Terra Sees Mobile Soar: Q&A With CEO Fernando Rodríguez

Fernando Rodríguez is the CEO of Terra Networks in the U.S.

Fernando Rodríguez is the CEO of Terra Networks in the U.S.

In 2012, when Terra.com live broadcast the Summer Olympics, traffic to the site not only soared but threw light over a fast-growing, unstoppable digital trend: Users were increasingly accessing the events from their mobile devices, whether a smartphone or a tablet. In fact, according to Terra's own research, the number of visits coming to Terra.com from a tablet doubled in 2012 compared to the previous year.

To learn about the latest mobile trends and Terra’s most recent soccer initiative, Jugadores Número 10 / Number 10 Players presented by BlackBerry, Portada caught up with Fernando Rodríguez, CEO of Terra Networks in the United States, who was on his way back from the Hispanic Media Summit in Hollywood.

An edited transcript follows:

Portada: What is Jugadores Número 10?

Fernando Rodríguez, CEO of Terra Networks: "Jugadores Número 10 is a soccer platform inside our sports site featuring some of the greatest soccer players in the world. This is a site presented by BlackBerry and it makes a connection between the Number 10 and the new BlackBerry 10 smartphone. Users can go to the site to vote for their favorite number 10 player; enter to win a trip to see a qualifying match between Mexico and the U.S. and read blog post from some prominent sports journalists and soccer players, including Mexican soccer icon Cuauhtémoc Blanco and other journalists Inés Sainz, Alejandro Farffann, Pedro Pinto and Keyvan Heydari. The first phase of this promotion goes through the first week of June."

P: How is Terra preparing for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil?

F.R.: "We are really beefing up our soccer coverage, which has long been an important part of Terra, not only in the U.S. but throughout Latin America. We are also aware that our content is being accessed in second –and third- screens, and that users want to interact much more. Our content has to be more ‘social,’ so we are implementing tools for users to interact, vote, create, etc."

P: How do you leverage your Latin American content with your U.S. site?

F.R.: "We are taking advantage of our strong presence in soccer coverage in both Spain and Latin America, where most of the best soccer action is taking place. We now have a dedicated team working on translating and adapting our Spanish-language content into English. We are beefing up our English content because we want to reach not only second –and third- generation Hispanics but also non-Hispanics who love soccer. The idea is simple: To leverage our presence in Spain and Latin America and bring it to the U.S. soccer fans."

P: What would you say is the biggest trend right now among your audience?

F.R.: "We have seen a tremendous growth in visitors coming to Terra.com from a mobile device; in fact in 2012 we doubled the audience that came from a tablet. This is an opportunity, but also a challenge, so we have to constantly invest in improving users’ experience in mobiles and tablets. Only last year, during our live coverage of the Summer Olympics in London we had 16 million people visiting the special from a mobile device."

P: Is mobile the new way to the future?

F.R.: "I think mobile is definitely the way to the future, but it has a long way to go... When it comes to advertising, mobile still lags behind traditional web, and I can tell it's far from monetization. This is mainly because it is still a relatively recent phenomenon and also because there is still a gap between the reality of usage and the adaptation of the industry."


Laura Martinez (@miblogestublog)

Laura has lived and worked as a journalist in Mexico, Chile, Argentina and the U.S. She was the founder and editor in chief of Marketing y Medios magazine, an English- language trade publication devoted to explaining the Hispanic market to a non-Spanish speaking audience of executives and marketers. Prior to that, she was responsible for creating and launching the Spanish-language edition of the Wall Street Journal. She was also the creator and founding editor of Entrepreneur magazine´s Spanish-language Web site www.SoyEntrepreneur.com. She is fluent in Spanish, English and French and works as a freelance writer and editor in New York City.

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