Catering primarily to Brazilian expatriates, Globoplay is now booming in the U.S.


Brazilian TV giant Globo, the largest media company in Latin America, entered the pantheon of international streaming platforms in 2015, launching its over-the-top Globoplay service that combines the broadcaster’s hugely popular telenovelas with original high-end drama, sports, and international content including shows from the U.S. majors.

The service has since expanded into the U.S. market, primarily catering to Brazilian expatriates, and recently announced that it now has 101.6 million users across all of its digital products, with 30 million users for its paid and ad-supported tiers on Globoplay.

Our international strategy is not to disrupt the big platforms. It’s to serve the Brazilian expatriates. What we are discovering, however, is that a lot of those Brazilians are in international families, and people have started asking us to subtitle shows so families can watch together. This extends our content to a wider audience

said Erick Bretas, the company’s California-based Director of Digital, in an interview for Deadline.

Content-wise, the company says the recently-launched supernatural drama Unsoul, based on Slavic mythology, is its most ambitious project to date, while it is touting the likes of A Brighter Place, A Mother’s Love and the anticipated return of its popular Hidden Truths for a second season in 2021.

Supernatural drama, Unsoul (2020). Photo: Estevam Avellar/ Globo

Also popular on Globoplay Originals, Aruanas follows three women in battle with a mining company in Brazil; and Second Call, a night school-set second-chance drama produced by Globo and o2 Filmes; and the comedy-drama A Life Worth Living, a telenovela about the journey of Paloma (Grazi Massafera), a dreamy seamstress and mother of three whose life is turned upside down when she’s diagnosed with a terminal disease. Along with Alberto (Antonio Fagundes), a wealthy book publisher, they experience the verge of death. 

In addition to a library that includes Brazil Avenue, Globo’s most exported novela ever, newscast Jornal Nacional, Globo movies and kids channel Gloob, Globoplay now has 82 shows either in the development phase or in production. They launched 13 originals last year, despite the difficulties of the pandemic, and five of those were big dramas.

A Life Worth Living (2020)

Overall, the company’s goal is to merge digital operations across all of its business, as it prepares for a digital future where its main competitors will be the likes of Netflix and Amazon, both of which have already made sizable pushes into the Brazilian market and are ramping up investment.

“Our plan is to expand internationally. We should go through Europe this year, our plan is to make Globoplay available across the whole world. We have feeds of our linear channels which are adapted to individual time zones. But we are always focused on the Brazilians that live abroad”, said Bretas.

Author

Half-Paulistana, half-Americana. Cultural bridger and @a_cesso founder.