Spain’s El Mundo Launches America’s Digital Edition

Spanish newspaper El Mundo launched a digital edition oriented to the Americas (the U.S. Hispanic and Latin American markets). The newsroom of the Americas edition (http://www.elmundo.es/america/) is based in Miami and led by Manuel Aguilera. Aguilera worked for El Mundo TV (which like El Mundo is controlled by RCS Media Group from Italy) and has lived in Miami for a year. He convinced El Mundo founder Pedro J. Ramirez to open the Miami Americas digital edition.

Aguilera tells Portada that he believes that Latin American Audiences of his website can increase by 50% during the first year of publication of El Mundo Americas to close to 6 million unique users. The content of the Americas edition will be more targeted to Latin American audiences, which should be reflected in a strong audience growth, Aguilera says. “Potentially we can reach the  400 million Spanish-speaking people in the Americas”.

Starmedia will be the exclusive online ad sales representative of El Mundo Americas edition in the U.S. Hispanic and Latin American markets, according to Aguilera.Interestingly,  EzTarget Media an online ad sales network owned by Terra, sells advertising in the Americas for Prisa’s online properties. Prisa, which recently bought a stake in V-Me, is a competitor of El Mundo in the Spanish media market.

Even before launching El Mundo Americas, El Mundo had a sizable audience in North, South America and the Caribbean countries. El Mundo.es has more than 23 million unique users a month of which approximately 4 million are based in Latin America and the U.S. Mexico almost has 2 million unique users a month, with the U.S. Hispanic market close to 700,000 unique users a month. Other important countries in number of Latin American unique users are Argentina and Colombia. In Argentina,  El Mundo ranks as the number 6 website in the news category.

According to ComScore, Elmundo.es has 4.5 million unique users in Latin America, less than the leader in newspaper websites Clarín.com, but more than its Spanish rival Elpais.com newspaper (2.2 million). (see table below).

Newspaper Websites in Latin America

Newspaper online property
Country of origin
Unique Users (mill)
Clarin.com
Argentina
4.9
Elmundo.es
Spain
4.55
LaNacion.com
Argentina
2.95
ElTiempo.com
Colombia
2.91
Nytimes.com
U.S.
2.38
Elpais.com
Spain
2.25
Eluniversal.com
Mexico
2.01
Cnn.com
U.S.
1.81
Elcomercio.com.pe
Peru
1.3
Que.es
Spain
1.27
BBC.co.uk
UK
1.1
Elmercurio.com
Chile
0.8
Abc.es
Spain
0.71
Eluniversal.com
Venezuela
0.51
Note: Newspaper digital properties ranked by unique Users in Latin America, August 2009
Source: ComScore
The Content

“There is no media on a regional level that meets the needs of the Latin American public, there is in TV, but not in the digital space”, Manuel Aguilera, El Mundo America’s director tells Portada. “Elmundo.es is a digital property with a high credibility in many countries. Often Latin American citizen view the media of their own country with distrust because national media properties can have economic interests within their countries and this influences their reporting, Aguilera adds. “Reporting and content from a neutral media property from Spain can be much more trustworthy”.

“There are some themes that touch all Latin audiences, regardless of the country they are in. They include sports, entertainment, economics and politics.”, says Aguilera. He adds that entertainment and sports are, by far the most popular topics in terms of generating website traffic. However, politics and economics do attract an interesting audience from the advertisers perspective.

The Americas edition is divided in four sections representing geographic areas (North America, South America, Latin America and Caribe). An additional four sections are represented by Sports, Economics, Gentes! (Entertainment) and Blogs. Local Freelance journalists contribute regular articles from Latin America, North America and the Caribbean. The Miami newsroom is composed by 6 full-time reporters. The newsroom in the Madrid headquarters supports with additional content. Aguilera for instance notes that South Americans are very interested in how their soccer players are performing in the Spanish tournament (e.g. Uruguay’s soccer star Forlan and Messi from Argentina). It also goes the other way around with the sizable Latin American community in Madrid interested in reading what happens to their families on the other side of the pond. “We want to be a source of content for these immigrant communities”, Aguilera concludes.
 
Trend

El Mundo America’s launch highlights how media properties in the Spanish-speaking world are increasing their efforts to cater to Spanish-language audiences worldwide over digital media. As Cynthia Evans, Managing Director at GroupM/Mediaedge:cia and Director of Research for Latin America, said during her presentation at Portada’s 2009 Latin American Advertising and Media Summit, “technology is bringing people together across media and across borders.” Culture and language and content play an important role on what type of people come together (not geography).
 
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