Latin Everywhere, a fast-growing Spanish-language digital media company with a large YouTube presence, said it today launched Pongalo, a streaming-video site and app powered by Inmoo, a technology company that it also has acquired.
The launch of Pongalo (Spanish for “play it”) is another wrinkle in the digital-video wars, as business models evolve quickly in a fast-changing market. Latin Everywhere, which has a substantial Spanish-language YouTube multi-channel network among other assets, is competing for a share of the huge and Internet-connected Spanish-language market that stretches across much of the Western Hemisphere and the Iberian peninsula. The company also has a modest presence in the Portuguese-language market, which largely comprises Portugal and Internet giant Brazil. Importantly, Latin Everywhere holds worldwide digital rights on all of its content.
Pongalo launches today in beta form with a portion of Latin Everywhere’s 50,000 hours of telenovelas, films, children’s shows and other programming gleaned from RCTV, the Venezuelan broadcast giant, and Colombia’s Caracol. Among the RCTV shows is Juana la Virgen, the basis for ABC’s Golden Globe-winning hit Jane the Virgin. New content from the library and third-party creators will be added weekly through 2015.
Pongalo will be available immediately on Android and iOS platforms, with streaming apps coming soon for most other devices capable of delivering online video. It also will be available through Pongalo.com. Initially, all of the service’s content will be free, supported by advertising. Ultimately, premium subscription models and other features will be added.
Inmoo, the VC-backed company headed by Sergio Radovcic, was acquired to power the Pongalo operation. Latin Everywhere’s YouTube network includes channels with 6 million viewers and 60 million monthly views. That it puts it well behind Los Angeles-based MiTu, the biggest and best known of the Spanish-language MCNs, though YouTube scale alone no longer is the main determinant of success for online-video companies as they shift to a broader range of business opportunities.
Inmoo’s previous iteration as a provider of English-language indie films and documentaries will continue as a newly launched YouTube channel. The technology has been rebuilt to provide such functions as dual-language capability and social-media sharing. Radovcic will continue overseeing Inmoo’s expansion to new platforms as part of Latin Everywhere.
Latin Everywhere was formed in October by the merger of companies headed by Rich Hull and Jorge Granier, who both remain with the merged company. Terms of the latest acquisition were not announced.