Even For Traditionalists, TV Media Sales Is No Longer A Linear Process

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Total ad spending on Hispanic media in 2011 was $5.7 billion, with $3.6 billion of that going to TV, according to Nielsen data released last spring. Nielsen also noted that Hispanics spend 68 percent more time watching online video and 20 percent more time watching video on their mobile phones compared to non-Hispanic Whites.

That presents a big opportunity for media outlets that cater to the Hispanic market. One of the dominant players in that space is Univision, which Nielsen says attracts the largest audience of Spanish speakers in the U.S. Over the past few years, the company has worked with video ad platform Mixpo to bring its local TV advertisers to the PC-based and mobile web. We spoke with Charlie Echeverry, EVP, Digital Sales for Univision, about the network's plans to take its work with Mixpo to its national advertisers, through a program called Base Media Plus.

AdExchanger: What is the nature of the relationship with Mixpo?

Charlie Echeverry: We’ve been working with Mixpo for a couple of years, particularly in the local interactive space. In addition to national, we have a substantial business that caters to multi-market advertisers. A local car dealer might spend an enormous amount of time and money putting together a local TV spot. But the expense can make extending that to online prohibitive. So we work with Mixpo on transferring the local buy to targeted markets at scale, all with little fuss and muss for the advertiser.

The benefit of using Mixpo’s platform is that the advertisers aren’t limited to just using in-stream ads. That’s what I mean when I talk about the scalability of this service. It’s about being able to deliver video assets across platforms, which allows them to be more selective and targeted in a given market, as opposed to just running display ads.

How does Base Media Plus expand what Mixpo does for Univision and its clients?

We ultimately came up with the idea that we could use Mixpo’s platform for our national advertisers as well. “Base Media” is a term in the linear, non-digital TV marketplace that generally means commercial spots in a campaign. What Base Media Plus means is that our national cable and linear TV advertisers can deploy those same ads across Mixpo’s platform at scale, as a supplement to the in-stream ads they already may be doing with us.

Is this part of a larger integrated strategy at Univision?

People are increasingly watching programming on demand and on mulitple screens. An integrated strategy for video is one that answers what consumers and marketers are looking for. With that in mind, the ability to go to the marketplace and not just look at video advertising on a per screen basis, but as part of a seamless set of screens and platforms, is valuable.

Are you positioning the Base Media Plus offering simply as an extension of TV ad deals? After all, TV is still where most marketing dollars go, though online video ad spending is rising quickly.

I don’t see the work we’re doing with Mixpo as an add-on or an extension of one thing to another. That suggests a process that’s focused primarily on linear. And the process of media buying and sales is no longer linear. I don't mean that linear TV is not important – it still very much is. What I mean is that actually behavior of consumers is no longer linear. As such, advertising has to reflect that.

We have hundreds of sales people. And more and more of them are responsible for handling the interactive tools that Univision is developing. So it makes sense to position things in a way that expands the tools and terminology that they’re already using. That’s where Base Media Plus comes in.

How do you measure the value of these spots on other platforms? For TV, the measurements have been established as gross ratings points. But with online, there is no standard. Is there a way to get apples to apples comparisons about the audience measurement across platforms that will satisfy marketers and agencies that you work with?

We believe in using a digital GRP, which is increasingly being adopted by online publishers. That’s a perfect example of taking a traditional linear tool and applying it to online in a way that still makes sense for buyers and clients who are still rooted in regular TV. It all goes back to integration. Our goal is to make more of Univision's platforms as easily and equally available to clients. The introduction of Base Media Plus is a further step in doing that.

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