Univision is preparing for its busiest year yet. Its audience is growing rapidly and they are invested in the 2016 presidential election like never before; when not consumed by politics, they are watching and engaging with Univision original programming across all platforms, particularly on mobile.
Univision Digital’s audience spends 36% more time on smartphones than the general population and 91% of TV viewers watch live in primetime (compare this to 56% for NBC). This has forced (in a good way) Univision to innovate with live programming and second screen experience, and the network has become the envy of its linear counterparts struggling to hold viewers’ attentions.
Among some of the recent digital initiatives are the release of the Conecta app for “La Banda,” a Snapchat partnership, UniNovelas, and firther integration with second screen partner Screenz.
For more on how Univision is approaching its mobile and digital-first strategy, we spoke with Mark Lopez, EVP and General Manager of Univision Digital:
Found Remote: Digital will continue to play a big role in election coverage. What cross-platform initiatives is Univision working on for it?
Mark Lopez: Our Univision Digital platforms are an integral part of how we inform and engage our audience – from our reporting and development of special series to how we interact across social and mobile. We count an award-winning news team and Univision Digital as the no. 1 U.S. Hispanic multi-platform web property – we will combine these to create experiences through the lens of content and platform options. We are going to provide content and digital interaction points: micro-content of election explainers as well as partnering with platforms to fully immerse the user into the content experience. One of several initiatives we will be executing this approach with is for the 2016 Democratic Primary debate in partnership with the Washington Post. We’re going to enhance our content with interactive experiences such as our award-winning “Huella Digital” children at the border crisis coverage or our wellness assessment tool which in its first week was downloaded more than 160,000 times. We will also have data-driven analyses of topics including the Latino vote.
FR: Why do you think that Univision's audience spend 36% more time on smartphones than the general population, and how do you try to appeal to this audience?
Lopez: Hispanics are younger, digitally enabled and more engaged than non-Hispanic users. UCI counts with a digital savvy audience that over-indexes on mobile, digital video and social and research continues to attest to this as we see the numbers with usage and engagement across Univision Digital platforms. We are continuously developing creative ways to engage whether it is through social storytelling or vis-à-vis second screen experiences such as with our recently launched Univision Conecta App. With Hispanics engaging with apps 18% more than the general population, we are seeing great numbers – for example, average time spent on the app is over 17 minutes. And just this past Sunday, La Banda made Univision the no. 1 engaged network with Tweets per Unique, according to Nielsen social.
FR: How do you work with Screenz to create second screen experiences?
Lopez: Our approach with our Univision Digital platforms is to create experiences where users feel included. Working with Screenz we wanted to create complementary activities that would be additive to the user’s experience. We also wanted to make our cutting edge experiences such as Univision Conecta technically seamless for brand integrations. In essence, partnering with Screenz provides our users with another engagement avenue, which we see time and time again on other platforms, including social media, where we have a footprint of 190+ million followers and fans.
FR: It's been a month since launching the "Connecta" app for La Banda. Can you share some of the participation, usage, and download numbers?
Lopez: The Univision App has approximately 50 page views per visit and average time spent is more than 17 minutes. We also continue to see great interest week after week – La Banda is a popular search term in the Apple app store.
FR: What are some surprising ways that the Univision audience interacts with the brand via digital platforms?
Lopez: Our Univision audience is truly mobile first. 77% of our audience is mobile exclusive and they consume more videos in our apps than on desktop. Given the variety of content and platforms, we are tapping into users’ passion points with new second screen experiences like Univision Conecta and content like Horoscopos, which is one of our most visited sections daily, or through Twitter where our users continue to have higher engagement in terms of Tweets per unique, according to Nielsen Social. That is why we have nearly doubled our digital footprint in a year, increasing +94% vs. September 2014.