Alex Marín, RCN: “We became a studio with its own channel”

RCN’s paradigm shift since the launch of its studio is on display in Los Angeles, where its distribution arm presents the new titles for 2023.

A project of many years within RCN saw the light of day this year: “The RCN Studios project has been under construction since summer 2020,” explained Álex Marín, director of RCN Distribution, during a talk held at LASI 2023, which is taking place these days at the iconic Fairmont Century Plaza. “This was the year that we came out to present this in full force”.

“The idea was to put together a plan to transition from being a channel with a studio to being a studio that has a channel,” the renowned executive stressed. “Now we are already on that side and we are producing both for the channel, as well as for the platform, as well as for third parties. The three aspects of the strategy are armed and the business is running “.

In the first section, the productions for the RCN channel include the telenovelas Ana de nadie -“The most watched program in Colombia,” says Marín- which has 87 episodes and stars Paola Turbay; and Aunt Alison, a “short story”, starring Juliette Pardau, which will premiere in the coming months.

“Then we have a bioseries about the life of Rigoberto Urán, a super-famous cyclist from Colombia, whose name is Rigo,” added Marín. Juan Pablo Urrego will play the famous cyclist.

“In addition to that, we are producing for third parties, we have Manes, which is already on the Amazon platform, and we have carried out production services, such as Top Chef VIP for Telemundo, and Masterchef for Chile and Ecuador,” said the executive.

“We have managed to transition from simply distributing telenovelas for RCN to being more of an arm of the studio, which is where we are making productions, acquiring and selling intellectual properties, and also distributing third-party products, including two or three Scandinavian series, a few documentaries and films”, he explained.

Regarding the moment of the industry, the experienced Marín pointed out that there has been a paradigm shift in recent years, particularly affecting the distribution of content from the majors: “I think you have to distribute the content, that’s what it is for,” he said. “The hiatus of two or three years allowed many products to enter to take that vacant place and I do not think that the products [of the majors] can reposition themselves at the previous prices.”

“Particularly the North American series lost its place for getting out of the race,” he stressed. “It will be seen if it is good, but it will not be seen just because it is American.”

Regarding the Latino content, Marín affirmed that the high number of episodes of the telenovelas continues to be a challenge, but that if the product is worth it, it will sell: “Happily what sells is a good story. It doesn’t matter who made it. Those who have managed to demonstrate that better than anyone is Netflix, who have had Korean, Spanish or German titles that are seen around the world. They have been convincing proof that a good story is a good story.”

Regarding LASI, Marín has noticed a “less attended” market, which he considers is not an exception to the rule, but a new normal: “The contraction of the market in production and investment makes the change in attendance quite remarkable,” he said.