Carmen di Rienzo, president and CEO of V-me, talked to Portada minutes after the Prisa deal was announced.
Di Rienzo, did not want to disclose the value of the transaction but acknowledged that “as any advertiser supported business today, V-Me is experiencing the vagaries of the market and therefore a new investment is very welcome”. Prisa is buying a 12% stake in V-Me and will increase its stake to a majority position within the next twelve months. Prisa executives Juan Luis Cebrian and Manuel Polanco will join V-Me’s board.
According to di Rienzo, the “transaction highlights the value of the Hispanic market as an important component of Latin markets overall”. In her opinion, Prisa’s vast distribution and content assets have a lot of appeal for V-Me. She adds that Prisa brands that have a particular cross over appeal include the following: Sogecable (Movies content), “40 Principales” (music) as well as Lifestyle programming (e.g. “Viajar”). Di Rienzo also emphasizes that Prisa has more than 300 websites that attract more than 33 million unique users in the Spanish and Portuguese – speaking world. She notes that there is “tremendous room for growth for V-Me’s digital strategy (online and mobile) and that Prisa’s web and social networking assets can help to substantially grow that business”.
Investment to Push Content and Promotion
”The new funds are going to be invested in content and the promotion of it”, says di Rienzo. V-Me’s Ad-sales team will get more resources to expand its sales force to other cities (it currently is based in New York City).
Prisa also owns significant radio assets in the United States, where its majority held subsidiary GLR (Grupo Latino de Radio) owns and operates stations in Los Angeles and Miami. Asked whether V-Me is going to partner with GLR and how it plans to so, di Rienzo states that “there are tremendous opportunities in the sales arena and on the content arena with GLR. Some advertising packages will emphasize not just TV, but also online and radio. So there are great opportunities to work together. Luis Gutierrez, the Director of Advertising Sales of GLR, and his team may also look for opportunities to capture content from V-Me.”