How Univision Is Plotting Programmatic Data Expansion

KatzUnivision is doubling down on programmatic tech and talent to support its larger multiplatform strategy.

Following its June launch of Mosaico Trading, a business division staffed by about a dozen dedicated to programmatic advertising and audience data, Univision made three key hires to support the unit.

One was David Katz, who joined Univision as VP of programmatic revenue platforms and operations from Time Inc., where he led advertising data solutions. Before that, he worked at agency MediaVest and IPG’s ad tech arm, Cadreon.

“We’re trying to be the center of health for the company when it comes to data and programmatic,” Katz said. “I’ve already had advertisers come to me and say they struggle finding ways to connect to multicultural audiences programmatically. We have a unique audience, so there’s a huge opportunity to leverage our data with our properties and network.”

Mosaico reaches 65 million monthly unique visitors from the combined digital properties of Univision and Fusion Media Group.

Fusion, which is owned by Univision but was once a joint venture with ABC, includes its stake in The Root, The Onion and other properties. 

Because The Onion’s readership demographics are much different than Univision’s heritage Hispanic-oriented properties, Univision is trying to provide flexibility for advertisers who want to buy across its whole portfolio for reach or by vertical for better granularity.

Univision uses its data management platform UDMP for audience segmentation.

Similar to Hearst’s Core Audience (where Katz has also hung his hat), Mosaico and UDMP act as the “gateway” into Univision’s network of content and audience data.

This data infrastructure may give the publisher an advantage at a time when concerns over commoditization are driving marketers to more heavily scrutinize third-party data, or at least to carve out customized segments.

“It’s becoming where people feel like everyone’s buying the same data, and you don’t always know where it’s coming from,” Katz said. “Obviously we want to maintain control over our first-party data, but in a way that benefits advertisers.”

Like Time Inc.’s acquisition of Viant, this type of publisher investment in data and ad tech is seen as one way to mitigate the potential shortfall of third-party data.

“We want to get beyond the standard ‘Let’s use the DMP to target people’ or standard reach extension to create something unique,” Katz said. “From a targeting perspective, owning that data makes such a difference,” as opposed to only licensing it.

Owning the data allows Univision to deploy cross-device analytics between its sites and apps, which goes far beyond basic behavioral onsite targeting.

And although it’s early days, Univision’s broadcast offering may eventually tie in TV.

“Our company has an ongoing initiative with AOL One for [linear programmatic] TV,” said Fernando Rodriguez, SVP of sales and operations for Univision. “It makes sense that at some point, this will all converge and you’ll activate data and insights that go across all digital channels and TV through programmatic.”

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