Insights / News and Opinion / A golden era for global Spanish-language content

A golden era for global Spanish-language content

News and Opinion / 29th October 2021

Spanish-language content

Spanish-language content has reached a new high thanks to Netflix. We all know about the unprecedented success of shows like Money Heist, but our latest data proves that the success of Spanish shows is not just a flash in the pan.

We’ve analysed data from Netflix accounts across the UK, Italy, France and Germany during the summer months of June, July and August. Spanish content is not just a hit in Spanish-speaking countries. The results demonstrate the importance of Spanish-language content for the king of streamers.


Surely you must have heard of Élite by now? Season 4 of the thriller teen drama launched on the 18th of June seeing a spike in viewing across older and new seasons. The Netflix Original is set in Las Encinas, a fictional elite secondary school, but focuses on the working-class students that join thanks to a scholarship programme. Think Gossip Girl meets 13 Reasons Why.

The show experienced huge popularity in France and Italy, where 48% and 46% of the subscribers watched at least one episode, respectively. Conversely, only 6.5% of UK accounts gave the show a try. This is an ongoing theme with a lot of Spanish-language content, as it performs well across Europe, but not so well in the UK.

Élite Short Stories: Carla Samuel

Élite Short Stories are special singular seasons of short episodes, released in the build-up to season 4. There are 4 individual stories, each consisting of 3 episodes.

This particular short story follows 2 characters, Carla and Samuel. Samuel bolts to the airport in an attempt to stop Carla from boarding her flight to London… (You won’t find any spoilers here).

Unsurprisingly, the viewing figures for this short series was extremely close to those of the main Élite show. Comparatively popular in Italy and France, not so popular in the UK, with Germany falling somewhere in the middle.

La Cocinera de Castamar (The Cook of Castamar) 

This show is a Spanish period drama set in the 18th century, based on the eponymous novel by Fernando J. Muñez. After losing her father, the protagonist Clara Belmonte develops agoraphobia. This leads her to a job working as a cook in the kitchens of the Duke of Castamar. 

The show was more popular than subscriber favourites, Brooklyn Nine Nine and Modern Family for UKFIG in this period. In a previous blog we discussed how important sitcoms like these are for subscriber retention, but they don’t have the sparkle and draw of new dramas. For La Cocinera de Castamar to achieve a higher reach than these shows, further cements Spanish-language content as a key part of Netflix’s catalogue.


El caso Wanninkhof – Carabantes (Murder by the Coast)

On the 9th of October 1999, Dutch Spanish teen Rocío Wanninkhof was murdered in the Costa del Sol town of Mijas. María Dolores “Loli” Vázquez, the estranged lover of Wanninkhof’s mother was convicted for the crime, despite there being no evidence linking her to the murder. The Netflix Original documentary narrates the events, timeline and aftermath of the case.

Extraordinarily, this documentary achieved a higher reach in the UK than in the other 3 territories. Almost twice the amount of UK accounts watched it when compared to France. El caso Wanninkhof – Carabantes was watched by more than 150,000 accounts than Narcos over the same period.

Who Killed Sara?

This Netflix Original is a Mexican mystery thriller which follows Álex Guzmán, a man convicted for the murder of his sister, a crime that he did not commit. He then sets out to take his revenge on the Lazcano family, who framed him for the murder.

Upon its release, Who Killed Sara? claimed the number one spot for the most-streamed show for several weeks in the United States. It became the 14th most-watched piece of Spanish-language content in Spain for the period. However, due to its exceptional performance in the other 4 territories it bagged the 5th spot in the summer rankings for UKFIGS.

Murder Drama

Spanish-language content has been popular for the last few years, clearly outperforming the majority of other non-English language shows. Money Heist returned for part one of its 5th and final season in early September, which, according to our preliminary data, was the top performing piece of content across UKFIGS in September. Shows like this, along with the runaway success of Squid Game, have blown the door wide open and redefined the meaning of ‘global content’. It is now more clear than ever that content from any language can achieve widespread viewership and success.

If you would like to learn more about up-and-coming shows of any language, get in touch and book a demo of our award-winning SVOD viewership analytics platform, SoDA.

Spanish-language Netflix Originals to keep an eye out for in November


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