The numbers don't lie: online advertising is no longer an afterthought, but an integral part of media planning that year-to-year has seen larger spending increases than any other type of media. Its tremendous growth, ability to strategically target audiences and provide specific ROI analytics are just a few of the reasons online advertising to Hispanics has a strong outlook for 2008.
In the general market, U.S. Internet advertising revenues for the first six months of 2007 totaled nearly $10 billion – a 27 percent increase over the first half of 2006, and a new record – according to research by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) in conjunction with PricewaterhouseCoopers. Of that, display advertising comprised 32 percent (nearly $3.2 billion).
The trend is also visible in media spending in the U.S. Hispanic market, albeit on a smaller scale, since Hispanic online display ad expenditures represent only 2.81 percent of total U.S. display ad expenditures.
While broadcast and radio still dominate Hispanic ad spending, Internet advertising represents 4.6 percent of the total expenditure in 2007, up from 3.5 percent in 2006.
Hispanic online display ad revenue will reach $179.86 million in 2007, a 36.3 percent increase over 2006 ad revenues, according to HispanTelligence estimates.
The future of the U.S. Hispanic online segment looks even more promising considering the predictions of booming Hispanic purchasing power - surpassing $1 trillion in 2010, or 10.9 percent of total U.S. purchasing power - and the high percentage of U.S. Hispanics that are online.
Research by Pew Hispanic Center earlier this year indicates that 78 percent of English-dominant Hispanics and 76 percent of bilingual Hispanics use the Internet – statistics seconded by a new study from Yahoo! Telemundo and Experian Simmons that shows U.S. Hispanic Internet users consume more media and spend more time with technology than the general U.S. population. Additionally, with nearly 80 percent of online Hispanics using broadband, the study concludes there is significant growth potential for online video advertising.
"Latinos are adopting technology a lot faster in terms of percentage of home access, and the penetration of broadband," says Margot Bradley, co-founder and chief operating officer of Coral Gables, Florida-based Hola Networks, which recently launched the first premium online display-advertising network targeted at U.S. Hispanics. "This industry is going to grow by leaps and bounds, which is why we're here."
During the more than two years it took to develop the network, Hola's founders worked closely with the industry, compiling research and asking agencies for wish lists.
"Hispanic agencies said they wanted a network strictly developed to U.S. Hispanics, not covering Latin America, not covering Europe," says Ms. Bradley, noting that server technology can now filter origin by IP address.
In an effort to further diversify its content offerings for advertisers targeting that audience, Hola Networks put together a platform with an entirely new mix of media: Major international Web sites with critical mass audiences in the U.S., important U.S.-Hispanic sites with niche and hard-to-find audiences; and general market sites that provide content in Spanish. Hola Networks co-founder and president Rafael Monteiro says it will be able to target Latinos online even if they don't visit traditional U.S. Hispanic online media.
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