By TANZINA VEGA2
October 28, 201
October 28, 201
Univision and other Spanish language networks have long attributed their high ratings among Latinos to the fact that viewers watch their programming live.
But while many Latinos still flock to television sets to watch the network’s plot-heavy telenovelas, live sporting events and news, a growing segment of the population is also viewing media on mobile devices like smartphones, tablets and on mobile applications.
Figures from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project show that almost half of Hispanics in the United States own a smartphone, while 20 percent own a tablet device.
On Monday, Univision will officially start its first digital network, UVideos, which will offer more than 1,500 hours of long-form programming and about 200 short clips a day free to users. The content will be available as a mobile application for smartphones and tablets and online at UVideos.com.
In an effort to go beyond its traditional Spanish-only format, Univision will also make the content and the user interface on UVideos available in English, with subtitles on many of the network’s shows. In January, Univision began adding English subtitles on some of its television programming.
Advertising on the UVideos platform will also be available in English and Spanish and will include commercials for Microsoft, Wendy’s and Allstate.
Social media will also be integrated into the UVideos platform. Users can log into the platform through Facebook or Twitter. Comments that come through social media will be time-coded and available to viewers of those programs at any time to mimic a live experience.
Randy Falco, the president and chief executive of Univision, said that while 93 percent of all viewing is live, the UVideos platform will give viewers content on their terms.
“I think this is more about accessing consumers in a way that they want to consume,” Mr. Falco said. “The strategy for us is we have to reassemble the audience, be in front of that audience wherever they are, with a Univision piece of content on a Univision platform.”
Viewing habits of younger consumers are shifting, Mr. Falco said, referring to them as a “YouTube generation” whose attention spans are shorter.
“They like their information quick and fast, they like it in bits that they can share,” he said. Shorter bits of video, especially in news programming, will be important, he said.
“People like to digest that in 2 1/2- to 3-minute segments,” he said. Not coincidentally, Mr. Falco said the network was discussing creating channels with YouTube.
Univision will promote UVideos with an advertising campaign that will run on the network and online, including sites like Facebook, Yahoo and Pandora. The campaign, created by the Blanco Lorenz agency, will be rolled out in three phases, said Jennifer Ball, the senior vice president for distribution marketing.
The first phase will focus on introducing the consumer to UVideos, and will include talent from Univision like Don Francisco of Sábado Gigante and the news team of Jorge Ramos and María Elena Salinas. The other phases will highlight the social media aspect of the platform and user authentication, the idea that users will have to access the content by signing in through their paid television provider, Ms. Ball said.
In conjunction with the debut of UVideos on Monday, Univision will show the premiere of the network’s fourth Web-only telenovela, “Te Presento a Valentín.” The telenovela is the first digital-only co-production of Univision and its content partner, Televisa.
Fifteen episodes, each about six minutes, will be available on UVideos starting Monday. A Univision official described the show as a “romantic comedy with a twin-brother twist.”