The Porta dos Fundos videos are almost reaching 10 billion views. The humor platform, majority owned since 2017 by the US giant Viacom, has 17 million followers on YouTube. It’s been on TikTok for a year with four million followers. The monthly content audience reaches 36 million people.
The humor project created by five friends, António Tabet, Fábio Porchat, Gregório Duvivier, Ian SBF and João Vicente de Castro, now has a team of 80 people. Porta is positioned as a multichannel entertainment company whose formats (sketches, films, entertainment programs, series and webseries) are shown on digital platforms (YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter and Twitch), on streaming platforms ( Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Paramount Plus) and on TV channels.
The internationalization started in Mexico, being the BackDoor the most popular online humor channel in the country. In the last year, the producer worked with more than 40 brands. In the context of a pandemic, invoicing doubled. Christian Rôças, CEO of Porta dos Fundos, explains in an exclusive interview to M&P, to be published in full in the next fortnightly edition, the path of the Brazilian company owned by Viacom.
M&P: How have revenues evolved in this pandemic context?
CR: In the last two years we have grown more than 100 percent as a company during the pandemic.
M&P: How is it possible to have this performance?
CR: When the pandemic hit, we made a series of changes to be able to be present in people’s lives. If we are stuck at home, we will consume more content. If we prepare content for all windows, for all moments, for all situations, people will remember us more, they will like us more and the income will increase. If we pay more attention to user habits and move towards a dialogue rather than a monologue, the situation will improve.
M&P: How long did it take you to realize you had to adjust content as a result of the pandemic?
CR: It was very fast. On March 12, 2020 we had already sent everyone home. We automatically sent home the actors home studio, lights, microphones and a series of materials that would allow them to record from home with quality. We held meetings to review the arguments. It made no sense to send things to the actors’ homes and not have a script adapted to that reality. Production, pre- and post-production, all people went through a process of reinventing themselves to be able to respond to the pandemic. It was a resilience teamwork.
M&P: At what point is internationalization? Are you planning to move BackDoor to other countries?
CR: Yes, Backdoor is entering its second year. Nowadays it is already the biggest humor channel in Mexico. It already has two billion views. It’s crazy. We have already prepared a new series, for Amazon Prime, which is called Harina, with the Lieutenant who is the most well-known character in Mexico, is a corrupt policeman. [O vídeo Harina, publicado em Agosto de 2019 no canal Backdoor do YouTube, tem quase 58 milhões de visualizações]. By the end of the year we will announce another country where we are going to enter.
M&P: Is there any project planned for Portugal?
CR: We’ve already presented the Laptop here [espectáculo de comédia de improvisação da Porta dos Fundos]. Today about five percent of YouTube’s audience is from Portugal. We have 17 million users, so five percent is a lot of people. We are always attentive. We have great affection for Portugal, we are very well received. Right now Fabio [Porchat] is here, kibo [António Tabet]) is coming, Gregório[Duvivier)willhaveaplaysoonTheyareallourownprojectsbutasPortawehavethedoorsopentodoingthingsinPortugal[Duvivier)vaiterumapeçaembreveSãotudoprojectosprópriosmascomoPortatemosasportasabertasparafazercoisasemPortugal
M&P: Christian himself has spent seasons in Portugal. How do you see the panorama of audiovisual and content created in our country?
CR: A place that is developing is an opportunity. I see Portugal reinventing itself, very open to realizing that, to be part of Europe, it will have to open its mind.
M&P: You didn’t talk about the Portuguese audiovisual issue. There are many talents linked to humor in Portugal but, at the moment, there is nothing similar to a production project like the one by Porta dos Fundos. What are the reasons for the success of Porta dos Fundos, to the point where it was bought by Viacom?
CR: Brazil has the advantage of the domestic market, which is very large. Furthermore, our language, similar to that of Portugal, is very characteristic. In the Spanish market or in the Latin market, each one speaks a different Spanish than the other, which creates some difficulties, for example, for the content from Mexico to reach other Latin American countries, because it is spoken in Mexican Spanish. The other issue is that Porta has been breaking rules. It is not concerned with following a modeling role, a recipe for what to do, it has been pioneering, being disruptive. It is here that Portugal has a space. I feel that the audiovisual market here has been experimenting with things. There are a lot of people trying things out. Are they mainstream? Not yet, but that’s okay, it’s part of the process. It’s a country that has more old people than new ones. In Brazil, it’s the other way around. As things are experimented and the culture mixes with others, the issue of being more conservative, of not wanting to break rules — which is something that has a lot here and I have family here — changes. Like everywhere else, there are people with a closed mind who want to keep it equal, but there are also a lot of people with an open mind and intent on experimenting.
Source: Meios & Publicidade by www.meiosepublicidade.pt.
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