How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

The promise of the English-speaking Latino audience

Photo by Jerry Bunkers/Flickr (Creative Commons)

English-language content directed at Latinos is on the rise, especially as media companies go digital.

The official announcement yesterday that the Disney-owned ABC News has teamed with Univision to launch a 24-hour cable news channel for English-speaking Latinos next year is just the latest in a series of similar announcements from media companies.

In the past two years, we've seen English-language ventures aimed at a Latino audience that include Fox News LatinoHuffPost Latino Voices and Patch Latino.

There has also been the more recent launch of Voxxi, a English-language website for “acculturated Latinos” headed by a former editor from Spain’s EFE news agency, and a new bilingual YouTube content network, MiTu. And while we're on ventures with creative names, let's not forget mun2, the Telemundo-affiliated cable network for young Latinos with content in English and Spanish.

Not long ago, most content directed at Latinos, on air and in print, was in Spanish. Why the language shift, especially as media companies focus more on digital content? Back in February, when news of the Disney-Univision partnership first came to light, I posted a Q&A with Giovanni Rodriguez, a social-technology and marketing expert with Deloitte Consulting who studies and writes about the Latino media market. Here's a bit of what Rodriguez had to say about the power of content en inglés, and why marketers and media execs seem to be discovering it now:


Quote of the moment: U.S. Latinos as a top global economy

“If it were a standalone country, the U.S. Hispanic market buying power would make it one of the top twenty economies in the world.”

- Nielsen’s State of the Hispanic Consumer, April 2012

There have been countless reports over the years on the spending power of Latinos, but this new report from Nielsen illustrates it in vividly stark terms.

The report gets at not only the formidable economic clout of the United States’ 50 million-plus Latinos, expected to reach $1.5 trillion by 2015, but at how the growing Latino population is leading the nation toward ethnic plurality, defined as “the coexistence of numerous ethnicities and races with no one segment in the majority.”

The report reads: “Latinos are no longer just a sub-segment of the economy, but a prominent player in all aspects of American life.” Some highlights from the executive summary: