film, as well as the fourth and final season of Peabody Award-winning series Rectify.
Meanwhile, Film&Arts kicked off the year with the debut of The Durrells, an autobiographical mini-series of naturalist and TV presenter Gerald “Gerry” Malcolm Durrell. Europa Europa is about to release Trapped, winner of the Prix Europe Award for best fiction series.
El Gourmet plans to launch new series throughout the year, featuring star chefs such as Pastelería Clásica (Classic Patisserie) with Osvaldo Gross or Recetas Caseras (Homemade Recipes), hosted by the Petersen Brothers.
Finally, Más Chic will air a new season of Cuerpo en Armonía (Body in Harmony), as well as new episodes of Viste tu fiesta (Decorate your Party) and the popular series Casas frente al Mar (Houses by the Sea), in which architect Charlie Luxton seeks the most spectacular houses on the Mediterranean coast.
AMC Networks International - Latin America has overcome many challenges, “from the devaluation of Latin American currencies to the change in TV consumption habits and the oversupply of quality content,” says Valor Casali. However, its major objectives for 2017 are to continue “meeting the audience’s need for distinctive entertainment, as well as consolidating its brands as leading players in the pay-TV sector.”
Version español: Cómo AMC International Networks Ha Ganado Posicionamiento en Latinoamérica Rápidamente