VIDEO STREAMING COMPANIES CHOOSE COLOMBIA AS AN INVESTMENT DESTINATION
Streaming video is a sector of massive scope and high competition due to the diversity of its offer, in which the differences between competitors are narrow. According to Statista's Global Consumer, Netflix remains the world leader, with 220.7 million subscribers, closely followed by Disney+ and Amazon's Prime Video. However, the figures do not represent a marked dominance, as the difference between markets is significant. Audiences vary depending on the country, without leaving a unanimous leader regarding numbers and content choices. Therefore, leading companies are investing in different places worldwide thanks to the accelerated global growth of the industry, the segmentation of audiences, and their preference criteria in terms of platforms and content. Investments are mainly in audiovisual projects, impacting local economies on almost all fronts. In Colombia, thanks to the legal benefits, various locations, and the country's human talent, companies such as Netflix or Paramount have invested in the country, generating employment, and contributing to the economy in a transversal manner, obtaining outstanding results.
State of the video streaming sector in Colombia
According to the most recent study by Kantar Ibope Media, there are currently nearly 200 streaming services operating in Colombia, with a portfolio ranging from globally recognized options to smaller platforms with regional reach. In the country, streaming has captured users' attention to the point that, despite fighting against traditional media and other digital entertainment options, 60% of the respondents said they watch Netflix. In comparison, 20% said they consume Prime Video and 17% Disney+. Another key factor is that eight of every ten TVs in the country have smart technology that allows them to access this content. According to Euromonitor data, per capita consumption in the country increased from US$3.63 to US$4.10, as did the market sales figure, which grew by 14% over the previous year. Similarly, in terms of audience preferences, 63% of users said they use the service to access major premieres and releases. On the other hand, 35% said they accessed it in search of international content, according to a study by Sherlock Communications.
International streaming companies choose Colombia to invest
With the arrival of more than 16 international audiovisual production companies in the country, including Netflix, Disney, Apple TV, Amazon Prime, and MTV Networks, Colombia is consolidating as an ideal place for investment in audiovisual projects. The projects of these production companies represent investments of about US$183 million, according to the Ministry of Culture. Some factors that make big companies invest in Colombia are, for example, the incentives and benefits. The FFC (Colombian Film Fund) grants a 40% reimbursement of expenses for audiovisual services and 20% in logistical expenditures derived from audiovisual services, as well as the CINA certificate (Audiovisual Investment Certificate) for a 35% tax discount on audiovisual and logistical services expenses. Similarly, the skilled labor force in the country is another incentive, as the country has more than 55,000 professionals in the field and about a hundred companies dedicated to production. Companies such as Paramount have seen the potential and quality of the industry in the country. Colombian authorities even recognized them as the company with the most significant employment generation since their entry into the local market generated more than 5,300 direct jobs in different areas, from acting and technical development to logistics. On the other hand, the diversity of locations represents an opportunity for the projects since being able to go from jungle environments to deserts, colonial cities, or paradisiacal beaches within the same country opens a wide range of possibilities available to producers.
In 2021, the country received US$221 million in investment related to audiovisual projects, five times more than between 2013 and 2020, thanks to the progress in the business ecosystem around the sector, the growth of the local industry, and investment incentives, among other factors. Colombia keeps working to be one of the region's leaders in the audiovisual sector and an ideal place to receive FDI.
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