Univision's PrendeTV Pushes Into Spanish-Language Streaming with a Free Service. It Has Competition.
Breanna de Vera is dot.LA's editorial intern. She is currently a senior at the University of Southern California, studying journalism and English literature. She previously reported for the campus publications The Daily Trojan and Annenberg Media.
Under new leadership, Univision is pushing into streaming with PrendeTV, a free Spanish-language streaming service expected to launch this quarter. And with so many new entrants into the space, it will face tough competition.
PrendeTV boasts that it's the only entirely Spanish platform, with even its library menu written in Spanish.
At its launch, PrendeTV will offer over 30 channels and 10,000 hours of ad-supported streaming, the company announced this week. Univision has yet to announce a launch date but has confirmed that titles "Nosotros Los Guapos," "Strawberry Shortcake," "Walking Tall," "Amar A Muerte," "Love Nature" and "Lo Mejor De Liga MX" will be offered on PrendeTV.
Telemundo, another American Spanish-language network and Univision's largest competitor, offers some of its programming on Peacock, NBCUniversal's streaming platform. But it doesn't have an exclusive Spanish language platform. Meanwhile, ViacomCBS' Pluto TV, Discovery's Vix and Fox's Tubi services all also offer Spanish-language media catered to American audiences.
"The most important thing is that [PrendeTV] has been built from the ground up for the U.S. Hispanic," said Univision Chief Digital Officer Sameer Deen. "What we see as an opportunity is that the U.S. Hispanics are really underrepresented and underserved in the streaming marketplace. We are really taking the time, the energy and bringing all our expertise, to build a product that is 100% in Spanish language, in-culture and really offers a unique and compelling user experience."
Latino households make up a large portion of streaming video-on-demand subscriptions, according to a Nielsen report on Latino cultural connectivity. Seventy-eight percent of Latino households have at least one streaming video-on-demand subscription, compared to less than three-quarters of the total U.S. population.
"This move is a validation that there's a growing market [for Spanish-language media] in general," said Alejandro Rojas, the director of applied analytics at Parrot Analytics. "Spanish spoken content is actually increasing in demand. Overall, it's actually growing faster than English speaking content, though on a much smaller scale."
Late last year, Univision was acquired by Grupo Televisa, Searchlight Capital Partners and ForgeLight, an investment firm founded by Wade Davis, the former chief financial officer of Viacom and Univision's chief executive.
"The announcement of PrendeTV within two weeks of closing our acquisition of Univision underscores our focus and commitment to rapidly driving the transformation and growth of the company," said Davis in a statement.