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Univision’s Kevin Conroy: Kicking Interactive into High Gear

Kevin Conroy wishes there were a census every year. As president of Univision Interactive Media, the results of this year’s head count are important for his company’s target demographic of U.S. Hispanics– and for advertisers trying to reach them.

“There is tremendous buying power here that companies can take advantage of and, in some cases, they’re missing it,” he says. “Sometimes it takes events like the census for people to step back, reassess and revisit their strategies.”

Conroy, who assumed his current role in January 2009, says he expects Univision Interactive to end 2010 with “higher than 30% audience growth year-over-year.” The former AOL executive attributes this uptick to expanded product offerings, investments in underlying infrastructure and new social media partnerships. The division likewise experienced “commensurate revenue growth,” he says. (Univision does not break out revenue figures specific to interactive.)

The company also, of course, continues to capitalize on its extensive 2010 FIFA World Cup coverage. The UnivisionFutbol. com Website, which live-streamed all of the matches for free, generated 34.7 million visits across online and mobile offerings, saw fans stream 10 million hours of live video and garnered 450,000 downloads of its Univision Fútbol application.

Univision tapped the traffic surge by introducing visitors to its 17 other vertical sites. Conroy says referral traffic was “in the large double-digit percentage” from to other network sites, especially to sports site Deportes.

Univision plans to build on this success. In late August, it will begin the rollout of 70 new local sites, starting with Miami, Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, then across all major markets by year-end. Two mobile apps, more video content and a foray into iTV are in the works for 2011.

For Conroy, it’s about making content available in the way people want to consume it: “The more valuable we are to our audience, the more valuable we become to advertisers, and we’re really seeing the benefit of that.”