The channels being added to Roku Channel, Xumo, Redbox, Vizio and Tivo are telenovela specialist Pongalo NovelaClub and Mexican movie outlet Moovimex (Mexican movies). VIX took over the channels at the end of 2019 as part of its acquisition of Hispanic AVOD purveyor Pongalo.
Linear programming is a dimension of streaming that is getting a new push, with Roku adding dozens of live networks to the Roku Channel, which Roku says now reaches 43 million viewers just three years after it launched. Amazon Fire TV has also emphasized live fare. Pluto TV, which was an early purveyor of a live, linear experience within streaming, complete with an on-screen programming guide, now has 26.5 million monthly active users, up from 12 million in early 2019.
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Pongalo NovelaClub and Moovimex had proven to be popular destinations on VIX’s own free streaming service, the company said, and they will retain a presence there. The linear rollout follows successful tests of the channels as VOD offerings outside of the VIX platform on Amazon Channels, DailyMotion, Facebook and YouTube.
“Pongalo NovelaClub and Moovimex are the top performers among what we call our superfan channels,” said Rich Hull, VIX’s head of OTT streaming services and the founder of Pongalo. “While these channels, which serve some of our most passionate Latino fanbases, will continue to live within our VIX service, we wanted to also share them beyond that, and so we carefully chose a set of best-of-class partners to help us do that.”
VIX’s own streaming service has more than 20,000 hours of programming. New suppliers of programming include Entertainment One, Mar Vista Entertainment, Hemisphere, Impact Wrestling and Latido Music.
Ad-supported streaming as a category is in a growth phase, and Hispanic viewers over-index in terms of streaming and mobile adoption. NBCUniversal just launched the ad-supported Peacock nationally in July. The streaming service draws about one-fifth of its total programming slate from Telemundo, NBCU’s Hispanic media unit.
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