Google’s YouTube has partnered with Colombian actress Sofía Vergara and independent producer and former NBC Chairman Ben Silverman to launch NuevOn, a bilingual, Hispanic-targeted pop culture and celebrity-oriented channel on the video platform. NuevOn, which is expected to launch in April, is among a suite of Hispanic-focused channels that YouTube is rolling out to cater to the growing online Hispanic population. Other properties include channels featuring sports, food and pop-culture content, either in English, in Spanish or bilingual.

“If you are not in this business today… you’ll be dead soon,” Silverman told the audience during an afternoon panel also featuring Mark Lopez, Google Hispanic’s head, and Gillian Sandler, Chairman and CEO at TodoBebe. Silverman left NBC in 2009 to found Electus, a multimedia production and distribution firm that quickly enlisted IAC’s Barry Diller as partner.

The opportunity, said Silverman, is to produce content that is made in the U.S. for U.S. audiences. “Think about it,” he said. “99% or the content you see on Spanish-language television is done elsewhere.”

Also preparing for an April launch is 123UnoDosTres, a bilingual channel targeting young bilingual, U.S.-born Hispanics. “We want to position it as the channel for the second -and third- generation online Hispanics, who have helped boost “massively huge” musical acts, including artists like Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, Wisin y Yandel, Romeo," says Michael Hirschorn, a former executive of Viacom’s VH1 and Chief Creative Officer of IconicTV, the company behind the effort. Creative partners for 123UnoDosTres include actor and director Jesse Terrero and entertainment executive James Cruz.

Google will be charged with selling the channels, and is currently working on pitching them to marketers trying to reach Hispanics online.

YouTube’s Hispanic channels -as well as other partnerships in the digital space- were announced Wednesday at Google’s second Hispanic Forum in Manhattan, which attracted over 400 people from the Hispanic media and marketing industry. Lopez kicked off the Forum by presenting the audience some staggering statistics involving Latinos, including the fact that 88% of all growth among the 18-34 population between 2010 and 2020 will come from U.S. Hispanics.

While most of the day’s presentations focus on the digital space, Univision took the opportunity to unveil the findings of its “Hispanic Patient Journey” study, showing among other things the lack of targeted messaging when it comes to pharmaceutical and health-care products.

“Hispanics represent over 50 million of the U.S. population, but only 1% of the total advertising dollars target U.S. Hispanics. How can that be?” said Eric Talbot, vp of brand solutions/Healthcare at Univision. “We know that if the Hispanic share of prescription sales equaled their share of the total U.S. population, the pharma industry could capitalize on a $12 billion growth opportunity,” said Talbot.


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