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Ana Torres

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Digiday’s Josh Sternberg argues in a recent article  that  U.S. publishers often like to brag about their global reach in traffic. According to Digiday, “their big problem, however, is that they view non-U.S. readers as more of a problem than an opportunity.” We respectfully disagree with Mr. Sternberg, because major U.S. digital media properties are already focusing on selling their foreign audiences to advertisers. In addition, we venture to say that Latin publishers (U.S. Hispanic, Latin American and Spain) may be doing a better job than their U.S. peers when it comes to monetizing foreign audiences.  Here is why.

The reach of English and Spanish-language content by far exceeds national boundaries. That opens up big opportunities for English and Spanish-language publishers to monetize their content outside of their home markets. Corporations, who in the age of content marketing are increasingly behaving like media, sit in front of the same opportunity. In a  recent article (“Global Audiences: Better in Theory than Reality“),  Digiday’s Josh Sternberg argues that  U.S.publishers” often like to brag about their global reach in traffic. Their big problem, however, is that they view non-U.S. readers as more of a problem than an opportunity. ”

As the table below shows for three major U.S. digital properties there is a big difference between their  total traffic  and their  purely U.S. based traffic.

PropertyTotal Audience  U.S.      Global 
The New York Times42.727.715
The Wall Street Journal23.912.411.5
Huffington Post63.545.318.2

Source: ComScore, December, Million Uniques

 

We would like to raise two issues:

1: Did Digiday do its homework when researching for the article?

Our Take:

The Digiday article fails to take into account that most major U.S. digital media properties have units that sell foreign digital audiences to U.S. based  and foreign advertisers. This is not only the case for those audiences that have English as a mother tongue but  also for those that speak English as a second language (e.g. middle and upper class Latin Americans). A sizable amount of Latin American visitors go to the websites of U.S. based media to access content in English.

For example, The Wall Street JournalThe Wall Street Journal’s Le Dunff, “Indeed, we do sell the Latin American audience of the WSJ digital Network. Based on Omniture, our December traffic from Latam was 708,936 visitors.”  (These figures are from December 2011) . So does The New York Times: “We are still selling online IP targeting in Latin America and hope to add mobile to the mix next year”, The New York Times’ Ana Torres says.  She adds, that the Nytimes.com has 1.175 million unique visitors coming from Latin America every month.

 

2: Do Latin digital properties have something to teach their U.S. peers
about foreign audience monetization?

Our Take:

We think that may very well be the case.  At least,  Latin American and U.S. Hispanic publishers have a  bigger focus on geotargeting. Spain and Latin American based media properties have been monetizing their audiences in the  U.S. Hispanic market and other Spanish-speaking regions of the world for many years now. There is a big incentive to do so. Contrary to the U.S, which is a huge market, most Latin American digital markets (except Brazil) are relatively small.  Media properties can increase their sales in a sizeable way  by geotargeting advertising to their foreign audiences.  Another incentive is that  CPM’s and other price metrics are higher in the U.S. Hispanic market than in most Latin American countries. Geotargeting has been and will continue to be a sizable revenue driver for Latin media properties. This is less the case for Anglosaxon properties.

Top-tier U.S. media also have strong brand equity outside the U.S. Their audiences, both in the U.S. and internationally, are the dream of many marketers: Sophisticated, affluent, frequent travelers and influential.

The Washington Post, The New York Times and the The Wall Street Journal have had properties targeting Latin America, Spain and even the U.S. Hispanic market for a long time. Both in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Long before the advent of the digital age, Latin American editions of The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal have been published in many Latin American countries (e.g. Mexico’s Reforma publishes a The Wall Street Journal Special edition in Spanish, so does Chile’s El Mercurio) and in Spain The New York Times publishes a weekly insert in Madrid headquartered newspaper El Pais.

In Print

A few years ago, The Wall Street Journal published editions inserted in Hispanic newspapers. These newspapers included Reflejos, Washington Hispanic as well as the now defunct Rumbo newspaper chain (one newspaper Rumbo Houston is still being published).” To date, The Wall Street Journal does not partner with any U.S. Hispanic newspaper,” Carl Le Dunff, Managing Director, Sales Latin America & Caribbean, The Wall Street Journal Americas tells Portada.

The Wall Street Journal Americas publishes selected content from The Wall Street Journal, bearing the Journal’s banner, within major daily and weekly newspapers in the Americas. Its Special Editions are carried in 18 newspapers in 17 Latin American countries with a combined circulation of 1.459 million. The latest edition added in 2011 is Ultima Hora in Paraguay.

The New York Times, International Weekly is an 8 to 12 page supplement with writing, photography and graphics from The New York Times. It is distributed within the leading newspapers in Latin America, including Argentina’s Clarin, Brazil’s Folha and Mexico’s Reforma, and has a combined daily circulation of more than 1.1 million.

Ana Torres, Director Latin America, at The New York Times Syndication Sales, tells Portada that the latest additions have been launches in Aruba, Bahamas and another partnership with a paper in Chiapas (Mexico).

…and digitally

The big news is really that a sizable amount of Latin American visitors go to the websites of U.S. based media to access content in English. “The Washington Post does not publish any print editions in Latin America. Our reach there is through our website, washingtonpost.com,” says Diana Backlund, International Advertising Manager at the Washington Post.

“Washingtonpost.com has an international audience of 21+ Million unique visitors, and 357,800 unique monthly visitors from Latin America. We do sell that audience and have several clients geo-targeting specific countries or regions around the world,” Backlund adds.

We are selling online IP targeting in Latin America and hope to add mobile to the mix next year

Selling the The Washington Post to Latin American audiences is an interesting endeavor: “Each country, and each corporation, has unique needs when it comes to bringing their message to Washington. The messages we assist clients with range from branding campaigns for countries, or advocacy campaigns designed to influence opinions and policies; or perhaps a ministry of tourism or destination with needs to increase tourism or to promote safe tourism; or a nation or province looking to attract investors; or a company looking to brand itself or promote its brand and perhaps corporate responsibility. These issues can be similar across the world, but just to different degrees. The only true differences are the cultural and sometimes political influences or considerations that affect decisions and negotiations.” Backlund concludes.

In addition to its print offerings, The Wall Street Journal also monetizes the traffic that WSJ.com (in English) gets from Latin America. According to the Wall Street Journal’s Le Dunff, “Indeed, we do sell the Latin American audience of the WSJ digital Network. Based on Omniture, our December traffic from Latam was 708,936 visitors.” “We are still selling online IP targeting in Latin America and hope to add mobile to the mix next year”, The New York Times’ Ana Torres says. Nytimes.com has 1.175 million unique visitors coming from Latin America every month.

The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post are not the only digital media properties that Latin American nationals use outside their national borders.

(From Portada’s Third Quarter 2012 print issue)