Spain has had an especially prolific first half of 2019 in terms of agreements to produce content with a global reach
The opening in Spain of Netflix’s first major European production hub in April confirmed the ability of the Spanish audiovisual sector to respond effectively to the content creation and production needs of large international operators. The streaming giant expects to produce between nine and 11 TV series and 4 or 5 feature films annually in Spain. Among the original series announced by Netflix in February are "El Desorden que Dejas"; “El Vecino”, produced by Zeta Audiovisual; “Días de Navidad”, by Pau Freixas ("Red Band Society"), for Arca Audiovisual (Filmax); "Memorias de Idhun", a Zeppelin TV production, and the Plano a Plano production "Valeria".
Grupo Mediapro is also contributing to the current boom in content production in Spain. The March launch of The Mediapro Studio label, which will focus on producing film and TV content for the international market, allowed for an ambitious investment plan of 200 million euros. The group already had 34 fiction projects under way at that time. The most recent international alliances by The Mediapro Studio include an agreement with Viacom International Studios to co-produce the Argentine series “Pequeña Victoria”, and another with Sony Pictures Television, which includes the thriller series “Implacables - México”.
In another move involving the arrival of a new and potentially large investor in film and TV content in Spain, The Mediapro Studio assumed the production of an as yet untitled popular fiction series for the telecommunications operator Orange, which will be its first original series in this market.
Add to all this the strategies of the two major audiovisual groups in Spain to also become content producers for third parties with the creation of Atresmedia Studios for one, and likewise Mediterraneo by Mediaset España.
Bigger production budgets
The growing ambition of Spanish production is not only evidenced by the increasing number of projects, but also by the size of their budgets.
The first season of the epic drama "Hernán", a co-production between Onza Entertainment and Dopamine from Mexico, consists of eight episodes with an estimated cost of between 1 million and 2 million dollars each, well above the average for Spain. This series starring Oscar Jaenada will reach the SVOD window in Spain and Amazon Prime Video in Latin America, while History Channel will exploit the pay-TV rights.
Amazon announced in February its first two original fiction projects in Spain, both historical productions: "El Cid", created and produced by Zebra Producciones and starring Jaime Lorente ("La Casa de Papel"), and "La Templanza", adapted by Atresmedia Studios from María Dueñas's ("Time in Between") novel.
The year is making it possible to strengthen alliances with new markets such as China, which is showing a growing interest in Spanish animation, as demonstrated by titles such as “Bikes”, a co-production between the CVC Group, the Spanish company Animation Bikes and the Argentine company Aleph Media, which is distributed by Filmax; as well as “Dragonkeeper”, which is being developed by Dragoia Media, Movistar+, Atresmedia Cine and China Film Animation.
A special interest in the Spanish thriller has also emerged in China, the most successful example of which being Oriol Paulo, who, after raising 30 million dollars last year in Chinese cinemas with “The Invisible Guest", has confirmed his popularity this spring with another Atresmedia Cine production, "During the Storm", which raked in 8.9 million dollars in its first weekend.