Netflix to Invest US$300 Million in Mexico in 2021By Andrea Villar | Mon, 01/25/2021 - 10:00
Netflix will invest more than US$300 million in Mexico for 50 original productions scheduled for 2021, Forbes Mexico reported on Monday. Last year, the streaming giant invested US$200 million in the country. The amount will be invested in local or global productions filmed in the country.
Mexican productions, according to Netflix, have positioned themselves among the favorites of users around the world. The Control Z series, released in May 2020, was seen by 20.5 million users worldwide in its first 28 days and made it to the Top 10 charts in 64 countries. Oscuro Deseo (Dark Desire), meanwhile, engaged 35 million users worldwide in its first 28 days after its premiere in July. “We continue to expand our offer beyond drama series to include comedies, adventure, documentaries, action and even reality shows. All these titles are made in Mexico for Mexico and for the world,” the company noted.
Back in March 2020, Mexican senators lobbied for streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon to ensure national content makes up at least 30 percent of their catalogs. According to the Telecommunications Law Institute, this measure was intended to facilitate the dissemination of content that is close to national values and cultural idiosyncrasies. In Mexico, 51 percent of the population spends at least 3hrs a day watching online content, according to the 2019 National Audiovisual Content Consumption Survey, conducted by the Federal Institute of Telecommunications (IFT). YouTube ranked first with an 80 percent preference, followed by Netflix with 35 percent.
In its 4Q20 report, Netflix reported an added 8.51 million subscribers, surpassing the expected 6.01 million by 41 percent and hitting the 200 million subscriber mark. In Latin America, subscribers increased 1.2 million to 37.54 million. The company led by Ted Sarandos and Reed Hastings said it is already on track to open its Mexico City office, which will manage the Latin American markets and employ more than 100 people. “We are excited to open our Latin American headquarters in Mexico City this year. We expect that by the end of 2021, our regional office will have more than 100 employees,” the company told Forbes Mexico.
Disney+, one of Netflix's most recent and strongest competitors, also has a big bet on local content in Latin America. The Mickey Mouse company is already working on 70 productions, a central part of its commitment to this market according to Natalia Scalia, Regional Director of Direct to Consumer at the Walt Disney Company. "We believe it is very important to bet on local content and we have around 70 projects in the pipeline that are in different stages of development with talent in the region," she said during a virtual conference in November.