Spanish-language cable company Hemisphere Media has launched a streaming service today in conjunction with Lionsgate’s film division, according to a press release.
This is the third streaming service Lionsgate has collaborated on in a little over a year, following Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud (announced in March 2016 and launching this month) and Comic-Con HQ in (launched in May 2016).
The service, called Pantaya, will cost $5.99 per month and will be available in the US only. Subscriptions (and a seven-day free trial) are available for iOS, Android, and Roku apps, a browser version, and as one of Amazon Prime’s relatively new Amazon Channels. The service will include “current and classic” Spanish-language films, as well as documentaries and concerts. Notably, major Spanish-language film studio Pantelion (partly owned by Lionsgate) will add films to the service on the same day as their theatrical release.
Lionsgate, which owns the streaming rights to over 16,000 films, will contribute classic English-language movies dubbed in Spanish. Lionsgate stated in the release, “The service features the largest, most current, and most diverse selection of Spanish-language blockbusters and critically acclaimed films from Latin America and Hollywood.” Hemisphere CEO Alan Sokol emphasized that the service is targeted at “Hispanic movie lovers in the US,” looking to “connect with their cultures.”
The interface looks pretty nice; it’s basically a teal-and-gray, pared-down version of Netflix. The intention to offer day-and-date film releases is another similarity between the two streaming services. However, Lionsgate’s approach differs in that it’s had a stake in Pantelion since 2010, and doesn’t need to cultivate a production arm from scratch. Yesterday, the LA Times reported that Netflix’s ambitious original content strategy has put it $20 billion in debt.