Mobile Content Providers Targeting Tech-Savvy Hispanics

Demo growth and impact front and center at Univision NewFront

Sponsor Univision highlighted the importance of targeting a Hispanic audience on the Web at the Digital Content NewFronts in New York. Univision, Telemundo and other companies with substantial Hispanic units announced digital initiatives targeting Spanish-speaking consumers.

The growth of digital video advertising has been particularly strong among the Hispanic demographic, which is younger, more mobile, and more socially connected. Nielsen research indicates that 72 percent of Hispanics own smartphones and watch more online video than 62 percent of white non-Hispanic Americans. "Hispanics over-index on everything technology," Univision president Cesar Conde told The New York Times.

At its first NewFront on Wednesday, Univision announced the creation of Flama, an online and mobile destination for bicultural Spanish-speaking youths, which will launch in the fall. Univision plans to introduce multimedia broadcasts that combine radio, online and TV content, such as a Twitter-based reality competition.

Univision also showcased an overhaul of  UVideos, its video streaming site dedicated to original Web series and telenovela clips. The video network will introduce new channels focused on lifestyle, beauty, cooking and fashion, while revamping its existing news and sports content. UVideos' user interface will now feature social media streams to encourage interactive commenting.

Besides Univision, some mainstream media companies responded to the growing Hispanic presence online—Hulu touted its Hulu Latino, while NBCUniversal's Telemundo and CBSi offered advertisers multimedia initiatives aimed at Spanish-speaking consumers.

NBCUniversal's Telemundo announced a partnership with The Weather Company to tailor weather coverage to a Hispanic audience. Telemundo hopes to increase interaction between its broadcasts and social media by partnering with Zeebox, a second-screen viewing app for tablets and smartphones.

CBSi announced several Spanish-language initiatives, including a Spanish-language edition of CNET that will debut in the fall.

Jim Lanzone, president of CBSi, said he wants to offer unique digital content for a Spanish-speaking audience of 50 million in the U.S., with more in Latin America and across the globe. The Spanish-language version of CNET "will not just be a machine translating our English content into Spanish," Lanzone said, "[it] will be its own distinct site."

CBSi is also working on a Spanish-language version of GameSpot.

Presenters at the NewFronts often "have a decent-to-strong-and-growing multicultural strategy," said Marla Skiko, executive vp and director of digital innovation at SMG Multicultural, to The Times,  "but they have so much to announce … it only gets a mention. I think they could blow it out and make it bigger; it's a story waiting to be told."