A Look into MSN’s Hispanic Content Strategy

How should major online destinations target the Hispanic population? Is it about just curating or also producing content? How should content be integrated into Social Media Platforms? We talked to Rafael Carranza, Head of U.S. Hispanic and Spanish Markets Programming Hub at Microsoft Information’s and Content Experiences Group.

Microsoft recently struck a deal with AOL through which AOL's sales team will sell advertising into MSN in the U.S. and many other markets (although not so in Spanish-speaking Latin America). Content related matters continue to be the sole responsibility of MSN. We had a conversation with Rafael Carranza, Head of U.S. Hispanic and Spanish Markets Programming Hub at Microsoft Information’s and Content Experiences Group (photo) on his strategy when it comes to target the Hispanic population.

The jury is still out on the financial viability of English-language media targeting the Hispanic population (see for instance Voxxi's recent demise as well as MTV3rs, Mun2 and NuvoTV, either folding or substantially changing their strategy - e.g. Mun2 turning into NBC Universo). Is this why MSN continues to bet on the on Spanish-language content to target Hispanics? According to Rafael Carranza, "the model is not about creating an independent media offering for English speaking or bilingual Latinos, but about effectively engaging with this segment within the wide scope of the media they consume. Since 2000 the Hispanic population growth has been driven more by births in America than immigration. Ninety three percent of the Hispanic children in the country are native-born citizens and they tend to be bilingual or English dominant as they grow."
Carranza adds, that "MSN Latino continues to be the Spanish-language product for our Hispanic users in the U.S. If Latino was not set in your favorites, the systems will serve you the version depending on the language you have configured in your computer."

It is not about creating an independent media offering for English speaking or bilingual Latinos, but about effectively engaging with this segment within the wide scope of the media they consume.
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Mobile-first, Cloud-first World

MSNIn fact, MSN Latino does not produce original content. Carranza notes that the strategy is to build best-in-class platforms and productivity services for a mobile-first, cloud-first world. "When our group reinvented MSN last year we switched from a traditional media approach to becoming a platform where our users could find the content from the media companies they prefer as well as other services and tools they use. Technology has a big role, but relevance and quality is very important, therefore we have MSN team distributed across the world curating the content that is published in our properties."
MSN Latino is also integrated with other Microsoft properties such as Skype, Messenger, XBox and Bing. "As part of the platform approach mentioned above, MSN includes a search bar and service stripe that helps users to connect with the Microsoft services they need."

CHECK OUT:
Frank Holland, Global VP, Advertising & Online at Microsoft on the 2014 MSN redesign (Spanish)
Susan Kuchinskas recent piece "Will Ads follow Social Media?"


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