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Telemundo, iVillage Partner to Target Hispanics

Site will cater to underserved online Latina market

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iVillage is going hard after the exploding Hispanic-American Web audience.

The NBCUniversal-owned women's lifestyle site is joining forces with its corporate sister Telemundo and with the launch of iVillage Mujer de Hoy. The new Hispanic-female-aimed site will live on Telemundo.com.

According to a joint release, the new platform aims to "fill a void for 16 million digitally savvy Latinas who seek solutions and advice through a Hispanic lens."

For iVillage, the expansion into an Hispanic marketplace represents an enormous growth opportunity. According to comScore there were 33.5 million Hispanics online as of January 2012, making up 15 percent of the total U.S. online market.

On the other side, Telemundo will look to capitalize on the already popular female-geared iVillage platform, which saw 27.2 million unique visitors in June 2012.

Both sides point to online Latinas as a traditionally underserved market in the digital space. "The Hispanic demographic is very engaged online in the social element, with pageviews and time spent, yet there continues to be a lack of content," said Peter Blacker, Telemundo evp of digital.

iVillage Mujer de Hoy will look to publish content in both English and Spanish on the same page, monitoring content in real time to determine placement and integration of bilingual content as it relates to demand. "Originally there was a misconception that you lived in one world or another," said Blacker of bilingual Hispanic culture. "We thought it was important to recognize the duality of this world."

To drum up support for the launch, iVillage Mujer de Hoy will run a series of community challenges geared toward the female community and in conjunction with iVillage's English platform. Alongside female-centric initiatives like its "Get Great Hair" challenge, Mujer de Hoy will look to support ongoing Telemundo projects like "Vote for Your Future" to raise Hispanic voter awareness throughout the current election season.

Going after the Hispanic market may represent a much needed growth strategy for iVillage, which traces its roots back to the dot-com boom but has been chasing more nimble female-oriented Web brands of late. In fact, before the arrival of current president Jodi Kahn in 2008, critics said the property lacked direction, leading then-CEO of NBC Universal, Jeff Zucker, to admit that the company may have paid too much for the platform. Kahn has since made the site a priority, sharpening the focus of its content, adding more original video and infusing more social and community elements.