Spanish-speaking audiences are an important and growing segment of the media industry, and especially of online media. When media executives view online user statistics, they frequently find that a part of their audience comes from overseas, well beyond the country the media is located in. These audiences are usually not the main target these companies are trying to reach, so the companies often find themselves unable to monetize these audiences through advertising.
However, companies and media are increasingly targeting their campaigns to these growing audiences. In recent years, new departments and executive resources have been specifically devoted to covering these new demands.
As this audience segment continues to quickly adapt to technology and follow it, the demand for Spanish language content will also continue to increase significantly. Some figures that support these trends show that Spanish web page content amounts to approximately 5% of total online content, while Internet users who are native Spanish speakers — specifically in the U.S., Latin America and Spain. — total more than 12% of all Internet users worldwide.
On the other hand, it is important to note that recent studies show that the number of Internet users in Latin America grew by 813% over the past eight years, a figure equivalent to more than 160 million users. In contrast, the percentage of Internet users worldwide grew by only 336% over the same time period.
During the next weeks Portada will offer a review of media properties with an important presence in the international market, and specifically within the global Latin market. Today we take a look at Union Radio (until recently Grupo Latino de Radio).
The group is part of Spain’s Grupo Prisa, which has a presence in 22 countries around the world. In the U.S., the group is represented by Editorial Santillana, some TV media, and Union Radio, says Luigi F. Bellizzi, Advertising and Communications Representative for Union Radio in Miami.
In Latin America, Union Radio is present in Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Panama and Mexico, in both talk radio and music formats. The group has a global edition, as well as individual websites for each country. An example of this is Los 40 principales, or Top 40, which has its own global edition and local editions for each country it broadcasts in. About 10,000 professionals from the entire group work on the global edition.
The global edition of the website www.los40.com has 1,700,343 unique users. Union Radio’s websites by country include caracol.com.co, besame.fm, and rockandpop.cl, among others, and have the following number of unique users: Argentina (272,823), Colombia (2,206,544), Costa Rica (49,001), Chile (633,435), Mexico (541,477) and Panama (17,194).
The Spanish used by the websites is adapted to each country’s idioms. In the various radio broadcasts, however, an effort is made to maintain the use of "neutral" Spanish so that the same content can be used in different countries. Likewise, content is also differentiated according to the country receiving the broadcast. Therefore, in most cases, content is created for each media directly in Spanish. The group does not produce content in English, since it exclusively targets the Spanish-speaking market.