The streaming market is growing, and the data only confirms it. According to Ampere Analysis, by 2024, the projection is to reach over 110 million platform subscriptions in Latin America. For comparison purposes, in the case of pay TV, the projection is to reach over 56 million subscriptions in the same year. According to Statista, revenue in the video-on-demand market is projected to reach US$152.20 billion by the end of 2023.
How do Christian churches view such numbers and such a future scenario? With fear? apprehension? indifference? Or, perhaps, from the perspective of a possible proactive response in order to occupy spaces such as streaming platforms and video channels with quality content for audiences that constitute the new generations? Something is very clear in front of Christian leadership: There is an unequivocal challenge to bring relevant messages to girls and boys who live hyper-connected lives.
In July 2023, the Christian platform Feliz7Play will complete six years of existence. It is an initiative of the Communication Department of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. On Sunday, May 7, Pastor Jorge Rampogna, director of Communications for the South American Division, presented a report on the relevance of this platform. And then it was possible to see how strategic it is when a religious organization is faced with a scenario and decides to invest to reach children, teenagers, and young people in the language with which they are most attracted and impressed. The challenge becomes a great opportunity.
Today, the platform has more than 55 million views per year. This represents, in practice, 149,197 views per day, 6,221 views per hour, and 103 views per minute. Remember that it is free content, with production that goes through selection criteria according to Adventist beliefs and solid connection with the themes in the Bible. In one year, it is estimated that more than 11.5 million hours were watched, with more than 16.7 million unique viewers, equivalent to almost 7 times the total number of Adventist members in South America.
With that said, on what assumptions does the Adventist Church invest time and resources in a streaming platform? The key word is “relationship.” The Adventist Church is concerned with developing a relationship strategy with new generations. In previous generations, Adventists were quick to use print, radio, and TV to share the biblical vision with thousands of people. The moment, now, is favorable to act through the platforms in which series and movies become useful channels to spread the Holy Bible.
The other strategy is that of a relationship with society. Feliz7Play is an opportunity to show who Adventists are before society. A children's animation, for example, can tell many children about ministries developed in churches such as Adventurers and Pathfinders clubs.
"I devoured the content"
Young Lillian Silva Aranha was baptized in April of this year in Cajamar, São Paulo, Brazil, and her conversion story goes through Feliz7Play. In 2020, the death of her grandmother stirred her family deeply. The young woman went into crisis, and after several days of being unable to feed herself, she was admitted to a hospital, where she began to depend on medication to bear her grief.
After learning to live with grief, Lillian started to search for Christian content on the internet in order to receive some kind of comfort. "I searched for Christian series, and in the results came up Fora de Série, a production of Feliz7Play. I devoured the content. One of the episodes talked about the Sabbath. That caught my attention. Then, another one talked about being a Pathfinder for a day. I became curious about it and started researching about the Pathfinders," says Lillian.
While following the content of the Feliz7Play platform, Lillian knew her family's plans, after her grandmother's death, were to return to São Paulo after she finished high school. While that moment was not arriving, she continued researching about the Pathfinders. In her searches, she found the movie The Best Adventure, also on Feliz7Play, and was moved by the whole story.
 “Video-on-Demand – Worldwide.” https://www.statista.com/outlook/dmo/digital-media/video-on-demand/worldwide
The original version of this story was posted on the South American Division Portuguese-language news site.