Friday, September 11, 2009

Online Publishers Get Social

I recently had the opportunity to chat with Kevin Conroy, president of Univision Interactive Media, and Mark Lopez, COO of Terra Networks, about the current state of the Hispanic online market and how the each company is responding to the fact that Hispanics are extremely engaged with social media.
Both Mark and Kevin are upbeat about the market and acknowledge that the key to effectively providing value to Hispanics online is being able to tap into their strong cultural propensity to share with one another. That said, many advertisers have been hesitant to invest in online advertising within a social context representing a challenge for Hispanic online publishers.

Hispanics are in the online driver's seat

Kevin, a long-term executive of AOL, joined Univision early this year and was "blown away by the opportunity" to join the company. "I see the Univision brand more like a consumer products brand than a media brand," he explained. "We have a unique opportunity to leverage our relationship with Hispanics to endorse other brands." Kevin has implemented many changes at Univision.com but the addition of direct links on the Univision.com page to Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, Facebook and other third-party providers represents a radical shift for the company. He points out that "there is a culture of family and sharing" among online Hispanics and that Univision "is striving to redefine the circle of online activity." Univision, he says, "embraces today's online behavior and gives its users easy access to the things they want."

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