A tried and tested approach to global expansion for media companies is to pick a single path of entry in the new market, or to put it more simply – to localize one aspect of the media ecosystem in a single language for a new market and see how it fares. 

Seeding content in this way minimizes long-term risk and eliminates the operational complexity of expanding into multiple markets across multiple different platforms simultaneously. It also has the potential to increase the ROI of existing content, especially video content translated automatically with cutting edge technology (like ours) and paid for by minute of translated output

Lots of media companies are adopting this approach by translating their content into Spanish for audiences in Latin America, using Snapchat in particular as a testing ground. Here are the three main reasons why:

1. Latin American audiences' willingness to get free content in exchange for ads

The rising popularity of free ad-supported streaming services like Pluto TV has proved to media companies and media buyers alike that audiences are willing to sit through ads in exchange for quality free content. Localizing video, then, for an ad-supported platform in a market with a receptive audience is a logical step to expanding and monetizing global reach.

2. It's a growing market for digital video content in particular

Latin America’s digital video market has grown exponentially over the past few years. In 2019, almost half of the region’s population consumed digital video regularly (with YouTube the most popular platform). ​​By 2023, there will be 317.9 million digital video viewers, which is nearly half (48.2%) of the population, or 75.4% of internet users. According to Insider Intelligence, this has been driven in no small part by the fact that Latin America has one of the fastest-growing mobile phone markets in the world. 

It’s no surprise, then, that media companies are localizing video to support their growth in Latin America. Not only is the demand for video content high, it keeps growing. 

3. Snapchat still has a lot of growth potential in the region

In 2020, Snapchat generated $2.5 billion revenue globally, a 47 percent increase year-on-year. The second quarter of 2021, as reported by The Drum, was one of the platform’s most profitable in its history. Its growth means advertisers are more willing to make the platform a more prominent part of their media strategies.

The Latin American market is no exception to Snapchat’s growth trajectory. Mexico, in particular, has 18 million active monthly Snapchat users; more than Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador, Perú, Uruguay, and Chile combined. André Augusto Joel, Head of Sales Partnerships for Snapchat in Latin America, confirmed that the number of Snapchat followers in Mexico increased in double digits in 2020. Plus, the platform opened its first headquarters there in Mexico City in May 2021 - all testament to the growth in the market.

Snapchat's stage of growth currently means that for savvy media companies that distribute on the platform, there is less competition for audiences' attention than on the more established platforms like YouTube. Burgeoning audiences mean greater returns for media companies that distribute localized content on the platform as advertisers grow more confident of the platform's ability to reach them.

A snapshot of global media companies dubbing for Snapchat

WatchMojo launched its Spanish show (WatchMojo Español) on Snapchat Mexico in March 2021. Since then, it's acquired 49,100 followers with only 6 seasons made up of 25 episodes. 

Looper launched Looper Espanol on Snapchat Mexico at the beginning of March 2021. It now has 46,000 followers and has released 2 seasons with a total of 25 episodes.

Chefclub launched Chefclub Mexico in March 2021. The show has 24 episodes and has gained 71,000 followers since launch.

WhatIfShow launched its Spanish Snapchat show “Qué Pasaría Si” in March 2021. It now has 73,800 with 25 episodes

While dubbing video content for Spanish-speaking audiences in Mexico is not yet a core part of media companies' strategy across the board, it is clear that the most forward-thinking and innovative are prioritizing growth in the region.

Dubbing video content for Snapchat in Mexico is fast transitioning from an experimental testing ground to an increasingly important market that, invested in the right way, can yield strong results.