The broadcast and cable upfront markets may be having a harder time of it these days, but the Hispanic upfront market continues steadily forge ahead, continuing to gain ground as the landscape's primo emerging sector. In fact, Univision beat NBC in February sweeps, making it one of the top four networks in the U.S. Source: The Nielsen Company, NPM, 1/31/13-2/27/13, Mon-Sat 8-11pm/Sun 7-11pm, Live+7, Adults 18-49 (000).
"Every year we see the marketplace grow. We see more brands coming in, we see more clients coming in," said Lia Silkworth, senior VP and media director for the Tapestry division of SMG Multicutural, whose clients include General Motors, Best Buy, Kellogg's, Burger King and Walgreen's, among other brands. Silkworth isn't expecting a stellar market this year, but rather the reliable modest growth the Hispanic market has consistently seen in the recent past. She predicts annual market increases in the mid-single digits.
"The marketplace is strong, with more unique options than ever," she said, pointing to the growth of Discovery networks and nuvoTV, praising the latter for targeting culturally dextrous young Hispanics with English-language programming. She added, "It's almost like the networks are solidifying the offerings they had before and making them even better versus creating new ones," mentioning multi-screen programming and other "smart things [networks] are doing to keep up with the demand of how Hispanics are consuming media."
Isabella Sanchez, VP of media for Zubi Advertising, whose clients include Ford, JPMorgan Chase, SCJohnson and Sunny Delight, expects a healthy upfront this year, with increases in the automotive, movie studios, telecom and consumer packaged goods categories. Sanchez also believes that the upfront will benefit from the increased attention focused on it by the outcome of last year's presidential election. "The results showed that the Democratic Party targeted the Hispanic segment more aggressively than the Republican Party, and reaped the benefits," she said.
Sanchez's analysis was echoed by Christine Fuller, managing director of media investment for GroupM's MediaCom, which counts among its clients P&G, Shell, Universal, GlaxoSmithKline and VW. "Obama's election made everyone realize that you cannot win if you ignore the Hispanic consumer," she said. "That was an eye-opener for many marketers."
Fuller said MediaCom is forecasting 5 percent total-market growth for Spanish-language TV this time out. "Hispanics over-index on usage and consumption," she explained. "Buying power is projected to increase significantly even in a moderate economic growth." She expects to see increases in the retail and restaurant categories, and continued strength in automotive, packaged goods, beverages, direct-response TV and pharmaceuticals.
Source: Cynopsis Media, May 2013
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