Latin America: One of the world’s most dynamic media markets


Latin America: One of the world’s most dynamic media markets

Marketers and advertisers are increasingly seeing Latin America as a creative hub with a huge potential for media growth as well as viewing it as a new frontier for social media.

That potential has brought hundreds of media, Internet, marketing, and advertising executives to Miami Beach this week for The Festival of Media LatAm. The event, which is being held at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel through Friday, even has its own Twitter hash tag, #fomla11.

Among the factors piquing interest are Latin America’s population and economic growth, the burgeoning middle class, rising disposable income, increasing mobile-phone penetration, and Latin America’s penchant for social media.

“Latin America for the foreseeable future will be the most dynamic media market in the world,’’ said Philippe Krakowsky, chief strategy and talent officer for Interpublic Group, a global-advertising and marketing-services company.

Not only do Latin Americans spend more time on social media than most of their peers around the world, but the region has one of the highest social-media penetration rates. Five of the top 10 markets in the world in terms of Facebook reach are in Latin America.

Facebook, which is visited by 91 million Latin Americans a month, dominates the regional social-media scene but Twitter and LinkedIn also have greatly increased their Latin American audiences in the past year, said Alex Banks, vice president, Latin America, of comScore, which provides research and data on digital trends.

A recent comScore study, for example, shows that the social-networking audience in Latin America grew 16 percent in the past year, and that in June of this year 114.5 million Latin Americans visited a social-networking site — 96 percent of the entire online population in the region.

Alexandre Hohagen, vice president of Facebook-Latin America, said social media is now evolving from being something that is “social and cool’’ in Latin America to being a way to connect with consumers as well.

With technology allowing customization of the message, in the future “everything is going to be social,’’ said Henrique de Castro, Google’s president of global media, mobile, and platforms.

Krakowsky said Latin American content is also beginning to make its mark on the world. From 2006 to 2010, he said, 12 percent of honors at the Cannes International Film Festival went to Latin American films. In the five years before that only 2 percent of awards went to Latin movies. He also pointed out that Latins have garnered 42 Oscar nominations and have won nine times over the past decade.

“There’s also a really tremendous digital talent pool in the region — especially in Brazil,’’ he said.

David Zaslav, chief executive and president of Discovery Communications, also sees a bright future for his company in Latin America. Five years ago, he said, Discovery spent about $600?million on content; this year it will spend about $1 billion on producing content for the region.

And with a mature market and a plodding economy in the United States, Discovery is looking to Latin America, where it has 11 channels, for growth. “Latin America is probably our best and strongest growth market,’’ Zaslav said.

In Brazil, pay-TV penetration is only 22-23 percent and there’s huge potential, he said. The No.?1 cable network in Brazil is currently Discovery Kids.

Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina now feel like the United States in 1995 when there was tremendous growth in cable channels, Zaslav said.



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Author: cmera

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