TelevisaUnivision Happy with ViX, ViX+ Growth; Hopes to See Streaming Profits in 2023
TelevisaUnivision released its third-quarter report this week and though the company didn’t provide much insight into its two streaming services, the tenor of the report indicates that they might be getting off to slow starts, but are not completely underperforming. The recently merged company owns the Spanish-language streaming platform ViX and the ad-free version of the service ViX+ and launched both at various times over the past year.
TelevisaUnivision did not release subscriber numbers for either ViX or ViX+ citing that it was still early in the streamers’ life, following the ViX+ launch in July, but it did confirm that it had officially completed the takeover of Pantaya, which was the largest standalone Spanish subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service in the world until the advent of ViX+.
In the report, the company did release one bit of encouraging information in the report, subscription revenues increased 8% in Q3, and ViX+ contributed to the increase. That means that ViX+ is now performing at a level where it can report net subscriber growth, at the very least. The company hopes that with these numbers, its streaming arm will be able to turn a profit next year.
ViX was also a big driver of advertising revenues. Advanced Marketing Solutions revenue was up at TelevisaUnivision by 50% in Q3, and that growth was fueled by ViX. ViX is luring new advertisers who then decide to further advertise on the company’s linear channels, according to the company, suggesting it has found a way to make its streaming and linear arms work in concert.
“I feel great about how the service is working overall and I am very proud of the fact that the growth and profitability of our core business has funded our massive investment to launch ViX & ViX+ with minimal impact to our overall profitability,” TelevisaUnivision CEO Wade Davis said in a call with analysts on Friday.
Davis said that ViX is the only service in the world whose content volume is over 50% exclusive and original, and that three-quarters of viewers on the service are engaging with this type of content. Davis also said that ViX+ has aired over 3,000 hours of live soccer events in less than three months.
There was also good news for TelevisaUnivision on the linear side of operations. Univision continued to see excellent ratings in the third quarter and was the only major broadcast network to deliver ratings and audience growth for the 2021-22 broadcast season.
Televisa and Univision completed a $4.8 billion deal to form a partnership in January, creating the world’s largest Spanish-language media and content company. In March, the company launched the ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) subscription tier ViX. The free service provides viewers the chance to stream over 100 channels of live programming and over 40,000 hours of on-demand content. ViX’s catalog includes everything from telenovelas to movies to channels curated by Spanish-speaking superstars.
The launch of the ad-free SVOD tier ViX+ took place in July. The platform offers the most Spanish-language premium content ever offered on an SVOD service at a cost of $6.99 per month. The premium ViX+ offerings are even more extensive than those on ViX, incorporating 10,000 hours of ad-free premium entertainment programming — with more coming regularly — and up to 7,000 hours of live sports.
TelevisaUnivision also acquired the SVOD platform Pantaya this year, and has folded its content into ViX and ViX+. The additions include Spanish-language series and movies, featuring a selection of blockbusters and classics from Latin America and the U.S., as well as original series.
ViX+ is a Spanish-language streaming service with more than 40,000 hours of content, featuring originals and library content from Univision and Televisa’s pool of programming. It will also have as much as 7,000 hours of live sports, including Liga MX and UEFA Champion’s League soccer.