The importance of developing Spanish-language content in the media and advertising industries cannot be emphasized enough. More than 350 million people speak Spanish as a native language—more than 10% of whom live in the U.S—making it the world's second most-spoken language by native speakers after Mandarin Chinese (and before English!).
The opportunity this presents for the content, advertising and media industries is enormous. Relative to English, there is a dearth of Spanish-language content on the Web. Internet usage statistics for 2007 show Spanish as the third most commonly used language on the Internet, after English and Chinese. The demographic figures cited above suggest that it should climb to the second rank and this is where media companies and digital content providers, and the advertising dollars supporting them, need to step up to the plate.
The proliferation of digital media and advertising is increasingly enabling advertisers to target very specific segments of the worldwide Spanish-speaking population. There are many untapped opportunities to meet the needs of consumers and advertisers.
To illustrate, ask yourself the following: Does the New York Times currently offer special offers to the Hispanic visitors of their website or to those subscribers who specified that they are Hispanic in The New York Times e-newsletter registration process?
The same way Dow Jones launched a very successful special print edition called The Wall Street Journal Americas in the early nineties, additional efforts are now being made in the digital arena. Portada has heard that the company recently acquired by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. is looking to expand its online Spanish-language offering. News Corp. also owns Punto Fox, which owns many online properties in the Spanish-speaking world and represents many more.
Once local newspapers in Spain and Latin America now brand themselves as global newspapers in Spanish (e.g. Spain’s El Pais, El Periodico global en espanol). Large U.S. Hispanic websites derive a significant amount of their visitors from outside of the U.S. When it comes to cultural interests (particularly music, literature, language), there are many commonalities among Spanish-speaking audiences worldwide.
All these developments are highly positive and bode well for the continued expansion of the content, advertising and media industries for Spanish-speaking audiences. For a celebration of this industry download Portada’s 5th Year Anniversary Special Issue at www.portada-online.com.