In late March Sony Pictures Television (STP) launched its multiplatform entertainment network Crackle in Brazil. According to Sony, Crackle is the “first online network to offer ad-supported, free full-length movies and television series in the region.” Last month, Crackle announced its expansion to 17 Spanish-speaking countries across Latin America including Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. For the U.S. (Hispanic) market, Crackle can be accessed via Crackle.com where the content is available in its original English language.
Portada interviewed José Rivera Font, VP – General Manager – Crackle Latin America (photo) about the launch of Crackle in the region, how the service is doing in Brazil, and the company's commitment to the Latin American market. Rivera Font also provided his opinion on the competitive landscape in the region.
Portada: What are the expectations from Sony for the region in relationship with Crackle
José Rivera Font, VP – General Manager – Crackle Latin America: The goal is to establish Crackle as a brand and network that is recognized as the premiere destination for free video content in the region. Crackle will continue to enhance and build its service offering to deliver the best free entertainment to consumers and create advertising solutions for its advertisers.
Portada: Can you share some numbers of users and interaction of the Brazil launch?
José Rivera Font: The initial interest in Crackle has exceeded our expectations. The online community in Brazil is very active. Crackle already has 1 Million unique users in Brazil just one month after the site launched. Our fans are also engaging with us on Facebook, which already has garnered over 150,000 likes.
Portada: Who are your biggest advertisers in Brazil and the region?
José Rivera Font: Our current advertisers in Brazil are Kimberly Clark, Correios and Oi. In Mexico, we have already signed deals with Banamex, Carls Jr., Sony Electronics and Sony Mobile.
Portada: Are advertisers sold on a pan-regionally basis or locally in each Country?
José Rivera Font: Both. There is great demand from pan-regional advertisers and the burgeoning pan-regional marketplace is definitely a priority for us. However, most of the advertising revenue is being generated by the local markets. This further supports our strategy to have country specific URLs to satisfy the needs of local advertisers.
Portada: Through which domain names is Crackle accessed in the different countries? Do you plan to conduct a particular domain for each country like in Mexico?
José Rivera Font: In Latin America, Crackle can be accessed at crackle.com, which is IP redirected to the local country sites. Each country will have their specific domain for example: crackle.com.mx (Mexico), crackle.com.ar (Argentina) and crackle.com.br (Brazil), etc.
Portada: Why is the Latin American region important to Crackle? Why is video streaming so popular?
José Rivera Font: In today's marketplace, watching content on demand has become more popular as more digital content is being made available on multiple devices and consumers in the region have access to better Internet bandwidth. In Latin America, Internet and video consumption rates are on the rise – in Mexico alone, more than 80% of all online users consume video content each month according to ComScore Video Metrix. There are no other free-to-consumer video services available in the region; therefore, this was an ideal time for Crackle to bring Latin American consumers an unparalleled viewing experience with free high-quality content programmed to fit their needs, while providing advertisers with creative opportunities to market their brands.
Portada: Is the U.S. Hispanic market also involved in this product launch? If not, will you expand there in the future?
José Rivera Font: No, the U.S Hispanic market is not part of this launch. In the U.S., Crackle can be accessed via Crackle.com where the content is available in its original English language.