Luis Villanueva SOMOS Group SomosTV Top Stories

Q&A with SOMOS Group’s Luis Villanueva


SOMOS Group President and CEO Luis Villanueva, who’s spearheading the corporate’s progress, talks to World Display about its numerous companies and their synergies.

The companies inside SOMOS Group run the spectrum of the media panorama. From SOMOSTV, which homes the Spanish-language pay-TV channels ViendoMovies and Semillitas, to SOMOS Subsequent, which in a short while has grow to be a robust participant within the OTT area with FlixLatino. SOMOS Productions has been delivering a gentle provide of stay awards exhibits and scripted collection, shifting to the subsequent degree on the worldwide stage with the success of Hasta Que Te Conocí. Additionally a part of the group, SOMOS Distribution has a various catalog of in-house-produced and third-party fare. The most recent addition to the corporate’s umbrella, SOMOS Movies is driving excessive on the resurgence of the LatAm film business with its personal slate of function movies.

WS: What has been driving the expansion at SOMOS Group?
VILLANUEVA: The expansion at SOMOS Group is being pushed by the synergies among the many corporations on one hand, and on the opposite, by the success of every of its companies. Factors of contact on this enterprise are widespread to a excessive diploma and on the similar time, every product delivered by the SOMOS corporations must carry out at its greatest.

In lots of instances, we license content material to program on our channels and on the similar time, we assist our suppliers in distributing that very same content material by way of SOMOS Distribution or SOMOS Subsequent. Typically a shopper of SOMOSTV can also be enthusiastic about packages from our SOMOS Distribution catalog. Most significantly, a lot of the content material we produce at SOMOS Productions is supported in gross sales by SOMOS Distribution, and that is facilitated in flip by the success of SOMOS Productions’ packages with the viewers.

I might say this virtuous cycle, in addition to the efficiency of every firm by itself, is driving the expansion of the group, and that was the aim of its creation, in addition to the operational efficiencies that additionally contribute to the enterprise. I’ve to say as nicely that success and progress are all the time based mostly on individuals, and we now have an excellent workforce at every firm.

WS: What are the newest developments inside SOMOSTV?
VILLANUEVA: SOMOSTV was the preliminary platform for all our actions. The corporate was based mostly on ViendoMovies, a movie channel that’s at this time a top quality reference out there. This channel, commercial-free and with a premium presence, has been efficiently based mostly on programming one of the best unique movies, solely theatrical releases, initially produced in Spanish. This positioning makes it a “must-have” channel for crucial cable, satellite tv for pc and telcos. Whereas we have now a presence with crucial corporations, we do have room to develop with midsize and small carriers.

Semillitas, however, has been a pleasing shock. The channel performs very nicely in a extremely aggressive setting and towards prestigious manufacturers based mostly on the choice of top-quality animation and cultural relevance for Latino mother and father. This channel has had a lot success that it turned the spearhead within the internationalization of SOMOSTV. Immediately, Semillitas is rising not solely within the U.S. and Puerto Rico, but in addition in Central America, the Caribbean and shortly in Mexico. In Semillitas we’ve work to do each domestically and overseas.

WS: What are the first programming sources for the channels?
VILLANUEVA: The channels are primarily programmed from acknowledged movie and animation producers and distributors. We keep relationships with crucial distributors and unbiased producers of this sort of content material and, on the similar time, our channels embrace our personal productions.

Within the case of ViendoMovies, we produce protection of the primary movie festivals and occasions the place Spanish-language movies take part. We additionally help our mission of selling the business with interviews with stars and administrators and, on the similar time, ViendoMovies collaborates within the diffusion of the constructive influence of the Latino tradition in our communities. All this in-house-produced content material enrichens the channel.

Within the case of Semillitas, we produce content material that’s utilized in giving this area the cultural relevance we’d like for the channel’s differentiation and positioning. Semillitas packages items associated to Latino traditions and festivities, language and primary expertise, and all these items help its instructional position.

WS: What are the newest developments with SOMOS Subsequent, and the way do you see that platform evolving sooner or later?
VILLANUEVA: SOMOS Subsequent is our entry into new platforms and in what little question shall be a big a part of the longer term. OTT content material distribution is a key a part of the enterprise at present, and our content material in SOMOS Subsequent is positioned on the web retailers (Amazon, Apple, and so on.) and in addition in our direct-to-consumer apps (FlixLatino and Pinguinitos). That is fairly necessary as a result of it represents a unique sort of experience in distribution and in advertising instruments, with a singular set of technical expertise.

We see these merchandise rising in distribution on-line and in all related units (telephones, computer systems, sensible TVs, and so on.). We now have signed, on this sense, essential offers that shall be introduced quickly and sit up for extra progress sooner or later.

WS: How has SOMOS Productions been increasing its slate? Has the success of Hasta Que Te Conocí opened up new doorways for the corporate?
VILLANUEVA: SOMOS Productions has been rising in a really strong method. Hasta Que Te Conocí, Juan Gabriel’s biopic, opened many doorways and had a big influence within the business, turning into probably the most profitable packages in U.S. Spanish-language tv and internationally as nicely. The collection initiated a development that continues at present. SOMOS Productions’ partnerships with BTF Media, Disney Latin America, Endemol Shine, Nickelodeon Latin America, Telemundo and different prestigious names, in fact, give the credibility and expertise to develop.

We at the moment are producing Súbete a Mi Moto: La Historia de Menudo Contada Según su Creador (along with Endemol Shine Latino, Boomdog and Piñolywood), the saga of the boy band that turned a world success. We’re beginning the manufacturing of Cazadores de Milagros (with Disney Latin America, Spain’s Mediapro Group and Mexico’s BTF Media) and San Juan Diego, La Historia de la Virgen de Guadalupe (with Endemol Shine Boomdog).

We’re focusing each on collection which have the potential for touring internationally and reside exhibits as nicely, such because the Latin American Music Awards and the Billboard Mexican Music Awards.

WS: How did it come about that SOMOS Distribution represents Turkish dramas?
VILLANUEVA: This can be a nice story. As an unbiased distribution firm, our mission is to deliver our shoppers probably the most progressive and high-quality content material we will discover in an business that’s international. We noticed the manufacturing high quality and strong tales of the Turkish dramas and their success in different territories. Although they have been outdoors of the normal telenovela parts, we determined to take the danger. We have been pleasantly stunned by the dramas’ acceptance from the viewers and determined to construct a catalog, with the outcomes that everyone is aware of as we speak.

In fact, you want shoppers that share your imaginative and prescient and the remaining is left to the viewers. In the present day, Turkish dramas have impacted the normal telenovela, modifying its construction and focus and, we consider, for the good thing about everyone.

WS: How a lot of the SOMOS Distribution catalog is from SOMOS Productions and the way a lot is third social gathering?
VILLANUEVA: Most of our catalog is from third events, since a distribution firm wants quite a lot of genres and targets. We need to be a one-stop store for our shoppers’ wants, and whereas SOMOS Productions’ content material could also be typically one of many most important dishes, the complement is our wonderful catalog of collection, dramas, telenovelas, films, documentaries and selection packages.

Once more, we glance so as to add content material that’s profitable and revolutionary and in addition to turn into the help in gross sales for producers or corporations that may leverage our strengths, particularly in Spanish-speaking territories. Our search strikes with business developments. Lately, episodic content material (collection and dramas) is sort of in demand, based mostly on the brand new TV-watching habits, and we work to supply a wide array to our shoppers.

WS: SOMOS Movies is the most recent member of the group. Why is that this an essential space for the corporate to be in, and the way are you trying to capitalize on the resurgence of the LatAm movie business and develop this aspect of the enterprise?
VILLANUEVA: As you recognize, movies are in our essence, and with SOMOS Movies we develop our catalog and benefit from the resurgence you talked about. Once more, SOMOS Movies synergizes with SOMOSTV and SOMOS Subsequent (ViendoMovies and FlixLatino) and with our distribution efforts in sure territories. We’ve a really versatile strategy to movie manufacturing, benefiting from fiscal stimulus in sure nations and of our information of the gamers within the business.

As of at present, SOMOS Movies has three movies: Muerte en Berruecos, a historic drama; Voy Por Ti, a movie about adolescence and its issues; and El Paraíso de la Serpiente, a fictional/magic story, and we’re considering a number of tasks. That is an thrilling space for us that, as you possibly can see, enrichens our library and promotes our companies.

WS: Because the group’s actions have expanded, what stay your favourite elements about this job and this business?
VILLANUEVA: I see my job because the evolution of a profession that began as a monetary officer, progressively shifting into management roles. It has been an thrilling approach to develop my entrepreneurial instincts in an thrilling business. The leisure business is vital to trendy life and combines parts which have all the time attracted me: creativity, enterprise sense, and these traits have additionally helped in creating an intuitive sense of the place issues are going.

I see myself as a promoter of companies and a supplier of strategic instructions for the group’s corporations, watching rigorously over their monetary viability and well being.

Personally talking, my job has offered me with means to succeed in skilled and private satisfaction. It has given me the means to journey the world and supply for my household, develop associates and work for a way of private realization. As it’s true for any human being, these are an important causes to rise up each day.

I’m glad and grateful to the staff and companions which have allowed me to construct SOMOS Group.

WS: What are your objectives for the yr forward?
VILLANUEVA: My objectives are to maintain working to consolidate this progress and to have every firm attain its most potential. In these occasions of speedy change, we’ve got to work each in sustaining the normal enterprise, whereas adapting on the similar time to the modifications that know-how is demanding for the businesses’ long-term well being.