hi5 Seeks Growth in Latin Market, Teams with Televisa

Another big announcement from hi5 today: the social network is teaming up with Televisa in a commercial partnership with Televisa representing hi5’s online ad inventory for Spanish Latin America, and hi5 distributing Televisa’s video content through its new video channel on the social networking site.

No monetary details of the commercial partnership have been released, but the deal is exclusive between the two companies. Televisa reports significant growth on a global scale, while hi5 cites that Internet usage in Latin America has increased nearly 17% in the past year, making it one of the fastest growing Internet markets in the world.

Already well established in the Spanish-language video market, Televisa is certainly looking to broaden its reach and spread its content further across the social web. In exchange for the distribution rights, Televisa is furthering hi5’s reach as far as advertising goes, which is an effort for hi5 to gain market share in the Latin online audience and generate additional revenue for the distributions of its advertising inventory.

It’s a strategy we don’t often see from larger social networks, but as MySpace and Facebook have already penetrated the Latin market, it’s important for hi5 to take advantage of a relationship with an established company to further its own goals.

Bringing Televisa’s video content into the mix of hi5 content is yet another aspect of hi5’s long-term growth strategy, which has included the building up of several features on its site, from gaming to chat. hi5’s virtual goods economy has seen a lot of attention from hi5, with the company really looking to raise the bar for things like payment options, accessibility and appeal to end users.

The common denominator in most of hi5’s upgrades has revolved around its entertainment offerings, seeking to entice users onto the site and keep them around for extended periods of time. Combined with the potential revenue streams that can arise from hi5’s virtual goods economy, keeping users around for longer time spans is an important part of its business model.