AOL Mexico’s Director of Programming Talks with Portada

By 2011, the current Mexican online audience of 23.6 million users—a 25% total penetration—is expected to grow to 39.5 million users at a rate of 14% annually. Currently, broadband penetration stands at a relatively low 16.4%, but is expected to roughly double to 32.2% by 2011. On an even steeper growth curve is the online advertising spend—now at $82 million—which is expected to reach $192 million by 2011 (E-marketer).

Hoping to capitalize on this largely untapped—and rapidly growing—online market, AOL has launched a Mexican online destination. While it will share some content with AOL Latino, that content will be localized to the tastes and interests of the Mexican Online audience. AOL has an office in Mexico City with a staff of 20; half of the workers are web developers, while the other half are working on exclusive editorial features.

The portal will partner with various content providers, such as Grupo Editorial Expansion, a member of the Time-Warner family of companies. “We’re really open to establishing relationships with whichever providers we feel can supply the best content,” said programming director Carlos Ferreyra, adding that the company is open to working with local newspapers.

The content offering consists of 8 products and twelve channels. The products include: mail, instant messaging, search, a video service, photo-sharing, Winamp music service, and a toolbar. The twelve channels will cover: News, sports, chat, games, money, music, entertainment, videos, blogs, the lottery, weather, and horoscopes. The company describes this content offering as part of its effort to present visitors with: “A clean and simple layout, enhanced visual appeal, comprehensive coverage focusing on community, news and sports, and shared Mexico and US Hispanic experiences.”

Carlos Ferreyra says the company’s goal is to have AOL Mexico serve as a mall for users. “We want them to come to AOL Mexico and, instead of being presented with a monolithic experience, to encounter many different storefronts of content and interactive features.”

For instance, the portals business content under the “Dinero & Exito” channel is being provided in conjunction with CNN and Grupo Expansion through their website,

The site will also feature co-branded portals with Alestra and HP, both featuring AOL’s suite of products and services.

Future plans include a Q4 roll-out of a mobile site, and expansion into other Latin American markets including: Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Peru and Brazil

Related Article: AOL Latino Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with Special Programming(September, 2007)