According to Marlon Quintero, General Director of CIC Media, all types of alliances and co-productions are on the agenda. “To see how costs can be reduced and balanced between various players leads to establishing alliances not previously thought possible.” He indicated there are different ways of looking at the need to combine the general market with the Hispanic or Latin American markets.
“Everything depends on the content. One is if it is relevant for the general market and the Hispanic market; the second is if the production schemes improve with these alliances and production dynamics can be activated, and where the production house has the opportunity to produce in the Hispanic world or Latin America can lower costs through direct production in the territories where it operates,” he explained. He added that they have several projects in that model.
Quintero commented that if this is a production that is made for the Hispanic market and the general market, “a co-production in that sense has to be tied to the project being able to be made in both languages – English and Spanish – and having a strategy windowing on a platform in Spanish and a linear one.”
He believes that it is easier for this combination to be between linear media and platforms that are working in the general market and come together to produce a project relevant to the Hispanic world.
«Production houses have access to Hispanic casts; in some cases, the show is made between Los Angeles and Mexico or in the US using 100% Hispanic staff, creating a triangle: the Hispanic production house, which brings the concept and has the know-how of the market to develop a story relevant to the market and of interest to a linear channel in the general market and to a streaming platform in the general market,» he noted.
However, he acknowledges there is not a total and generalized opening yet for what is considered the Hispanic market in the US. “In the case of streaming platforms, the Hispanic world – whether bilingual, or in Spanish, or English, but Hispanic – remains in limbo, as if no one owns it. Important platforms are telling you they are seeing everything from Mexico and below but nothing from US Hispanics. That is with the Los Angeles group. And when you talk to the general market group, it lacks the affinity that you expect to process that type of content. The opportunity is lost,” he noted.
Quintero explained that platforms have «a tremendous opportunity to capitalize on this unserved market. I believe that platforms and offers are emerging in the market, and as they grow, they will generate options and opportunities for this market. The other thing is to generate offers for the Hispanic market that are not ghetto offers or only in Spanish or only in English. This must be seen within their language diversity and how the Latin or Hispanic character is handled in their day-to-day life, which will generate proposals. Although we see shows with a bilingual component, they come from a general market commission but if you talk about this among the big players of the Hispanic market, the bilingual or English option simply does not exist.”
He believes there is a turning point as the need for content grows and platforms continue to increase. “Part of the differential axis of the platforms is that they can serve specific audiences, and that will inevitably generate the need to create products in Spanish or bilingual, or in English for a Hispanic world that will allow the generation of co-productions between players in the general market, and players who were only doing programming in Spanish.”
He considers that the symbiosis in the creation and production of content will grow more and more, as well as the need for the general market producer to have its product seen in other territories, and internationally.
“Those of us anchored in the Hispanic market, between the general market and the Latin market, are the perfect door that can open the possibility of co-production or collaboration between a general market producer and us in Latin America or the Hispanic US,” he said.
He added that co-productions also depend on the type of project. “We are in co-production talks for entertainment, fiction, and documentary series. We have had collaboration schemes in terms of licensing where we have a partner from the United Kingdom and another from Latin America, and two versions are delivered: one in English and the other in Spanish. All of this revolves around a product that has an affinity for both markets. That doesn’t always happen,” he explained.
He mentioned that CIC Media has explored a scheme for its clients in the US and England where the creative part of the production is done in England or the US, and part of the execution in the US or Latin America, allowing competitive prices to serve the general market. “We have important experience in that sense,” he noted and recalled CIC Media operates in London, Miami, Mexico City, and Caracas.