Applications. Apps… Everyone talks about them. Ipad applications, Iphone applications, Blackberry applications… Consumers, particularly Latin consumers, love them. So do major marketers who use them to connect with and engage the consumer.But can media properties use them to make money to sell sponsorships and advertising?

There are already quite a few Hispanic media properties selling sponsorships and advertising around applications. “Advertising is currently being sold around apps”, says Juan Jose Duran, Interactive Media Director U.S at Televisa Publishing and Digital in Miami.

“I think that advertisers are conscious about the fact that users prefer applications rather than text or visual advertising on mobile phones. They offer a rich and welcoming experience”, says Fernando Monedero, Managing Director at MPG International (Havas Media) in Miami, who plans and buys digital media for brands including BBVA, LVMH (incl. Dior), Hyundai- Kia, Gruma, Office Depot and Mars.

HALF A MILLION DOWNLOADS

“Our smartphone apps for videos and soccer have had huge success. In fact, among all free sports apps four days after it was launched. To date, we have had over 500,000 downloads of our soccer app and more than 400,000 of our video app across major platforms including iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry and Nokia,” says Kevin Conroy, President, Univision Interactive Media.”

Univision supported World Cup Games with mobile live streaming content.The company introduced iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android apps to deliver extra content and support its Spanish language streaming of all 64 games of 2010 FIFA World Cup. The app provides latest news, videos and photos from the tournament in synchronization with UnivisionFutbol.com and include dedicated blogs and social media fan pages To engage users.

In February 2010 Telemundo's TV station group announced the launch of the first Spanish-language news/entertainment iPhone app. The app, powered by mobile partner LSN Mobile's local wireless platform, are an extension of, 'A la Mano', which was launched in 2007 to deliver web site content from the local stations to mobile users. There are nine apps in total, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami, New York, San Jose, Houston, Puerto Rico and Phoenix.

The new apps feature all the informative 'A la Mano' content, including news, weather, sports, entertainment, slideshows, high-quality video, lottery numbers and horoscopes, in addition to local market personalization in an easy-to-navigate design. The 'A la Mano' iPhone apps are available free in the U.S. in the app Store on the iPhone or in iTunes. “We will be launching new Network apps in 2011”,Says Enrique Perez, , SVP of Local Sales for Telemundo.

Batanga, an online source for Latin music, launched a free app for iPhone and iTouch. The app is fully integrated with Batanga's online radio platform, and allows users to listen to their existing personalized favorite radio stations.

“The launch of the Batanga Radio app provides U.S. Hispanics with the first-ever Latin focused radio app and instantly allows them to enjoy thousands Of songs that could not be found on any other streaming radio application.” says Batanga's Chairman and CEO, Rafael Urbina. The application gives Batanga the ability to merge users accounts, the same accounts that can be used in both the site and the mobile app. “The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and passionate,” says Urbina.

Televisa Publishing and Digital has three apps available in the U.S. Hispanic market, says Televisa's Juan Jose Duran: “Televisa Deportes, which provides premier content from our sports division, Minuto x Minuto, a webcast or detail info from live soccer games, and Televisa Espectaculos which focuses on entertainment news”, Duran says.

“We launched the very first and only iPhone app for local Spanish-language TV stations with the mobile partner LSN Mobile. When we launched we had the support and continue to have the support of such advertisers as Ford, Chevrolet, Picture House, University of Phoenix among others,” Telemundo's Perez explains.

Steven Swartz, president of Hearst Newspapers recently said at Portada's Fourth Annual Hispanic Digital and Print Media Conference that “we have had to evolve with the change in technology.We are looking at having an app for our newspapers as the iPad and the other tablets are coming out in the market.”

 

PRICING

Advertising pricing strategies in mobile apps can take various forms.“We do not price mobile apps as an add-on but as a separate digital media placement, and usually it is priced higher than a regular media placement since it is more targeted”, says Televisa's Juan Jose Duran. Both the CPM (Cost per thousand impressions) and the sponsorship model are used to sell advertising in mobile apps.

“We sell advertising in our mobile applications, including display, rich media and pre-roll ads, as well as sponsorships and CPM-based media buys.Ads are primarily priced individually, but we also sell cross-platform category sponsorships that encompass both our online and mobile platforms”, says Kevin Conroy, President of Univision Interactive Media.

Telemundo's Enrique Perez notes that advertising in applications is sold through the Telemundo Station Group sales team. “ The applications are ad supported with banners, display and click throughs. It has everything the WAP has”, Perez says.

Other Hispanic media properties including AARP's Viva and People en español do not have their mobile apps totally ready yet. “At AARP we sell Hispanic as a multiplatform, but right now no mobile apps are involved”, says Roger Gonzalez, president of Alliance Media, a firm that sells advertising for AARP Viva.

OWNED MEDIA AS OPPOSED TO PAID MEDIA

Corporations use applications to reach and engage consumers. In fact, applications and social media are making corporations as much about media (owned media) than about advertising (paid media).

“Advertisers are offering apps to their consumers as interactive tools with their brands, as enjoyable games or as useful services, like currency exchange apps from banks or apps that compare flight rates from airlines. It's a great way to engage consumers and obtain their loyalty”, MPG's Fernando Monedero tells Portada.

Swedish Furniture retailer Ikea recently launched a Spanish-language catalogue application for Iphones, Sofia Escamilla, VP Media at the Phelps Group tells Portada.

Que Rica Vida, a multi-brand Hispanic marketing platform owned by General Mills, recently launched its first Spanish-language application for the Apple(R) iPad platform, which provides Spanish-speaking consumers with instant access to more than 900 Latin-inspired recipes, in 12 different categories, such as appetizers and snacks, breakfasts, salads, garnishes, drinks and beverages, breads, pastas, pastries and cookies, entrees, desserts, sauces and soups. The app, Que Rica Vida Recetario, is available at no charge on iTunes. Each recipe also comes with a full-color picture, and in a unique feature that will make preparing all these great dishes easier, Que Rica Vida Recetario provides users with a measurement converter, with snap calculation capabilities. The app also connects directly with QueRica Vida.com's web site, where users can immediately access more recipes and a wealth of other useful information about parenting, health and education.

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