The Communications Landscape in Brazil | Our Perspective
As the world’s fifth-largest country with 200 million people located in an area of more than 8 million square meters (3.2 million square miles), Brazil’s numbers are always big. Each of its 26 states has a unique geography, culture and practices that vary dramatically from the south to the north of Brazil.
São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are the largest states, with 41 million and 19 million people respectively. As a consequence, mainstream media is also stronger in these regions, and most of the outlets have national coverage.
In Brazil, the media industry is still dominated by family-owned companies. The largest media company in South America, Organizações Globo, was founded in 1925 by journalist Roberto Marinho in Rio de Janeiro. The conglomerate includes magazines, newspapers and the biggest TV network, Globo Network, with 1,222 owned and affiliate television stations throughout Brazil.
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The second-largest media group is Grupo Abril, founded in 1950 by Victor Civita in São Paulo. The group is the holding company of Editora Abril, the nation’s largest publisher with 52 titles across 26 segments. Seven of the most read magazines in Brazil are published by Abril, including the general weekly magazine Veja, which is also the third largest in the world and the largest outside of the United States. Grupo Abril also broadcasts MTV Brazil in a joint venture with Viacom.
Television is still by far the most important vehicle in Brazil, reaching 98 percent of the population. TV Globo Network, which invests significantly in journalism as well as being an important producer and exporter of soap operas, is the leader with a market share of 48 percent. The second and third largest TV networks in Brazil are SBT, with 14 percent, and Bandeirantes, with 6 percent.
With 60 percent penetration, the newspaper industry is very regionalized and even the biggest titles do not have large audiences; however, their readers are mostly opinion leaders, increasing the impact and influence of these outlets. The daily newspapers with the largest circulations are Folha de São Paulo (336,000), followed by O Globo (330,000) and O Estado de São Paulo (289,000).
The leading magazines by circulation in Brazil are Veja (1,000,000), Época (408,000) and Isto É (338,000). Radio is another very important communications channel with a wide reach and 78 percent penetration. The most relevant broadcasters with news content are Jovem Pan, Rede Bandeirantes and CBN.
Brazil is the seventh-largest Internet market globally, having grown 16 percent in 2011, and now has a home and work online audience of around 46 million users fueled by activities such as social networking, watching online videos, searching and online shopping.
More consumers have turned to the Web and now spend an increasing amount of their day connecting with digital content. Brazilian Internet users averaged 26 hours online per month in 2011, 10 percent more than the previous year. Interaction with portals has led Internet activity, accounting for 39 percent of total time online, followed by social networking at 23 percent.
Facebook’s rapid ascent in the Brazilian market is certainly an interesting signal within the digital media landscape. The site became the leader in the social networking category recently, with impressive growth both in visits and engagement.
In 2011, Facebook had 36.1 million Brazilian visitors age six or older, nearly tripling in audience size from the prior year. Time spent online is also surprising: The average visitor spent 4.8 hours per month on the site, surging from just 37 minutes in 2010.
Growing broadband access in Brazil is also increasing interest in online videos. In 2011, Brazilians viewed more than 4.7 billion online videos, or 74 percent more than in 2010. Mobile phones and tablets continue to change the digital landscape, currently accounting for 1.5 percent of all digital traffic in Brazil, significantly lower than the average of 8 percent in the U.S.
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