New horror SVOD service launches in Latin America

Ariel Tobi, President of Snap Media, spoke in an exclusive interview with NexTV News Latam about the launch of Purga, the new niche SVOD service dedicated to horror movies and series, which will debut in Latin America (except Brazil) on August 16, during Macabro Film Festival, to be held from August 16-27 in Mexico.

Snap Media is a producer and distribution company, based in Buenos Aires. Since 2010, it is a Netflix aggregator and it also has closed deals with important TV networks and SVOD platforms in the Latin America.

According to Tobi, the first step and the search for the first Purga subscribers will be focused in Mexico, due to its alliance with Macabro, who will be the content curator. “We understand that Purga is the first SVOD dedicated to horror films in Latin America, there are already some very successful platforms in the United States”.

What will Purga offer consist of?

Purga concept has to do with analyzing which niche is unattended, and in which niche there is a large market. In this case, we found a niche with great loyalty. The intention is to launch a very selective catalog curated by Macabro. We will not make the same mistake of other niche platforms that focused their catalog to match it with Netflix.

What we are doing is asking fans, through social networks, what they want, and build the platform from the content they want. We will start with 50 highly selected titles, we want to end the year with 100 titles and next year to add between 200 and 300 titles, but the important thing is not the number but how the movies are added.

The Latin American content will represent 5%, the titles that fans are asking us are independent, European, Asian, North American movies, but nothing from Hollywood. People do not want the blockbusters they already known and that are available in all networks.

What will be the subscription price?

The standard price will be MX $129 (USD 7.3), which is the value of two movie tickets in Mexico. In addition, we will apply many promotions. During the days of the Macabro festival the price will be MX $ 89 (USD 5) and then those MX$ 129 are going to have a generalized promotion, so we are going to encourage people to test the product.

We believe that price is not an issue in the SVOD world in general, and in the niche SVOD world. The SVOD market is not going to move by pricing. For us, platforms offering plans for USD 3 are a mistake, and then they have to close the service a few months later.

 -How will it be in the rest of Latin America?

The price we handle is around USD 7. Latin America is a territory where it is very difficult because each country has its economy of scale, the value of the two movie tickets in Mexico is equivalent to the value of one in Argentina.

No platform in Latin America have a single price (in dollars) because you can generate a very high price in one country and a low one in others. In Latin America, more than 90% of the SVOD market is comprised of Mexico, Brazil, Colombia Chile and Argentina. In Brazil, we will not be available so we will have prices in local currency in each of the four countries.

-What will be the payment method?

There is a thing that causes that we have to charge in local currency and is that we give the possibility to pay with credit card but also in cash. We will work with PayU in Latin America, which in the main markets offers cash collection. This way, it is necessary to give the consumer a price in local pesos.

Latin America has many problems with banking and another issue is that horror genre is aimed at a teenage audience. The biggest constant audience that watch horror in the world are people between 15 and 25 years. What we are going to do is six-month promotions and also offer the possibility to pay for a whole year in cash.

-How many subscribers do you expect in the first year of operation?

We expect to reach 4,000 subscribers throughout Latin America in the first year. A niche platform has to make its initial step based on very small numbers, you cannot take even 1% of potential of Netflix subscribers, these are two separate worlds.

Netflix is the number one, will remain the number one. What we have is a complementary proposal. According to a market research, each user will pay three and four entertainment subscriptions on demand, and this includes the music. Then, we will have Spotify, Netflix and something else that we like a lot. Entertainment is going there, we will stop watching cable, free-to-air TV, and we will change it for these four subscriptions, which are going to be cheaper than what you pay for cable TV.