What’s Next for Telemundo?

Portada Speaks with Peter Blacker, SVP Digital Media about the company’s split from Yahoo and subsequent partnership with MSN, and about what comes next…
 
As the dust settles from Telemundo’s break with Yahoo and subsequent partnership with MSN Latino, Portada caught up with Peter Blacker, SVP Digital Media for Telemundo about the transition and the company’s strategy moving forward.
 
One of the central questions in the aftermath of the Yahoo/Telemundo dissolution has been where the traffic will redirect when users enter telemundo.yahoo.com.
That question has been settled with Solomon-like equity. As Blacker explains to Portada, “Users will be given the option at the landing page to proceed to either Yahoo’s site or to Telemundo.com.” 
 
Both companies have been encouraging users to bookmark their new web addresses in recent weeks to obviate the choice, but Blacker tells Portada that the Yahoo/Telemundo page will remain “in perpetuity” for those who find themselves at the crossroads. Says Blacker: “The YahooTelemundo.com site has been transitioning off for several weeks. We began to promote Telemundo.com as the only URL back in October and it used to point to the Telemundo pages inside YahooTelemundo. Now that we have a new home, that URL points to our new site.”
 
Blacker says that the traffic has been “incredible” in the site’s first week at the new address. “We already have the most viewed/popular videos inside of MSN Latino and a story on our new front pages got 1,700 comments on it in several hours, and 2500 by the end of the day.”

Platform integration
 
One thing that is immediately apparent is the emphasis the company is putting on integrating all advertising programs as fully as possible across platforms. As Blacker told Portada, “For the second year in a row several of our upfront advertisers have made upfront commitments to digital. It’s turned into a media upfront instead of simply a TV upfront. We’re seeing a lot of enthusiasm from the clients for these integrated buys, and expect that to continue.
 
He points to a recent campaign they did with Sprint for the popular telenovela Sin Senos, where for the first week Sprint subscribers were invited to vote via their mobile phones which direction they wanted the show to go. The campaign received over 10,000 votes in the first week, before opening it up to the general public online, a telling example of how the company is tying its platforms together, and offering creative value for its advertisers. The campaign was put together with Sprint’s Hispanic agency, New York-based Vidal Partnership.
 
“Telecom has been a pretty hot category for us overall,” says Blacker, citing another campaign they recently did with Verizon which integrated the telecom company’s brand into on-air programming of its telenovela El Rostro de Analia, as well as made-for-Web video clips.
 
Speaking directly to Telemundo’s mobile initiatives, Blacker said that this is a huge growth area and one that the company is trying to develop at every opportunity. Asked about whether the scope of its mobile campaigns was leaning toward either branding or direct response, Blacker told Portada, “We’re definitely seeing a lot more branding than direct response, which is different from the general market.” He adds that a lot of their advertisers choose to align themselves with the company’s soccer programming, which includes both Chivas and Mexican National Soccer.
 
Blacker also tells Portada that Telemundo is developing an iPhone application along with NBC Universal, but could not specify a time-frame for its launch.
 
Blacker sounded upbeat reflecting on the recent transition that Telemundo has made away from Yahoo in partnering with MSN: “We’re ending on a positive note. It’s not that we won’t partner with Yahoo again in the future. For instance I’m sure we’ll partner in People en Espanol’s “51 Most Beautiful.” So it’s really just the end of this phase. I think a good way to look at it is that the whole industry is getting a bit stronger and offering more options.”

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