Analysis: Univision-Hulu / Telemundo-YouTube; 5 Things You need to know

The two Hispanic broadcast behemoths Univision and Telemundo just announced two new partnerships. Telemundo is partnering with YouTube to launch Telemundo and Mun2 channels on the Google owned online media property. Univision announced that video streaming website Hulu will have a selection of the Spanish-language soap opera dramas known as telenovelas and other shows from Univision.
These are important announcements. See why in this analysis piece by Portadas Editorial Team. Five things you need to know.

1. What’s the big deal?  Do Hispanics even watch videos online?

You bet. In fact, Hispanics watch online videos much more than their “general market” counterparts. This is particularly true for Spanish – language online video content. Spanish-dominant Hispanics spent substantially more time (50% more!) than English – dominant Hispanics watching Spanish online video content.:1238 minutes per viewer/month, versus 811 minutes per viewer (June 2011, ComScore data).

2. But isn’t Spanish online video content scarce?

There is definitely not enough. As several media buyers tell Portada (see our current print issue feature “Will Online Video (Advertising) kill the Univision Star?), there is not enough online video content targeting Hispanics. Lisa Torres, President, Zenith Media Multicultural, says “Right Now the Hispanic market is still broadcast. There is a lack of content particularly from Univision. Online video advertising is only going to change once Univision primetime comes online.”
That is also why out of a total universe of 26.4 million unique Hispanic visitors last June a relatively small proportion of Spanish primary speakers (5.1 million) watch online video. This is probably a symptom of the relative scarcity of Spanish-language online and video content available to cater to the Spanish-dominant part of the Hispanic population.  (However, as noted above those Spanish primary speakers that do watch online video have a very high engagement).

3. So, does the announcement of the Univision Hulu and Telemundo-YouTube deals change this?

Yes. As Andy Forssell, SVP for content acquisition and distribution for Hulu, says there hasn’t been long-form Spanish language content online in any significant amount” until now. Hulu will have a selection of the Spanish-language soap opera dramas known as telenovelas and other shows from Univision.

4. Will these partnerships be a substantial revenue driver for Telemundo and/or Univision?

Unlikely in the short term. Particularly if you take into account the large size of these companies revenue bases. Online Video Advertising, although growing, is not that big yet. It is dwarfed by Broadcast TV revenues. Interestingly, the Univision move seems to be more a subscription driven than an advertising driven play. According to Tonia O’Connor, president of distribution and sales and marketing for Univision, the Univision shows will be available only to paying subscribers of Hulu Plus, the $8-a-month subscription arm of Hulu. The Telemundo – You Tube initiative is more advertising driven as viewers can access the videos for free.

5. According to our current print issue story the broadcast networks have a certain conflict of interest when they put their content online. They risk cannibalizing their enormous TV audiences, for which advertisers pay high CPMs. As more content moves online TV audiences can now stream the content. Advertisers pay lower CPM’s to reach online audiences.  So why are Univision and Telemundo moving towards putting more content online?

Yesterday’s announcements have to be seen as initial steps by Univision and Telemundo. There is a reality they try to meet: Younger audiences are going online. It is their main medium. They watch much less TV and go much more online than older generations. Univision and Telemundo need to be in touch and develop their communication with younger audiences and primetime content on the Internet is crucial to maintain that link.


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