Univision expands Creator Network with Josh Leyva and Val Mercado

Univision Communications is most known for its eponymous brand, Univision, the immensely popular Spanish-language channel. The channel features shows and novelas, along with news programs. The company is growing quickly, due in large part to a growing U.S. Hispanic population, which is now over 55 million.

In July Univision launched a Creator Network. Its newest additions are YouTube sensation, Josh Leyva, and Instagram star, Val Mercado. Already, Univision’s content producers, across a variety of social media platforms, have reached 140 million views per month.

As VP Steven Benanav explained, “The addition of these hugely popular creators speaks to the growing reach of the Univision Creator Network and further extends UCI’s engagement with millennials and creators through unparalleled experience…more than 80% of the Univision Creator Network audience is consuming the content on mobile.”

There is a huge growth in interest among large companies for social media stars. The industry has developed into a behemoth, with YouTube stars generating millions each year, and garnering huge followings among young consumers. Leyva is Mexican-American and has over 7 million views per month, and his own web series. Mercado is an aspiring singer and model, with Dominican roots and over 1 million Instagram followers. The pair will join other creators like Louis Giordano, MiCocinaRapida, and SuperEEEgo.

The U.S. now has more Spanish speakers than Spain. Univision is poised to take advantage, calling itself “The most trusted brand among Hispanics,” and “The #1 place to reach Hispanic America.” And its ratings speak for themselves, competing and beating other major brands, especially in major cities like Los Angeles and New York. In 2013 and 2014, the channel was #1 in prime among 18-49 year old viewers during what are called the July sweeps. Univision is not just an outlier, or marginal Spanish-speaking channel; it is among the top channels, period.

And now the company seems poised to grow digitally. In addition to Leyva and Mercado, the site owns Fusion and recently purchased a controlling stake in “The Onion,” and its subsidiary brands, “Clickhole,” and “The A.V. Club.”

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