The over-the-top streaming market was just injected with some Spanish pizazz. Spanish-language digital rights holder Latin Everywhere has just released the beta version of the first worldwide streaming video service dedicated solely to Spanish-languange content.
The Pongalo beta platform is currently a free, ad-supported streaming service accessible on the web and through mobile apps for Android and iOS. Latin Everywhere plans to implement a paid premium tier and integration with Smart TVs in the future. A representaive of Latin Everywhere speaking with DigitalTrends stated the pricing for the premium tier has yet to be determined. Pongalo debuts with a robust library of over 10,000 telenovelas, including Juana la Virgen, the basis for the Golden Globe winning CW series Jane The Virgin. The service was built on a rebuilt version of Imnoo, a web-based independent entertainment streaming service purchased by Latin Everywhere.
This beta release looks to expand on a Pongalo brand that has developed a sizable online presence. Before becoming an over-the-top subcription service, Pongalo existed as a mutlichannel network on YouTube of telenovela episodes and clips since June 2006, accumulating over 5.4 million subscrbers and over 682 million views for 19,626 videos. It’s also tapping into a Hispanic population expected to have a purchasing power of $1.5 trillion this year, according to a 2014 Nielsen report on Hispanic consumers. A recent study from professional service network PWC revealed 43 percent of U.S. Hispanics consumed mobile video compared to 25 percent for non-Hispanics.
The race to become the default streaming service for an increasingly tech-savvy Hispanic market was already underway before Pongalo sent its first stream. Last December, DirecTV released, Yaveo, its own over-the-top streaming service of exclusively Spanish-language content. The service is $7.99/month with no contract or DirectTV subscription service needed, but unlike Pongalo, it is not available outside of the U.S.
With Pongalo being available to anyone with an internet-enabled device across the world, Latin Everywhere could become more than simply a company name.