Reaching Hispanic Viewers Takes Multi-Language, Multi-Platform Approach #HispanicTV

Programmers and distributors looking to reach Hispanic viewers will have to employ a multitude of strategies including providing multi-language and culturally-relevant programming on numerous distribution platforms to be successful, according to panelists speaking at Thursday’s Hispanic Tv Summit

Linda Ong, president of brand consulting TruthCo said bi-culturals who identify themselves as equally Latino and American are key to reaching a majority of Hispanic viewers because of they are socially integrated with all types of people while still identifying with their Hispanic culture. From a social media perspective, bi-culturals are tweeting and talking about Hispanic programming in English, which also reaches a general market audience.

“The best way to reach the audience is through bi-culturals – you can reach the abuela who doesn’t speak English because the bicultural is doing the translation … you can reach the children who are learning Spanish for the first time because they’re learning from their parents,” she said. “The bi-culturals are unlike any other market that we’ve seen in the way they use language and culture.”

Aldo DifFelice, president of Canadian-based TLN Telelatino Network, said it’s important to have both Spanish-language and English-language programming targeted to Hispanics to effectively reach Hispanic viewers.

In order for programming to resonate with Hispanic audiences, however it has to be authentic and relevant to viewers, according to Discovery U.S. Hispanic vice president of content Bilai Joa Silar.

Michael Garcia, chief creative officer for Televisa USA added that you need more than just an Hispanic actor or actress to make a show relevant to Hispanic viewers. “It’s not a situation where you can have just an actor even though there is a draw there. If you really want to get the audience, you have to make things that show and portray the lives of Hispanic viewers,” he said. “They want to see that their lives matter, and they want to see a character that reflects the reality of their life.”

Aymeric Genty, CEO of Alterna TV which distributes international multi-language channels, said it’s important to have a mix of both country or regional-specific channels and more general entertainment services to reach Hispanic viewers. He added that it’s imperative that distributors find ways of offering Hispanic-targeted channels on as many alternative digital platforms as possible to reach Hispanics viewers where they are consuming video.

“We have to makes sure that we don’t lose the ability to distribute these channels as widely as possible on all the platforms including digital,” he said. “We have to understand where the new viewing trends and consumption of video are and make sure that all the channels are represented on all platforms.”

Silar added that it’s important to find ways to bridge both digital distribution and television distribution of Hispanic programming. “We don’t want to erode our main business which is the linear channel, but we want to amplify and aggregate that viewership.”

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.