Online video in Latin America: Brazil part 1

As part of our new content-series looking at video markets across the world we’d like to look into Latin America, a region that has caught the attention of advertisers and marketers lately because of it’s significant growth in digital media adoption over the past few years.

Latin America has the fastest growing internet population of the five global regions and is expected to grow by nearly 100 million users in the next three years. By today’s figures, that will be an increase of 63% to 394 million users (eMarketer). People in Latin America spend an average of 21.9 hours per month online. Across regions, this ranks them third only to North America (32.6) and Europe (21.9).

 Now, with a population of 614.8 million, Latin America is a pretty large area to cover, so to get the most value out of my word count limit, I’ve decided to focus my attention on the country known for it’s carnivals, beaches, soccer, rainforest, samba and coffee – the one and only Brazil. A staggering 40% of Latin America’s 169 million internet users are in Brazil.

How connected is Brazil?

  • 53% use the internet
  • 45% use social media
  • 136% have a mobile subscription
  • 34% use social media via mobile
  • 40% of mobile subscriptions are 3G connected


Desktop is still dominating over mobile

Video Consumption Rates

Brazilian consumers watch 176.6 videos each month on average. Comscore conducted a study last year which found that Brazil (at the time of research) was the seventh largest online video market worldwide, with a viewing audience of 43 million in December 2012. Being the only country from Latin America making the top 10 of this list and with 82% of internet users watching video in a month, it’s clear that Brazil poses a fantastic online video advertising opportunity for advertisers and publishers.

Whilst Google Sites (consisting mainly of YouTube) certainly leads the way as the most popular video platform, the report also identifies that Youtube has a lower share of videos being watched this year than in 2013. In contrast Vevo, Globo (the largest mass media group of Latin America) and Facebook have a higher share of videos than they did last year.

However, YouTube is still the distant leader of online video consumption in Brazil, gathering more than 62 million viewers per month, followed by Facebook videos with 39 million unique viewers per month.

Why is video consumption on the rise?

The reasons behind the rise of video consumption in Brazil are clearly linked with the increase in internet usage, and are listed below.


In recent years, the way the internet is accessed in Brazil has shifted from predominantly being used at work and in internet cafes, to more frequently used at home. This is because the price of PCs and laptops has lowered, enabling emerging social classes to afford these devices at home. Not only that, government plans focused on digital inclusion such as Programa Nacional de Banda Larga reduced the cost of home broadband connections in all regions of the country, encouraging previously unconnected families to acquire their first internet subscription. Data from Anatel shows that as of August 2014 Brazil held 23 million fixed broadband connections (TechinBrazil).


The introduction of low cost smartphones and tablets and the further reduction of cost for these devices brought by government initiatives such as Lei do Bem, has meant a huge increase in mobile usage.  In 2013, sales of smartphones in Brazil grew by 123% with over 35 million of these devices sold to consumers, an increase that surpassed both the government and market expectations.

Rapid expansion of mobile networks and the availability of 3G has resulted in smartphone usage in Brazil to increase greatly since 2012, with eMarketer predicting a 36% increase this year from last, and a further 27% increase in 2015. Brazil and Mexico are the largest contributors to Latin America’s expanding smartphone user base, adding 10.9 million and 6.1 million respectively in 2014. By 2017, it’s predicted that there will be 70.5 million smartphone users in the country.


The rise of video consumption on Facebook is clearly linked with the increasing popularity of social media in Brazil, particularly Facebook itself which Brazilians spend more time on than the amount of time Mexican and Argentine online audiences spend online combined.  By 2017, eMarketer forecast Latin America’s social media audience to hit 324 million users. Interestingly, despite the popularity of social media in Brazil, the number of people watching video on mobile (43%) is actually higher than the number of people using social media on mobile (29%). (Source: wearesocial)


This huge 2014 sporting event, along with the 2016 Summer Olympics, called for aggressive infrastructure upgrades which ultimately has set it apart from any other market in the region. In terms of video consumption, Brazilians watched 21% more sports videos and spent 53.7 minutes per viewer consuming video content, an increase of 39% (comScore).

To conclude

Brazil is a lucrative market for advertisers, with clear evidence of an increased interest in video and a huge increase in internet usage amongst the majority of the population. Socioeconomic factors such as government intervention, funding, and the effects of major events such as the World Cup, the upcoming Olympics and increasing tourism has helped develop Brazil’s infrastructure to support heavy internet usage throughout the home and through mobile.

The culture in Brazil has shifted from the internet being used more for informational and educational purposes to entertainment. Social media is extremely popular amongst Brazilians, and therefore entertainment and news videos are being watched more and more. As we have seen from this post, with nothing but positive rising figures all around, there’s only one way that this market can go, and that’s up. Brazil is certainly a maturing market for video advertising and that is an exciting prospect for media companies, ad tech vendors and advertisers alike.

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