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Free Content Video-on-demand services in Latin America: Trends and challenges towards access, concentration and regulation

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In this article, an analysis of the over-the-top video on demand (VOD OTT) services’ market in Latin America is proposed, to account for its penetration, relationship with traditional pay-TV, content policies and current (and nowadays under debate) regulations for the sector. The analysis departs from a comparative study on the five main audio-visual markets of the region: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico, within which it is analysed Netflix, the predominant VOD OTT service. First, it will be argued that Internet’s potential to generate higher levels of competition and diversity from online distribution of audio-visual content has been limited by practices of vertical integration between a few new entrants and pre-existing, dominant players of the infocommunications industry. Secondly, the State’s role as a guarantor of public interest is discussed, particularly in periphery contexts with deeply structural asymmetries, as is the case in the countries mentioned above.
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Keywords: Internet; Internet distributed television; Latin America; communication economy; communication policy; concentration; cultural diversity; video-on-demand services

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2019

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  • The Journal of Digital Media and Policy (formerly known asĀ International Journal of Digital Television) aims to analyse and explain the socio-cultural, political, economic and technological questions surrounding digital media and address the policy issues facing regulators globally. This double-blind-peer-reviewed journal brings together and shares the work of academics, policy-makers and practitioners, offering lessons from one another's experience. Content is broad and varied, ranging from a mixture of critical work on technology, industry and regulatory convergence, to the emerging wider socio-cultural and political questions such as the application of online networks, the rise of cloud computing and the Internet of Things. We intend to examine critically emerging wider questions such as the role of 'digital citizens', the regulatory environment for the new platform industry and the role of state regulation in an increasingly global media industry.
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