Latinos love Mobiles: Content Providers Take Notice
Mobile content is a hot category in the general market, but even more so in the Hispanic market. Publishers of print and digital media properties face a great opportunity and are taking notice of a sizeable market.
Two recent deals, an agreement between Latin World Entertainment and Twistbox as well as an announcement by Los Angeles based weekly newspaper Al Borde highlight the increasing opportunities in the Hispanic and Latin American mobile content markets.
According to research firm Telephia, Hispanics are the largest consumers of mobile content and they over-index in content purchases. It makes sense; since Hispanics often don’t have laptops or computers, their mobile phones serve as their primary communications tool. Ringtones are so far the biggest part of the mobile-content market, both for Hispanic and the general market. U.S. ringtone revenue doubled to more than $602 million in 2005 and is expected to hit $1.3 billion by 2010, according to Jupiter Research.
"There are currently between 75 and 100 million individuals in Latin America alone who have the
capability on their mobile devices to access this content right now," said Gustavo de Greiff, Vice
President for producer and publisher of mobile content Twistbox Entertainment, Latin America.
His company signed a deal with talent agency Latin World Entertainment to develop mobile
entertainment for the Hispanic community in North America and Latin America.
Hispanic Newspaper publishers venture into mobile content
Al Borde, a Los Angeles-based, free bilingual bi-weekly publication with a circulation of 35,000
(Los Angeles and key areas nationwide) that targets 18-40 year old Hispanics, recently announced
the launch of a bilingual mobile entertainment service to serve the Hispanic market seeking unusual,
edgy and alternative entertainment.
“Offering mobile entertainment directly to cell phones is a perfect and enthusiastically awaited service
for our fans” stated Melvin Ortiz, Creative Marketing Manager for Al Borde. “Our readers have long
been using our covers to paper their walls, now our mobile subscribers can download a variety of
Al Borde “wallpaper” and original artwork from the Latin alternative music scene.”
Al Borde Mobile subscribers also get access to ringtones. Latin Electronica, Ska, Fusion, Punk,
Rock, Indie and Pop ringtones can be found on http://www.albordemobile.com. In the near future
Al Borde Mobile will also feature original band session videos, interviews, games. Newspaper
publishers, for whom classified advertising is an important revenue stream (e.g. Al Borde’s sister
publication El Clasificado), have a lot to gain from content delivery via cell phones. Al Borde Mobile
will also feature interactive classifieds in the near future.
Newswires deliver Spanish-language content to mobile phones
Newswires targeting Spanish-speaking audiences such as Associated Press and Agencia Efe have been signing partnerships with telecommunications companies in order to provide Hispanics and Latin Americans with compelling content via mobile phones.
“We do license content for mobile phones and it is becoming one of the more exciting areas of
growth for Efe. We have found that there are approximately 300 mobile phone aggregators and
about 30 carriers. So far, we have contracts with five large aggregators between the USA and
Mexico, and we are currently negotiating with another three,” Diana Backlund, Sales Director at
Agencia Efe, tells Portada®.
Mobile phone content aggregators are emerging as a powerful force in the mobile content industry.
Backlund adds that “the aggregators are an interesting way for Efe to provide content to the mobile
phone market with minimal effort, as they tend to have the technology in place that basically takes
our content and formats it to fit the needs of the phone companies. Of course, we are also exploring
the potential to market direct to the phone companies.”
AT&T Wireless owns iTodo Latino!, a collection of Spanish- language wireless Web sites, available
on AT&T Wireless' mMode(TM) service. iTodo Latino! publishes Spanish-language news, sports,
music, and more. Once selected, links to iTodo Latino! content are automatically saved in the
My mMode menu. Companies that provide content to iTodo Latino! include Efe, (Headline News
rom Mexico, Puerto Rico and the rest of Latin America, Terra Deportes (major Latin American
and Spanish soccer leagues), Terra Ocio (favorite celebrities, from soap opera stars to Latin
Pop divas), Tonos Latin Garage (multi-track Latin ring tones), Weathernews (Weather) and
Walter Mercado (Horoscopes). Agencia Efe’s Backlund notes that “so far, our biggest selling
content is our headline news, but also sports and celebrity content is in high demand.”
Development of mobile entertainment
Latin World Entertainment, a Hispanic Talent Management Agency and Twistbox Entertainment,
a producer and publisher of mobile content, announced a global deal to develop mobile entertainment
for the Hispanic community in North America and Latin America with initial launches to include:
United States, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela and Peru.
"With clients such as Editorial Televisa that publish leading magazines like Cosmopolitan en Español,
Vanidades and Maxim en Español, to the hottest celebrities on TV, such as Sofia Vergara and Danna
Garcia, Latin World Entertainment represents the leading brands and talent in the Latino community,"
says Twistbox CEO Ian Aaron. "Our partnership will extend LWE's existing on-line initiatives to mobile
and bring compelling programming that includes premium SMS campaigns, mobile TV, games and
community applications to operators in the U.S., Latin America and Spain."
Latino consumers in North America are among the heaviest users of advanced mobile features.
According to a report released by the Pew Internet & American Life Project in April, 2006,
English-speaking Latinos considerably over-index, compared to non-Hispanic consumers,
in their use of text messaging, playing games and listening to music.
In another recent announcement that highlights the security of the Hispanic market for mobile
content, Voy, a Latin music platform dedicated to the discovery, promotion and marketing of
Latin music, recently announced a partnership with Mobzilla, a digital entertainment provider
for mobile phones, to launch seven top VOY-branded Latin Music radio stations for mobile
users across the nation: Reggaeton, Pop Hits, Latin Ballads, Tropical, Regional Mexican,
Classic Rock and Indie Discovery.
Traditional media properties are catching up
Internet and mobile services is one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. media industry with a projected growth rate of 14.7% over the next five years. However, according to new data compiled by investment bank Veronis, Suhler & Stevenson (VSS). the fastest growth within internet and mobile services is coming from traditional media companies.
In the Hispanic market, traditional media companies, mostly Univision.com and Telemundo/Yahoo, are leading the online media market. During the second quarter of 2006, revenues from Univision's Internet portal nearly doubled on an annual basis to $10.4 million compared to $5.6 million in the second quarter of 2005. Univision’s Internet revenues account for more than 30% of the total Hispanic online advertising market. Despite increased competition and fragmentation, traditional media companies have positioned themselves to capitalize on an increasing share of the surge in spending on broadband video advertising, music and game downloads, and mobile marketing services.
Spending on Internet and mobile advertising, marketing and paid content through traditional media companies is expected to reach $25.6 billion by year-end 2006, growing 26.1% from the 2005 level. Traditional media companies will account for 45% of total spending on Internet and mobile services by the end of this year, up from only 16% in 2000, according to VSS.
“Amor” for mobile content…
Comparison of Mobile Content Consumption Hispanics. Total Mobile Subscriber Population
% of Total Segment
% of Hispanic Segment
Number of games downloaded in period
Number of ringtones purchased
Number of display graphics purchased
Note: Survey of English-speaking Hispanic subscribers 3-month period ending June 2006
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