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In an exclusive interview Cynthia Hudson, SVP and managing director of CNN en Español and Hispanic strategy at CNN, explains how COVID-19 has moved her company to build new offerings in tune with audiences new content needs as well as to optimize content delivery across different screens.

In Q1 2020 CNN en Español’s linear TV audiences have seen triple digit growth rates compared to Q3 2019. The growth has been buoyed up because last March CNN en Español was included in the basic DirecTV package, which helped boost the channel’s overall audience to 22 million households. April 2020, was CNN en Español’s third highest month on record in terms of linear TV viewership by the 25-54 year old demographic.

Hudson tells Portada that CNN en Español’s audience is growing at a very high rate, particularly in digital channels including video and podcast. April 2020 surpassed March 2020 as the biggest month on record in terms of unique visitors at https://cnnespanol.cnn.com, with 50 million unique users and 123% year on year growth, and 123 million video starts (130% year on year growth).

Advertiser Response

The high growth rate of  digital audiences has enabled CNN en Español to substantially increase its programmatic advertising sales, particularly for video. “Advertising in video-programmatic has been three times higher year-to-date, compared to the same period last year,” Hudson asserts. “Our podcasts are sold out until July,” she adds. Regarding overall advertiser response in the current COVID-19 health crisis, Hudson notes that “advertisers are interested in finding ways to reach people with different messaging. They are conscientious about what the consumer really needs. Right now the consumer needs to know that he is not alone.”

Advertising in video-programmatic has been three times higher year-to-date, compared to the same period last year.

At least part of CNN en Español’s audience increase can be attributed to the high credibility of CNN en Español’s information. Hudson emphasizes that it is precisely in times of crisis that audiences crave for “real news, facts and reliable sources.”

Content: Everything Changed …

“COVID-19 changed everything. We are trying to address the new questions: News that impact your life, your CNN en espanolfuture and your family,”Hudson notes. “We are finding we need to grow where the people are and are developing new ways to engage with the audience,” Hudson says. As one example she cites the podcast “COVID19 con el doctor Helmer Huerta”, which has had an audience of more than 1 million listeners. To reinforce its connection with its audience CNN en Español recently activated the “Aquí estamos Campaign.” The campaign stresses that in times of uncertainty, the facts reported by CNN provide clarity and comfort. The campaign is being promoted internally at CNN as well as through CNN en espanol’s digital and linear TV channels.
A new podcast analysing Latino issues and voting trends for the 2020 November election is in the offing. Called “Voto Latino” it will be led by journalist Juan Carlos Lopez. According to Hudson the podcast will address topics such as where Latino politics is going to and what is happening with the political season. “It’s important to take into account that however we manage politics in this country, it reverberates across the world,” she notes.

COVID-19 changed everything. We are trying to address the new questions: News that impact your life, your future and your family.

…including Content Delivery

CNN en Español has been implementing a strategy of delivering content on specific topic areas over linear TV and digital vehicles (desktop, ipad, mobile phones etc.). These include anchor Xabier Serbia led programming on business/finance as well as “Vive la Salud”, a health and well-being show aired every Thursday after CNN’s global town hall. Some segments are specifically built for digital and are broadcast via the Facebook live platform.

Regarding 2021 programming, Hudson notes that the lessons learned during this process are going to continue in 2021. Hudson, who oversees all aspects of CNN’s Spanish-language media businesses, including newsgathering, and editorial content, plans a three pronged evolution of programming. First supporting the ongoing evolution of content delivery across different platforms. Second several documentaries and new series will air next year. Finally, CNN en Español is going to continue to build out content from its bureaus including its offices in Mexico and Argentina (e.g. CNN Primera Manana con Nacho Giron and all news format from CNN’s Argentina office.).

According to Comscore, Impremedia’s digital properties, along with Univision and Telemundo, have by far the most audience among Spanish-language news publishers in the U.S. Portada talked to Iván Adaime about opportunities in Spanish’-language publishing in the U.S., programmatic ad sales, SEO, social and more.

 

 Iván Adaime Discloses Impremedia’s Secret

“Not a single news publisher —U.S. based or foreign-based— has more digital Spanish-language audience in the country than Impremedia, Telemundo or Univision,” Iván Adaime, CEO of Impremedia, tells Portada.

Having and monetizing owned-and-operated digital properties has its advantages versus the offerings of advertising networks and other intermediaries in the ad market. According to Adaime, “a publisher like us has an audience of its own. It’s an engaged audience that we reach by creating unique content that appeals to the U.S. Hispanic population. Being a publisher also gives you the ability to create custom content for advertisers and distribute it at scale. An ad network, on the other hand, is just a collection of unconnected foreign-based websites that you can buy directly using any programmatic channel, so its unique value proposition is, unlike in the past, becoming less appealing.”

Content is the main reason behind the 50% year-over-year growth of Impremedia’s audience in the last few years. “The main reason is our content. That’s the key investment on our end. Then you would have to add a clean and fast user experience to the mix. We do not use any interstitial and intrusive ads for example. Finally, we pay close attention to data and analytics. ”

Being a publisher gives you also the ability to create custom content for advertisers and distribute it at scale.

 

Programmatic: the Main Source of Digital Revenues

Ivan Adaime
Impremedia CEO Iván Adaime

If you have an audience at scale and the right ad quality metrics like viewability, programmatic is great. Actually, it is our main source of digital revenues”, Iván Adaime notes. With that said, Adaime still sees an opportunity for direct sales as there are a lot of clients that still prefer to do it this way, and some advertising categories that do not transact well in programmatic.

 

Spanish-Language Publishing is the Largest Opportunity

Impremedia produces content in Spanish for U.S. based audiences because this is where it sees the most opportunity as it is an underserved audience. “We see a bigger opportunity with content in Spanish. We haven’t seen the model ‘English with cultural nuances’ working at scale.”

 

Spanish-Language SEO in the U.S.

As a publisher of Spanish-language content in the U.S, how does Impremedia navigate the SEO space? Is there less competition than for English-language keywords both in terms of SEO and SEM? According to Iván Adaime, search engine optimization is something that he pays close attention to. “There are very few US-based publishers but there’s plenty of competition coming from foreign publishers. We do not do any SEM because we do not pay for traffic. We only invest in creating quality content.”

 

Social: 2 Million Fans and 300,000 Newsletter Subscribers

Impremedia has close to 2 million fans on social media, who are a good source of the company’s traffic. Iván Adaime notes that Impremedia “does not pay to acquire fans, nor do we pay to promote our stories in those platforms. We only invest in creating the type of quality content that attracts our target audience. Newsletters are also a product that we pay a lot of attention to. We have over 300,000 subscribers that are actively engaged.”

 

In the era of technology, the winner is the one who adapts faster. Thus, clients are moving their programmatic ad buying in house, as well as looking for media services in big consultancy firms such as Accenture. This results in a need for tech knowledge in ad media agencies who are  facing challenges to remain relevant. Learn how Portada Council System’s leading brand marketers and agency executives offer solutions to better adapt to an increasingly demanding technological landscape. 

 

Kick-Off Facts

need for tech knowledge

  • About 30% of marketers were unsatisfied with their agency model in 2018. (Movidiam)
  • Nearly 80% of the brands that are members of the U.S. Association of National Advertisers (ANA) have some form of in-house agency, almost double since 2008. (ANA)
  • In 2019, the purchase of creative ad agency Droga5 by Accenture meant adding a creative muscle not normally associated with giant consulting firms. Additionally, WPP announced that it would not participate in pitches audited by Accenture.

Check out the previous Brand Marketer Challenge here: Social Media’s Evolving Role, 4 Opportunities for Travel and Lifestyle Marketers 

Three Tech-Knowledge Challenges According to Portada Council System Members

1. Focusing on Digital Lower-Funnel Can Hurt Traditional Brand Buiding

Related comment: “Consultancies and MarTech companies are mostly involved with lower-funnel conversion, but what happens if nothing comes in the lower funnel? Focus on digital to the exclusion of traditional media which may have a more brand building, higher-funnel role in messaging.”

This is just another fad in the industry. Media agencies have a much more unified approach to marketing and media than consultancies.

2. Finding the Right Talent Isn’t Easy

Related comment: “One way to boost talent and knowledge is by encouraging companies to move from vertical structures to demand cells (sales, marketing, supply, development, etc) so that they can evolve to multifunctional teams instead of verticalities.”

There’s too much technology, too many tools that no one knows how to handle.

3. Leadership is Too Far Above

Related comment: “Managers often give instructions from corporate without much real knowledge of the market.”

Many times, senior executives at agencies have a lot of theoretical knowledge they haven’t really put in practice.

If you are interested in joining the Portada Council System, our year-round knowledge sharing and networking platform, find out more here or contact us here if you are marketing services supplier and here if you are a brand marketer.

Two Tech Knowledge Opportunities identified by Portada Council System Members

1. Agencies Have Often More Cultural Knowledge than MarTech Companies

Related comment: “Firms with no cultural knowledge can affect messaging to multicultural segments. There is a need for cultural identifiers.”

Brands that market ‘in culture’ are more successful. Consultancies are often not able to take this into account.

2. Advertisers Have the Opportunity to Influence Talent Selection

Related comment: “Some clients are more prepared than the agency ‘experts'”

Practical example: A famous multinational company changed to a new agency and made sure to be able to influence payrolls, positions, objectives, etc.

It’s not about tecnology, but about knowledge.

 

If you are interested in joining the Portada Council System, our year-round knowledge-sharing and networking platform, find out more here or contact us here if you are marketing services supplier and here if you are a brand marketer.

In the era of technology, the winner is the one who adapts faster. Thus, clients are moving their programmatic ad buying in house, as well as looking for media services in big consultancy firms such as Accenture. This results in a need for tech knowledge in ad media agencies who are  facing challenges to remain relevant. Learn how Portada Council System’s leading brand marketers and agency executives offer solutions to better adapt to an increasingly demanding technological landscape. 

 

Kick-Off Facts

need for tech knowledge

  • About 30% of marketers were unsatisfied with their agency model in 2018. (Movidiam)
  • Nearly 80% of the brands that are members of the U.S. Association of National Advertisers (ANA) have some form of in-house agency, almost double since 2008. (ANA)
  • In 2019, the purchase of creative ad agency Droga5 by Accenture meant adding a creative muscle not normally associated with giant consulting firms. Additionally, WPP announced that it would not participate in pitches audited by Accenture.

Check out the previous Brand Marketer Challenge here: Social Media’s Evolving Role, 4 Opportunities for Travel and Lifestyle Marketers 

Three Tech-Knowledge Challenges According to Portada Council System Members

1. Focusing on Digital Lower-Funnel Can Hurt Traditional Brand Buiding

Related comment: “Consultancies and MarTech companies are mostly involved with lower-funnel conversion, but what happens if nothing comes in the lower funnel? Focus on digital to the exclusion of traditional media which may have a more brand building, higher-funnel role in messaging.”

This is just another fad in the industry. Media agencies have a much more unified approach to marketing and media than consultancies.

2. Finding the Right Talent Isn’t Easy

Related comment: “One way to boost talent and knowledge is by encouraging companies to move from vertical structures to demand cells (sales, marketing, supply, development, etc) so that they can evolve to multifunctional teams instead of verticalities.”

There’s too much technology, too many tools that no one knows how to handle.

3. Leadership is Too Far Above

Related comment: “Managers often give instructions from corporate without much real knowledge of the market.”

Many times, senior executives at agencies have a lot of theoretical knowledge they haven’t really put in practice.

If you are interested in joining the Portada Council System, our year-round knowledge sharing and networking platform, find out more here or contact us here if you are marketing services supplier and here if you are a brand marketer.

Two Tech Knowledge Opportunities identified by Portada Council System Members

1. Agencies Have Often More Cultural Knowledge than MarTech Companies

Related comment: “Firms with no cultural knowledge can affect messaging to multicultural segments. There is a need for cultural identifiers.”

Brands that market ‘in culture’ are more successful. Consultancies are often not able to take this into account.

2. Advertisers Have the Opportunity to Influence Talent Selection

Related comment: “Some clients are more prepared than the agency ‘experts'”

Practical example: A famous multinational company changed to a new agency and made sure to be able to influence payrolls, positions, objectives, etc.

It’s not about tecnology, but about knowledge.

 

If you are interested in joining the Portada Council System, our year-round knowledge-sharing and networking platform, find out more here or contact us here if you are marketing services supplier and here if you are a brand marketer.

What: In Q1 2017, the number of programmatic advertisers dropped substantially, falling 12% year-over-year, according to MediaRadar latest results of its “2016 Consumer Advertising Report”.
Why it matters: After years of growth, the decline in programmatic buyers is likely attributed to concerns around brand safety – especially given recent problems for companies like YouTube. The number of print ad pages decreased 8% year-over-year to 107,698 pages, while native ad buyers stood the biggest growth in buyers for any ad format.

MediaRadar, a intelligence platform for ad sales teams, has just announced the results of its “2016 Consumer Advertising Report,” examining ad spend, ad formats, top advertisers, and more for both print and digital channels in 2016, as well as Q1 2017.

Programmatic buyers down 12%

According to MediaRadar data, 45,008 advertisers purchased ads programmatically in Q1 2016. In Q1 2017, however, the number of programmatic advertisers dropped substantially, falling 12% year-over-year. On the quarter, more than 5,000 fewer advertisers (39,415) bought programmatically.

“After years of growth, the decline in programmatic buyers is likely attributed to concerns around brand safety – especially given recent problems for companies like YouTube. This form of advertising is continuing to evolve as brands seek more control over where their ads are running. We expect to see programmatic rise as more brands move to programmatic direct models,” said Todd Krizelman, CEO & Co-Founder of MediaRadar.

The number of native ad buyers rose 74% from Q1 2016 to Q1 2017, representing the biggest growth in buyers for any ad format

Print ad spend declined 6%

The number of print ad pages in Q1 2016 was 117,551. Compared to Q1 2017, the number of print ad pages has decreased 8% year-over-year to 107,698 pages. Similarly, estimated print ad spend has declined 6% from Q1 2016 to Q1 2017.

“There has been a noticeable drop in ad pages and spend from the start of 2016 to now,” said Krizelman. “That being said, there are still a considerable amount of pages being bought. Niche and enthusiast titles are on the rise, with some regional titles flourishing.”

Native Advertising

Media Radar found the number of high-CPM ad formats increasing, especially in mobile and native.  The number of native ad buyers rose 74% from Q1 2016 to Q1 2017, representing the biggest growth in buyers for any ad format. In addition, demand for native has nearly tripled since January 2015, which logged fewer than 1,000 buyers (981). In January 2017, there were almost 3,000 (2,882).

The top 10 categories in 2016 for native advertising were media and entertaining, professional services, financial and real estate, technology, wholesale, home, travel, apparel and accessories, food, and toiletries and cosmetics.

The top five native advertisers by ad placements in 2016 were Secco Squared, Answers Corp., NextAdvisor, Potential Investments, and JPMorgan Chase.

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What: Turner Digital Ad Sales announced it partnered with Rubicon Project to launch a new programmatic advertising platform, Turner Premium Xchange.
Why is it important: By asigning a substancial portion of its display inventory for programmatic advertising, Turner expects to add speed, scale and efficiency to its business.

As reported by Adweek’s Mike Shields, Turner Digital Ad Sales has announced the launch of the Turner Premium Xchange, a private ad exchange via which it will sell digital ad inventory to preferred partners looking to take advantage of the efficiencies and power of programmatic audience-based ad buying.

Turner partnered with Los Angeles’ firm The Rubicon Project, which operates the industry’s leading automation platform for digital advertising, so that it provides the technology to power the newly-created platform. Rubicon Project’s customers include eBay, TIME, ABC News, the Wall Street Journal, Tribune Company, Virgin Media and Universal.

The new Turner Premium Xchange will sell inventory from the Turner brand, including CNN.com and TBS.com. Seemingly, advertisers will be able to bring their own data to buy ads targeted to specific users via the exchange.

“The Turner Digital Ad Sales’ partnership with Rubicon Project is a major milestone for the advertising industry and further validation of the trend towards the automation of the buying and selling of advertising,” said Greg Raifman, President of Rubicon Project. “Turner Digital is able to respond to marketplace demand and capitalize on this rapidly growing opportunity by offering almost all of their premier properties to be available for automated buys.”

Sources: Rubicon Project’s press release, M&M Global, Adweek.

What: Turner Digital Ad Sales announced it partnered with Rubicon Project to launch a new programmatic advertising platform, Turner Premium Xchange.
Why is it important: By asigning a substancial portion of its display inventory for programmatic advertising, Turner expects to add speed, scale and efficiency to its business.

As reported by Adweek’s Mike Shields, Turner Digital Ad Sales has announced the launch of the Turner Premium Xchange, a private ad exchange via which it will sell digital ad inventory to preferred partners looking to take advantage of the efficiencies and power of programmatic audience-based ad buying.

Turner partnered with Los Angeles’ firm The Rubicon Project, which operates the industry’s leading automation platform for digital advertising, so that it provides the technology to power the newly-created platform. Rubicon Project’s customers include eBay, TIME, ABC News, the Wall Street Journal, Tribune Company, Virgin Media and Universal.

The new Turner Premium Xchange will sell inventory from the Turner brand, including CNN.com and TBS.com. Seemingly, advertisers will be able to bring their own data to buy ads targeted to specific users via the exchange.

“The Turner Digital Ad Sales’ partnership with Rubicon Project is a major milestone for the advertising industry and further validation of the trend towards the automation of the buying and selling of advertising,” said Greg Raifman, President of Rubicon Project. “Turner Digital is able to respond to marketplace demand and capitalize on this rapidly growing opportunity by offering almost all of their premier properties to be available for automated buys.”

Sources: Rubicon Project’s press release, M&M Global, Adweek.

What: One month after its acquisition of Adap.tv, AOL has topped Google as the property with the most video ads watched.
Why is it important: In a move that exceeded the purchase of Huffington Post, Tim Armstrong is betting on video as the departure point of the Web’s ever-growing ad market.

Last month, AOL announced it had completed its acquisition of Adap.tv, thus consolidating its leadership position in digital video, said AOL’s Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong. “AOL is well positioned to capitalize on two clear trends in the video space – the movement of advertising dollars from linear to online video and the shift from manual transactions to programmatic media buying”, Armstrong said.

According to ComScore’s Web video rankings for September, AOL topped Google as the property with the most video ads watched last month –3.7 billion views to reach 50% of U.S. online video viewers, compared to the YouTube parent’s 3.2 billion and 36% population span. This numbers prove that Adap.tv’s US $405 million (in cash and stock) agreed price is actually paying off. In August, AOL served 525 million video ads, and Adap.tv served 2.45 billion. Last month, those numbers bumped up to 597 million and 3.125 million, respectively.

However, as AdAge reports, AOL wouldn’t have one-upped Google were it not for Adap.tv, which remains a standalone entity within the company’s ad tech division AOL Networks. The ad tech firm accounted for 3.13 billion, or 84%, of the video ads attributed to AOL, which should result in an sizeable boost to the portal’s video ad revenues.

Says CNet that this news come one month after AOL overtook Facebook in the ComScore ranking of Web properties’ unique video views. Google is still the leader in that category by far, but AOL’s climb reflects Armstrong’s focus on video as the home of the fastest-growing ad market on the Web.

Sources: CNetAllThingsD, AdAge.