Hispanicize Media Group invest in Megan Media for development of AI platform

Hispanicize Media Group purchased a stake in Megan Media's AI platform Athena to better target the US Hispanic population

Hispanicize Media Group (HMG) announced the acquisition of a significant stake in Megan Media for the development of AI platform Athena Prime.

HMG, which is a multi-platform media company for multicultural Millennials and Generation Z, works with brands and publishers to navigate the expanding US Hispanic market. It’s estimated that the market is valued at $1.7trn, which HMG tapped into via branded content, celebrity endorsements, digital marketing campaigns and social influencer management. HMG also hosts the annual Hispanicize conferences for Hispanic and Latinx trendsetters and newsmakers.

Athena Prime was developed by Megan Media to utilize advanced machine learning algorithms and automation technologies, and will enable HMG to reach larger U.S. Latino and multicultural audiences, and provide greater engagement around sponsored, branded content from their extensive network of 1,900-plus influencers, celebrities and publishers. The technology also enables publishers such as HMG-owned platforms Hispanic Kitchen and LatinaMoms to power their content on social media platforms including Facebook and Instagram.

The AI tech has automatically discovered and analyzed publisher content and promotes it across social media channels in a highly targeted way — driving video views, engagement, audience growth, and website traffic. Further, by integrating Athena, publishers increased engagement on original branded content and social media.

Jim Calhoun, chief executive of Megan Media had this to say about the deal: “We’re incredibly excited to marry HMG’s large stable of creators, publishers, and authenticated reach into highly targeted audiences with advanced machine intelligence to drive real results at scale for today’s most sophisticated marketers. By leveraging our partnership, HMG is now operating at the state of the art -- bridging human creativity with AI to make high impact investments in engaging branded social content.”

HMG had been utilizing influencers for a number of years, but on this tech-driven approach to catering the US Hispanic market, HMG chief executive officer Joe Uva said, “We hadn’t been creating a lot of paid social media content. We’ve had a lot of campaigns from a PR standpoint, which were very short in duration and weren’t scaling up. One of the reasons why was that we didn’t have a technology platform that met brand safety concerns, improved viewability, and was MRC-compliant and had an end-to-end solution from RFP through post-campaign analysis and invoicing.”

Megan Media’s Athena platform was selected months before Uva, a former Telemundo and Univision executive, joined HMG. Uva feels confident about the selection, saying, “There were a couple of companies that had the capabilities of meeting those standards, and also provide the benefits of machine-based learning and artificial intelligence.” They decided on Megan Media’s Athena because “it seemed to fit very well for what we’re trying to accomplish. It had the added benefit of not just making content recommendations and lowering the cost of content distribution, but the power of this platform is in its ability to—on an API level—identify those fans that are most engaged on a piece of content from an influencer organically. Then, by adding the element of a paid media component to a PR campaign, it could quickly and exponentially amplify the size of those audiences by creating look-alike audiences.”

Those look-alike audiences (created from the interest of actual, engaged fans), he said, become available for future retargeting by the brand and/or marketers. Uva said HMG sold more paid social media campaigns “in an amount that was larger than we have done in the past six months.”

HMG’s brought data and AI in play to help address a Hispanic and Latinx market that’s increasing in influence. Telemundo has also been progressing in catering to this ever-important audience; recently, it joined forces with Maru/matchbox in building the largest US Hispanic insights community.

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