CNET Targets the Tech-Hungry Latino Market With a New Site

Partnering with Sofia Vergara’s talent and marketing agency

On Sept. 19, CBS Interactive’s CNET will introduce CNET en Español, a Spanish-language edition of the tech news site that will be produced by a team of a dozen journalists.

To assist in the launch, CNET has partnered with Latin World Entertainment, a talent and marketing agency founded by Sofia Vergara—Pepsi and Cover Girl pitchwoman and star of ABC’s Modern Family—and her manager Luis Balaguer.

The firm is charged with bringing together CNET and Hispanic-targeted ad agencies, enlisting talent (CNET poached Univision’s Vanessa Hand Orellana to do video interviews and reviews) and identifying partnerships with Hispanic media.

CBSi and Latin World will share revenue, according to Eric Johnson, evp of CBSi’s Technology, Games and Lifestyle Group.

CNET aims to eventually expand the partnership by exploring Spanish-language opportunities for its entertainment and gaming categories, Johnson said.

CNET en Español videos will be available on AOL, Roku, Xbox, Blinkx, Samsung Smart TV and Panasonic Viera TVs.

CNET is hardly the only tech site that offers a Spanish-language option.

Gawker Media’s Gizmodo has several staffers dedicated to a Spanish-language edition, while AOL’s Engadget has offered a Spanish site—a mix of English-to-Spanish content and original reporting from outside the U.S.—for nearly a decade now.

T-Mobile is CNET en Español’s launch sponsor, signing on for a yearlong commitment. The brands have worked together for several years, according to Peter DeLuca, svp of brand and advertising at T-Mobile.

Noting that T-Mobile is a major advertiser in the Hispanic space, DeLuca said CNET offering a Spanish-language destination “makes it a more robust platform for us to be a part of.”

As the exploding young Latino demographic in the U.S. is a famously active market for consumer electronics, mobile devices and social media, CNET is betting on their thirst for tech news and information beyond merely an English-to-Spanish translation.

Agencies doing work in the Hispanic market herald the new site as yet another opportunity for brands to reach these key consumers.

“It should be one of the priorities on your agenda as a marketer because it is such a powerful group, and it can certainly drive a lot of sales potential for brands,” said Marla Skiko, evp and director, digital innovation at SMG Multicultural.

In addition to its Spanish-language edition, CNET is also set to launch on its flagship site Sept. 9 a vertical focused on high-tech home appliances, with Best Buy as the initial sponsor.

The site has already outfitted a 12,000-square-foot warehouse in Louisville, Ky., where reviewers can take smart refrigerators, washing machines and other state-of-the-art appliances for a spin.

CNET sees the vertical as a logical extension, as technology continues to impact areas of consumers’ everyday lives.

“Explaining a technology that’s new and different and introducing people to an exciting new category, it’s something that we do naturally,” said CNET Reviews editor in chief Lindsey Turrentine.