Kike Lozano, General Director of GECA, looks at drama and entertainment productions released on OTT’s in 2021.

So far in 2021, a total of 24 Spanish series have been released on the major OTT platforms, compared to the 31 produced in 2020. In the absence of a month and with several pending releases announced, the theoretical decline comes in at around 23%.

In 2021, Netflix released 4 Spanish drama series (‘The Time it Takes’, ‘Jaguar’, ‘The Innocent’, and ‘Sky Rojo’), compared to 5 in 2020. However, that’s not taking into account productions that have already announced new seasons, as is the case with ‘Money Heist’ and ‘Elite’, both scheduled to premiere fresh episodes before year’s end.

Spanish productions have also declined in 2021 on Prime video, with 5 world premieres of Spanish drama in 2021: ‘Historias para no dormir’, ‘Parot’, ‘The Vineyard’, The Boarding School: Las Cumbres’ and ‘3 Caminos’) compared to 6 in 2020, two of which, ‘Caronte’ and ‘Madres’, resulting from  their agreement with Mediaset and a co-production with Chile: ‘Inés of My Soul’. Granted, without discussing budgets or the impact from the pandemic on the calendar, we’d be going out on a limb to suggest a trend here.

On the other hand, Disney+ debuted ‘Blowing Kisses’ (Star) in 2021 and have already announced ‘Balenciaga’ to premiere in 2022 and as such, we might predict a slight growth in the trend, but by no means might one even suggest the term ‘bubble’.

The case of HBO is however striking, in that it has 2 Spanish drama world premieres in 2021 (‘Todo lo otro’ and ‘Sin novedad’), compared to the 5 titles released in 2020. ‘Venga Juan’ premiered on November 28 and several additional shows were announced at the launch of HBO Max, although they have yet to specify release dates, we were led to believe they’d be available in 2022.

From the outside, it looks to be more a result of merger-sparked destabilization rather than a change in model, recently Warner and Discovery for example. In addition, we’re not factoring in TNT’s premiere of ‘Maricón perdido’, purely because it’s not an OTT. We’re counting on you Warner Bros., Discovery.

So far in 2021, Movistar+ has had 6 Spanish drama world premieres (‘La Fortuna’, ‘Supernormal’, ‘Paraíso’, ‘Reyes de la noche’, ‘Libertad’, ‘Alive and Kicking’) compared to 5 in 2020. But it would be tempting fate to draw conclusions of any kind, given the evidence that several premieres scheduled for 2020 were pushed back to 2021 due to the pandemic. And once again we’re talking about drama series… that said, there’s also other life out there, so do me, and yourselves, a favor and check out ‘Lola’, please.

And, although comparisons are odious, Atresplayer Premium is at the top of our particular ranking with 7 Spanish drama world premieres in 2021 to date (‘Cardo’, ‘Los protegidos: el regreso’, ‘La reina del pueblo’, ‘Alba’, ‘Deudas’, ‘Paco’s Men (2021)’ and ‘The Cook of Castamar’). 7 versus 10 in 2020 (careful though to differentiate between ‘Lumelia’ and ‘Lumelia77’ because the temporal universes are different). So, can be interpret this fall from 10 to 7 as being indicative of weakness? Has the bubble burst for Atresplayer Premium? And, who came up with the name for the platform?

Bubble? What bubble?

Filmin joined the series fest in 2021, premiering its first Spanish drama, ‘Doctor Portuondo’ and Starzplay have already announced the premier of their first Spanish series, ‘Express’ scheduled to air on January 16, 2022.

And 2022 will also see Sky Showtime touch down in Spain.

Life beyond series (and it’s plentiful).

Meanwhile, one of the most revealing graphs in terms of OTT indicators prepared by GECA makes it clear that maximum streaming TV consumption peaks at the same time each night, which incidentally is earlier than what traditional TV class as prime-time. However, the other interesting reading is that there are still several time slots during the day (after-dinner is a big one, but also morning time and the very long afternoons) where TV is unbeatable or, depending on how you look at it, streaming hasn’t quite managed to take root among  consumer viewing habits.

Perhaps this explains the need to continue captivating audiences and linear TV’s firm commitment to entertainment and tried and tested old favorites when it comes to formats.

In 2021 Netflix released its first two Spanish entertainment reality shows with ‘Insiders’ and ‘Love never Lies’.

Prime Video also released ‘LOL Spain’ and ‘Celebrity Bake Off Spain’ in 2021.

But the situation at Movistar+ is far richer and more complex and has its origins at a much earlier point in time. The platform are about to release ‘El corazón del imperio’, we’ve already mentioned ‘Lola’ and who among us could forget ‘Palomares’ or ‘El Palmar de Troya’, among many others.

Atresplayer Premium’s commitment to entertainment is also eye-catching, having premiered its first major show in 2021 ‘Drag Race Spain’, though prior to this it already had a similar genre of show such as ‘Pongamos que hablo de…’, ‘Palo y astilla’and‘Paca te lleva al huerto’.

In addition, in 2021 Filmin also premiered the documentary series ‘El Terrat: Los primeros 30’, Playz (TVE) aired ‘Danz’, a program about urban dance styles and DAZN premiered ‘El Presidente’, a documentary series about Ronaldo as president of Real Valladolid, while Rakuten has just released ‘Champions’ (December 2, 2021), following the lives of leading players from the world of women’s football and the challenges they face, and has announced the release next year of ‘Ona Carbonell’ to mark the Olympic swimmer’s return to the world of elite sport.

The case of Mitele Plus, however, is different. While in 2020 the curious reality show ‘Solos / Solas’ premiered, in 2021 they’ve put their faith in incorporating themed channels such as DIZI (specialized in Turkish drama through SPI) or Acontra+ (specialized in cinema and nurtured from the prestigious stable of content at Acontracorriente Films).

In a nutshell, Spanish produced drama and entertainment program production in 2021 produced indicates that the tsunami still has plenty of life left in it, and industrial fabric is in enviable health with clear prospects for further growth. With not-so-new fronts to explore (or continue exploring) such as audio drama, podcasts, videogames, web-based series and webtoons, YouTube channels and events via Twitch, professional productions for social and digital media, vertical formats, and metafiction for the metaverse, we’re guaranteed that boredom is not on the cards just yet.

Kike Lozano, General Director of GECA and Director of the Master of Audiovisual Distribution at ECAM, defines himself as a “television, film, radio and content enthusiast in general and becoming more “On Demand” by the day. A specialist in programming, audiences, research, strategy and innovation, Kike has extensive and diverse experience in the entertainment industry sector, having begun a long-standing association with the world of media and entertainment when he was appointed Purchasing Manager at laSexta, before being appointed Director of Programming and Production Buyer at Paramount Channel and General Director, Production Buyer and external programming at Trece Tv .