Sony Picture Television‘s Irving Plonskier and AMC‘s Hector Costa are two veteran executives in the Latin American and panregional advertising and media sector. We interviewed both to hear how they are trying to harness opportunities and connect with the Latin American consumer in 2017.
The 4 questions we asked:
1. Where will you be focusing your initiatives in 2017 in order to get a sense of your market opportunities?
2. What investments are needed to accomplish the above activities/goals?
3. How do your investments in technology and people for next year differ from those you made, say, 5 years ago?
4. What would you like to see more of from your agency and brand marketing partners in 2017?
Irving Plonskier, Senior Vice President and General Manager Ad Sales Latin America and Brazil at Sony Pictures Television Networks Latin America
1. “In 2017, we will harness the power of our original content, which viewers and advertisers have embraced enthusiastically this year. Mexico and Brazil lead the way with second seasons of popular local productions. In Mexico, we had great success with Top Chef Mexico and Shark Tank Mexico, and Brazil developed its own version of Shark Tank Brazil along with the innovative multi-platform format Entubados. Major advertisers such as Kellogg’s, Go Daddy, Tec de Monterrey, GM UOL, Kroton and Centrum embraced these productions and we are ready to give them more in 2017.
Also in 2017, Sony Television Networks will be adding live sports to its program offering. Beginning in January, Canal Sony will be the exclusive partner of WTA; airing 30 tournaments throughout the region. Well-known Latin talent will be front and center in our productions that is designed to connect our audiences with tennis’s brightest and brightest stars and their stories. Tennis personalities headlined by all great Aranxa Sanchez, will serve as Canal Sony Brand Ambassador. Joining her are 3-time Argentine Olympian Patricia Tarabini; along with Nicolás Pereira, Pablo and Laura Arraya who will round out our Spanish language broadcast. Brazil’s most accomplished tennis coach, Larri Passos will lead our team of PanAm Game Gold Medalist Vanessa Menga and industry veteran Jamie Oncins on the Portugese language feed.
Slated to premiere alongside our best in class music franchises, will be the first Sony Music/SPTN original program special, 3Noches en Las Vegas. This high energy magazine format will feature some of Sony Music hottest artists–CNCO, Reik, Farruko, IKV, Diego Torres, Leslie, Grace and Rachel Flatten—on an adrenaline filled visit where what happens in Vegas is caught on camera.
So, expect to be surprised with the best of the Power of Sony in 2017!”
2. “We continue to invest in having the best Hollywood programming for both AXN and Canal Sony. Also, we are proactively complementing our great content with unique omnichannel extensions. For example, activities like the WTA tournaments will be complemented with original content (Days in the Life Vignettes, Canal Sony Hosted coverage and Specials, while The Voice will be extended with emerging technology (VR experiences and social media. Those are just a few examples of the activities in which we are investing in 2017 to make our content even more exciting.”
3. “We are living in a very different television environment. Five years ago, very few people could have confidently predicted the profound transformation that our industry is experiencing daily and the impact that technology would have on our business. Latin Americans’ viewing habits are changing rapidly. Viewers in the region want to control the content they want to watch, and where and when they access their favorite programming. In response to these changes, we have developed tools that promote viewing and engagement on traditional and digital platforms alike. Our 360 approach connects Canal Sony and AXN viewers across every available platform, including TV Everywhere and Catch Up VOD services that give consumers access to popular primetime Canal Sony and AXN shows at their own convenience and in the format of their preference (original language, subtitled or dubbed). Viewers can access this content on a variety of devices with an Internet connection, including smartphones, Smart TVs and tablets. Sony Television Networks understands that linear and digital platforms are complementary and require an integrated strategy to satisfy audiences’ needs. In addition to offering differentiated content, we have introduced campaigns in support of such titles as Grey’s Anatomy, allowing us to maintain a fluid dialogue with our fans in real-time on social media. These types of initiatives have helped attract new audiences to our linear platforms and increase the time fans spend watching our screens. Finally,
4. “We want our audiences, brand marketing partners and advertisers, to see SPT as one of the best, more innovative Pay TV options in the Latin American market. To this end, in 2017, we will redouble our efforts to integrate ONE SONY, an initiative for harnessing the power of our sister companies, to generate unique opportunities for viewers and advertisers. With this goal in mind, we will leverage our assets and one of our key differentiators in the competitive media landscape with a supremely unique offering. We recently executed two ONE SONY Initiatives in the region that delivered unique experiences with impact results. One such initiative was a The Voice event in Argentina that attracted more than 2,000 attendees. Sony Music and Sony Electronics contributed talent and prizes. Sony Television Networks Latin America also partnered with AXN Worldwide to promote a short film competition with Fede Alvarez, director of the critically acclaimed thriller Don’t Breathe. Thanks to this partnership, one lucky winner (out of 200+ original scripts) had the opportunity to have his/her original idea produced by Fede and premiered on AXN across the entire region, with a reach of over 55M households. Finally, we recently launched a new advertiser-funded production in conjunction with Sony Music: “3 Noches En…,” which allowed audiences and advertisers to join Latin music elites at Las Vegas’s TRENDIEST, MOST CAPTIVATING, ADRENALINE-filled music events, including the famed Sony Music After Party. Fans can expect to experience a lot more One Sony events in 2017. Finally, SPT’s majority stake in IMS, the largest digital ad sales company in Latin America and the largest digital media buyer in the region, enables us to offer our ad sales clients a unparalleled range of highly differentiated promotional opportunities for their products in linear, non-linear, and social media platforms. In a nutshell, no other media and entertainment company in the Latin American market can offer the variety of options SPT Networks Latin America provides to its ad sales clients.”
Héctor Costa, Vicepresidente Senior, Ventas Publicitarias, AMC Networks International (AMCNI) – Latin America
- Our main goal in 2017 is to continue increasing distribution and advertising sales of our six channels – AAMC, El Gourmet, Sundance TV, Más Chic, Film & Arts and Europa Europa – and keep on increasing our audiences that have made us one of the fastest growing companies in Latin America in the last two years. For that purpose, we are planning to begin 2017 with the release of great self-produced series such as the second season of Humans and Into the Badlands, the third season of Fear the Walking Dead and the return of Halt and Catch Fire. In addition, The Terror, AMC Studios’ latest production based on Dan Simmons’ eponymous book, comes to our flagship channel screens this year. Moreover, we will continue to accompany young talents and emerging artists from our films and series channels through sponsorship of international festivals and events such as the Master Class of Sundance Channel, which we have been organizing year after year along with outstanding producers in collaboration with DIRECTV. In our lifestyle channels we will continue producing engaging and high quality 100% Spanish content.
2. We need to invest mainly in the best and more innovative content of this industry. However, while the television industry has undergone major changes over the past 60 years, there has been one aspect that has not changed: content is still the king and audiences are always seeking the best content regardless where it is. At a time of great changes and emerging platforms and devices, the most immediate technological developments are greater efficiency in the data compression and speed of transmission.The imminent growth of 5G networks will mean a revolution in everything related to internet and mobility. In 2001, 3G networks allowed to download a HD movie in 26 hours. In 2009, that same movie was downloaded in 6 minutes with 4G network. In a near future, 5G networks will allow to download content in less than 4 seconds. We will also see a massive growth of both independent and operated OTT platforms, a rapid expansion of TV Everywhere services, which today are a vital part of pay TV platforms’ offering and, of course, an increase of HD channels . Finally, mobile devices will be consolidated as one of the favorite instruments for audiovisual content consumption. These trends will naturally become real when they the services and networks are available in the entire region and not just in Latin America main cities.Their expansion and settlement will translate into tremendous growth opportunities for telecommunications companies and content providers such as AMCNI – Latin America.
3. “Our company reached the LatAm market only two years ago. In this period, our programming has allowed us to increase our entire signals portfolio audience enormously, by more than 250%. Looking ahead, we believe that the spirit of innovation and content quality will remain the key elements for success in the changing latAm entertainment industry. We will continue offering a clearly differentiated channel portfolio and original productions and content in regular packages, something rarely seen in the region. But we will also continue developing tools that complement the entertainment experience offered by linear and digital platforms. In April, for instance, we introduced “Fear the Walking Dead: Dead Run” a role-playing game in which users can choose their favorite characters from the series and escape the onset of the apocalypse. More recently, we created the first exclusive filter (“Snapchat Lens”) inspired in the ‘infected’ of Fear the Walking Dead, the first time Snapchat created a filter to promote a TV series in various countries, including Spain, Argentina and Mexico.Finally, in terms of non-linear platforms, for the “Mad Dogs” premiere we partner with Clarovideo to offer each chapter premiere exclusively for on demand cable operator users. In this way, we reassure our goal of supporting the development of the TV Everywhere / OTT offer of our customers, the operators, and therefore to boost our respective businesses together.”
4. We would like our clients to continue trusting and betting on us as they have been doing since we entered the Latin American market. The economic situation the globe will experience this 2017 will bring important challenges for all. Nevertheless, brands always seek to associate with first-line content and networks such as AMC, El Gourmet and others that make up our portfolio of channels, and offer the best content and opportunities for advertisers to reach their target efficiently and effectively.
These opportunities include, for example, AMC Networks international and regional production capacity and the ability to integrate its’ brands to our content, either through our linear channels or digital platforms. We are also offering the Latin American market new tools with which we seek to meet the needs of advertisers who aim to reach new audiences that want to enjoy their favorite programs at a particular time, place or with a specific device. In short, we are convinced that 2017 will be another year of solid growth for AMC Networks Latin America, not only in terms of audience, but also in the advertising field where we are closing a 2016 with a growth record, both in the number of Advertisers as well as advertising investment.”