Move over, Jesus. Netflix is converting Latin America to streaming! The on-demand media company, whose stock dropped 5% on Tuesday, is doing what so many companies have done for years – look to Latin Americans to create a product on the cheap. Aiding in Netflix’s quest to dominate the streaming world are Televisa and Azteca– Mexico’s two biggest broadcasters. Starting in September, they will provide Netflix with 3000 hours (125 days) of annual programming, giving Latin American streamers the ability to relive the most memorable and shocking moments from all their favorite telenovelas.
I’m sure abuelitas everywhere remember this heartwarming scene.
Latino customers will have the option of viewing their shows in Spanish, Portuguese or English. The real question here is whether or not Netflix will offer streaming to those who primarily speak Pig Latin or even Quenya – a dialect of Tolkien Elvish. I hate to nitpick, but the market down south doesn’t stop at Mexican, Netflix. Just because I have brown skin doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a good Klingon monologue, or that I don’t have fantasies about my own illegal alien probing adventures.
Speaking of science fiction, broadband is definitely an issue in Latin America. The average household speed is around 2 MPS, which means most of the region won’t be able to stream in HD. The quality at 2 MPS is considered to be “good enough”, though I’m sure most will agree with me that unless you can see a naked Maribel Verdu in high definition, Y Tu Mama Tambien just isn’t worth viewing more than three times.
In the end, one question certainly comes to mind. With several U.S. subscribers expressing anger over rising service prices in North American, why is Netflix ignoring a large, untapped Latino population in its own country? Why not promote the telenovelas in the U.S. market and really bring in all the people who enjoy a show that feels like a sexless porn made in the 80s. Why not market the show to teenagers looking for a drinking game? Anytime someone gets slapped, take a shot. Drinking games are why God made 4 Loko. And that’s why I have Netflix.