Lots of room for growth among U.S. Latin nets

U.S. Spanish-language TV has flourished in recent years, with ad revenue growing 8.6% to about $3.3 billion in 2010, according to Kantar Media.

However, the chasm remains wide between the U.S. Hispanic webs’ share of total ad-spend coin and their burgeoning auds.

Hispanics make up 16% of the U.S. population, but the webs receive a paltry 4% of total TV ad revs.

Meanwhile, the digital divide is narrowing as Latinos boast the fastest growth rate of social media usage. Recent studies reveal that 60% of all Latinos are now online, and 80% will be online in the next two years.

Bicultural Latinos spend millions upon millions of dollars in the U.S., says Craig Geller, senior VP of ad sales at NuvoTV, formerly SiTV, which targets bilingual/bicultural Latinos. “It really is astonishing that these companies aren’t targeting the Latino market more.”

Adds Luis Balaguer, CEO of Hispanic talent management agency/production company Latin World, “Despite all these statistics, I rarely see Apple, Microsoft or any other computer companies or even videogame companies advertising on Univision or Telemundo.”

Univision, which captures the lion’s share of the Hispanic TV audience and ad market, formed a sales team focused on the gaming category early this year. It reports that it has picked up several new vidgame advertisers during the last upfronts.

THQ, Nintendo and Xbox have advertised on Univision, and the network is in talks with computer brands for the back-to-school season and the 4th quarter, though none are currently on the air. Computer and vidgame companies are not big advertisers on Telemundo and mun2, either.

But there are converts among the advertisers: Univision has already seen double-digit price and dollar volume growth during the upfronts this year, while NuvoTV will more than double its take in the Upfront this year, Geller says.

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