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Friday, March 13, 2015

English Or Spanish To Win Hispanic Listeners?


Research Director Partner Charlie Sislen moderated the panel at the Hispanic Radio Conference looking into the state of Nielsen's measurement of the Hispanic population in the U.S. Sislen stated, "The world in ratings has vastly changed. The other thing -- again, this will be absolutely no surprise to anyone in this room -- the Hispanic population has grown." Sislen continued, "When I started, nobody even knew what a high-density Hispanic area was, unless you were in Miami or L.A., and now most major markets have them."

Monica Narvaez, Hispanic broadcaster account specialist at Nielsen, pointed out the influence of non-Spanish language Hispanic media. "As the demographics change," she said, "we're starting to see a more English-dominant rise in the numbers. One of the things we're looking at this year is behavioral differences among Hispanics for political, using brainwave technology."

She said, "Broadcasters have been asking Nielsen, do we talk to Hispanics in Spanglish, do we use bilingual ads? Nielsen's research shows that Hispanics have an emotional attachment to ads in Spanish. The research is showing that Spanish grabs the attention of the Hispanic listener, bilingual or not."

How does Cumulus handle Spanish, Spanglish, or English ads on its stations targeted to Hispanics? SVP of Content & Programming at Cumulus Media Mike McVay (pictured) said, "Clearly the research is eye-opening. In D.C., some of the liners and sweepers we have on are in English and in Spanish, because we're talking to a vertically integrated audience."

McVay continued, "We take the vertical integration of Spanish and English, very seriously. Down to and including the point that we have some agents who will want to do bonuses, sans the Spanish stations ... And yet the amount of advertising, the dollars being spent on Spanish radio, have come up significantly. We take it extremely seriously as to the radio station regardless of format."

McVay related a story about KLAX a few years ago, when a census occurred in the days of the diary. He said, "Arbitron captured that the Spanish population over the 10 years had grown dramatically. KLAX became the number-one radio station overnight in Los Angeles. Everyone walked around and said, 'Well, that was a fluke, that's never going to happen again, that doesn't matter.' But in fact, the very next ratings period, the ratings went up."

McVay continued, "Many stations entered the format and became much more serious about it. You cannot, if you're in my shoes, look at Spanish radio stations as 'the other guys.'"

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