Are Latin Newspaper’s Ready for the Billion Dollar Online Business?

“Online advertising can be a great complement to the Sunday ROP or FSI ad,” says Deborah Armstrong, SVP of Marketing and Business Development at Media Space Solutions. The media-placement firm recently implemented a campaign in Hispanic newspaper websites for its client, Disney, through Disney’s multicultural advertising agency, Tapestry. The campaign advertised Disney theme parks for Hispanics to visit during spring break in newspaper websites during the week before Disney theme park FSI ads run in those same Hispanic newspapers’ weekend editions. The online advertising is telling people to look for the FSI coupons in the newspaper,” Armstrong noted. The idea is to advertise in the websites online during the week to increase the effectiveness of print advertising during the weekend, since most Hispanic papers are weeklies.

According to the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), newspapers collected $1.2 billion from their online operations in 2003. Last year, the figure was nearly $2.7 billion. Total 2007 U.S. online advertising expenditures were $19.5 billion, according to E-Marketer. This means that newspaper online advertising has a share of 15% of overall online advertising sales. Applying this ratio to the Hispanic market would amount to approximately $22.5 million dollars in online advertising for Hispanic newspaper websites. However, Portada estimates the figure to be substantially lower—probably in the $5 million range—mostly because of the less mature stage of the Hispanic online advertising market.

“The U.S. Hispanic population tends to be younger than the general market population and is enamored with technology. There are opportunities for Spanish-language newspapers to grow their audience online,” says Gary Meo, SVP of print and digital media services at Scarborough Research.

“Newspapers have the lion’s share of website traffic, generally more than radio and TV,” says Marc Kiven, EVP of Global Development of Centro, a Chicago-headquartered media services and technology company. Kiven adds that “all indications show that traffic is growing rapidly and that the digital divide is shrinking in the Hispanic market.”

“According to comScore, Local Publishers reach 54% of all people online that are of Hispanic/Spanish decent,” Kiven adds.

Room for improvement

To be sure Hispanic newspaper websites have room for improvement. “Not that many Hispanic newspapers have quality websites,” Edith Hernandez, senior interactive analyst at Continental Airlines in Houston, tells Portada. In particular, she would like to see more and better travel sections in newspaper websites. Continental currently advertises in travel channels of Hispanic portals like Terra and Yahoo.

The rationale for Hispanic publications to go online is similar to general market publications. “We can target more effectively online than we can in print.  In addition, the information is up to the minute and does not have to follow the normal print

deadlines. Also, the shelf-life of editorial is timeless online.” Gerald Johnson, online sales manager at La Voz, a Spanish-language publication owned by The Houston Chronicle. “Our strategy is to be the most accessed local website by offering a wide array of information to the Houston marketplace.”

Among Hispanic newspaper publishers, Impremedia recently embarked on a major initiative standardizing all the newspaper websites and integrating their content.

Arturo Duran, CEO of ImpreMedia Digital LLC, spearheaded the launch of Canada.com in April 1998. Canada.com is owned by Canadian Media Firm Canwest Publishing and integrates newspaper websites including National Post, Vancouver Sun and Ottawa Citizen, as well as television online assets (In the U.S. it owns the The New Republic.)

As part of the effort, each of Impremedia’s newspaper websites will get new websites. Each new website will be outfitted with a network navigation bar that will display the various channels available on the Impre.com network, such as Travel, Sports, Entertainment and others.

While the newspaper websites will continue to focus on breaking news and time-sensitive information, the portal site will include “Evergreen Information” with greater longevity such as Travel information and personal finance resources, such as home-buying tips.

Another initiative will be to make Impremedia’s weekly entertainment magazine La Vibra and its monthly bilingual insert Vista available online at least daily updates.
Impacto USA, the weekly Spanish-language newspaper owned by Los Angeles Newspaper Group (Media News) recently revamped its website. The New York Daily News launched www.nydailynews.com/latino last year. “You can click a language button to choose English or Spanish. We have 20,000 unique users – and we’ve been able to sell ads onto the site,” says Rudy Zaccagno, Multicultural Director at The Daily News.

Multimedia Advertising Consultants

Online Advertising at The Houston Chronicle is sold through “online specialists who work alone or in conjunction with a print counterpart” says Johnson. “We also have online salespeople who work the marketplace without a print counterpart,” he adds.

“All our sales reps are multimedia advertising consultants,” says Centro Tampa’s General Manager Orlando Nieves. He adds that, “based on the client’s needs and budget, we can sell them a combination of online, print and broadcast that secures an efficient media buy.  Online video streaming of daily news is a good example of an option that bridges across platforms. Having a wider selection of tools gives reps more resources to provide clients with a one stop solution.”

Local Advertising

Gerald Johnson of Houston’s La Voz notes, “If local advertising includes retailers in the local marketplace, then local surpasses National.” According to Nieves, “Given our current page view levels, we still rely heavily on local and classified advertising. National accounts tend to buy based on impressions, which may not result in huge revenues for a new website.”

 

What Helps Attract National Online Advertising dollars?

Standard IAB Advertising Sizes

Local Publishers reach 54% of all people online that are of Hispanic/Spanish decent (comScore)

Third-party Ad-serving

Adhere billing process

 

‘Multilocal’ can attract Regional and National Advertisers

It is precisely the strong local content and the connection with their communities that can make them interesting vehicles for national advertisers. But how do local media differentiate their value proposition as a stand-alone websites compared to, say, a Hispanic portal? “Centro provides value to publishers by working with clients desire to be on local online media,” Marc Kiven, EVP of Global Development of Centro, a media services and technology company, tells Portada. “We provide our expertise on local online media to agencies,” Kiven adds.

“National and regional advertisers typically would target Hispanic users on demographics and IP targeting by contacting MSN or Yahoo. Centro puts together a plan with all local online media properties targeting Hispanic users in Los Angeles, for example. All local online radio, TV, newspaper etc. There could be 20 different websites that target Hispanic users, we pull them together as a single buy, something an advertiser would never do on their own.”

Kiven acknowledges that traffic to Hispanic websites is still limited, and that one way to accommodate advertisers with more traffic is by casting a wider net through portals and foreign websites. Centro has a database of over 6000 local websites in various U.S. markets. Traffic to these websites ranges from tens of millions of unique visitors to a few thousand. According to Kiven, local media combined has more reach than the large portals. In June 2007, Centro appeared in comScore's listing of the top 50 ad-serving Internet properties, ranked by audience—entering at number 20, with 74.6 million unique visitors, or 42% of the American online population. That compares favorably with Yahoo! News, which attracted 32.3 million visitors in June.

Partnering with a local media specialist or an online advertising network such as Centro can also enable newspaper publishers to use innovative rich media advertising on their websites, such as interstitial ads that appear after the user clicks on a link but before he gets to the place he clicked to get to. Another popular online advertising method is using what are known as “Roadblocks.” Centro recently executed “High-impact Sliding Billboards” and “Section Roadblocks” for a Home Depot promotion of the Super Bowl sweepstakes. The campaign blocked all IAB standard units across 130+ local sites’ homepages.


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