TelevisaUnivision centers Upfront on culture, ViX growth with 50M MAUs

TelevisaUnivision on Tuesday turned up a “Casa Culture” during its Upfront presentation in New York City, where the media company unveiled new advertising options for marketers as well as the launch date of an ad tier for its Spanish-language streamer ViX, set for today, May 15.

TelevisaUnivision in January outlined plans for a premium subscription ViX tier with ads, following the launch of an ad-free tier two years ago. The price of the new ViX Premium with Ads tier is $4.99 per month, while the ad-free version is $6.99. ViX also has a third tier, which is fully ad-supported with no subscription cost for users – where it’s taking a funnel approach to content and subscriber acquisition, including through FAST channels.

On stage at HK Hall on Tuesday, ViX CEO Pierluigi Gazzolo touted momentum for ViX, disclosing the service now has surpassed 50 million monthly active users and marked 70% reach growth year over year in the U.S. alone.

There was a high-energy vibe at the event, where Donna Speciale, TelevisaUnivision president of U.S. Advertising Sales and Marketing, put a strong emphasis on Latino culture and why advertisers should utilize the company’s broad portfolio and network of touchpoints to tap into it, saying culture is the leading driver of consumer behavior – and where Hispanic audiences are an engaged and growing demographic.

“Hispanics are 20% of the [US] population but are receiving only 2% of your media investment on average,” Speciale said. “It’s time to top thinking about this audience as minor. And it’s time to start connecting in a major way.”

The executive touted TelevisaUnivision as advertisers’ culture partner.

“We are the bridge connecting you to the most coveted consumer base in the country,” Speciale said. “A young and growing audience who more and more has immense pride in their heritage.”

On the measurement front, Speciale took issue with panel-only measurement as it relates to traditional linear television and not reflecting the true size of Hispanic audiences, saying “this industry has a real data problem.”

“Panel-only data systematically undercounts Hispanics by a lot,” Speciale said, while adding one area in media where “Hispanics are now fully represented is in streaming.” Going forward TelevisaUnivision is using Nielsen’s big data plus panel product as well as VideoAmp as currencies, and on stage the executive urged industry-wide adoption of the same approach to utilize big data.

As for audience, TelevisaUnivision launched its own household graph two years ago, which now covers nearly 100% of Spanish-speaking households in the U.S. and has been activated by over 250 brands in the last year alone. It’s also tapped EDO to help provide outcomes-based measurement across both linear and streaming.

New ad formats, ARCO first-look deal

With ads coming to ViX, TelevisaUnivision also shared expanded options available to advertisers.

They include contextual advertising capabilities, interactive, and commerce-based ads with QR codes and second-screen shopping experiences. Second-screen shopping experiences and retail media activations were already tested out in collaboration with partner Shopsense during the Latin American Music Awards in April, which aired on Univision, UNIMÁS, Galavision and streaming on ViX. It will continue to roll out new storefront collections alongside IP this year.

The company noted a new retail media offering that’s already running with Amazon Publisher Cloud, allowing advertisers to apply the e-commerce giant’s shopping insights across the TelevisaUnivision portfolio. It also showed off a new U.S. ad format that inserts a vertical video from social directly next to an ad.

On the content side, Emmy-nominated Mexican producer Juanpa Zurita joined on stage to announce ViX’s first-look deal with his company ARCO Entertainment. Zurita started as an online content creator and now counts over 90 million followers across accounts. At the Upfront, ViX’s Gazzolo said the 2023 ViX film “¿Quieres ser mi Hijo?” which Zurita acted in, was the streaming platform’s most-watched original movie last year.  

Live in focus

Another focus at the event was the volume of live content TelevisaUnivision offers across sports, news and entertainment, and the fact that consumers are tuning in.

According to Ignacio Meyer, president of Univision Networks Group, 94% of viewing on TelevisaUnivision is live, and often involves co-viewing.

In addition to the relative recent streaming foray, TelevisaUnivision counts four broadcast networks including flagship Univision, alongside cable channels as well as 300 radio and local stations.

“Cultural passion and pride runs deeply in our veins, and our content ecosystem ensures that no matter the genre or the screen, we are the destination for Hispanics,” said Meyer in a statement, adding that the Univision network has outpaced competitors for more than three decades straight. “The biggest differentiator is our live programming, - we have more live hours of programming than any other network, and it’s all original. We’re bringing families together for the biggest culture-defining entertainment.”

Sports, and namely soccer is a big part of that live coverage and viewing.

TelevisaUnivision accounts for 50% of all soccer viewing in the U.S., according to Meyer, with major events and partnerships lined up such as with Mexican soccer league Liga MX and the upcoming CONMEBOL Copa America 2024 tournament. Pop star Shakira made an appearance on stage Tuesday, as the company announced the performer’s new single “Puntería” will be the official song of TelevisaUnivision’s coverage of the soccer event – with 32 matches airing across its portfolio, including streaming on ViX starting June 20.