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AUDIENCE MONETIZATION: Do Latin Digital Properties have something to teach their U.S. peers?


Digiday’s Josh Sternberg argues in a recent article  that  U.S. publishers often like to brag about their global reach in traffic. According to Digiday, “their big problem, however, is that they view non-U.S. readers as more of a problem than an opportunity.” We respectfully disagree with Mr. Sternberg, because major U.S. digital media properties are already focusing on selling their foreign audiences to advertisers. In addition, we venture to say that Latin publishers (U.S. Hispanic, Latin American and Spain) may be doing a better job than their U.S. peers when it comes to monetizing foreign audiences.  Here is why.

The reach of English and Spanish-language content by far exceeds national boundaries. That opens up big opportunities for English and Spanish-language publishers to monetize their content outside of their home markets. Corporations, who in the age of content marketing are increasingly behaving like media, sit in front of the same opportunity. In a  recent article (“Global Audiences: Better in Theory than Reality“),  Digiday’s Josh Sternberg argues that  U.S.publishers” often like to brag about their global reach in traffic. Their big problem, however, is that they view non-U.S. readers as more of a problem than an opportunity. ”

As the table below shows for three major U.S. digital properties there is a big difference between their  total traffic  and their  purely U.S. based traffic.

PropertyTotal Audience  U.S.      Global 
The New York Times42.727.715
The Wall Street Journal23.912.411.5
Huffington Post63.545.318.2

Source: ComScore, December, Million Uniques


We would like to raise two issues:

Our Take:

The Digiday article fails to take into account that most major U.S. digital media properties have units that sell foreign digital audiences to U.S. based  and foreign advertisers. This is not only the case for those audiences that have English as a mother tongue but  also for those that speak English as a second language (e.g. middle and upper class Latin Americans). A sizable amount of Latin American visitors go to the websites of U.S. based media to access content in English.

For example, The Wall Street JournalThe Wall Street Journal’s Le Dunff, “Indeed, we do sell the Latin American audience of the WSJ digital Network. Based on Omniture, our December traffic from Latam was 708,936 visitors.”  (These figures are from December 2011) . So does The New York Times: “We are still selling online IP targeting in Latin America and hope to add mobile to the mix next year”, The New York Times’ Ana Torres says.  She adds, that the has 1.175 million unique visitors coming from Latin America every month.


Our Take:

We think that may very well be the case.  At least,  Latin American and U.S. Hispanic publishers have a  bigger focus on geotargeting. Spain and Latin American based media properties have been monetizing their audiences in the  U.S. Hispanic market and other Spanish-speaking regions of the world for many years now. There is a big incentive to do so. Contrary to the U.S, which is a huge market, most Latin American digital markets (except Brazil) are relatively small.  Media properties can increase their sales in a sizeable way  by geotargeting advertising to their foreign audiences.  Another incentive is that  CPM’s and other price metrics are higher in the U.S. Hispanic market than in most Latin American countries. Geotargeting has been and will continue to be a sizable revenue driver for Latin media properties. This is less the case for Anglosaxon properties.


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