By Laurel Wentz
Growth in spending on Spanish-language TV has taken off again after a slow start last year, soaring 20.3 percent for the month of September 2005 and growing even faster for the rest of the year, according to TNS Media Intelligence.
TNS reported that spending on Hispanic-targeted TV advertising spiked upward in September and remained at high levels throughout the last quarter.
Overall, Hispanic-oriented TV and print advertising grew by 6.1 percent in 2005-still twice as fast as English-language media, at 3 percent, but slower than in previous years, according to TNS. For 2006 TNS forecasts still-robust 10.4 percent growth for Spanish-language TV, which accounts for the lion’s share of Hispanic media dollars.
“Data suggest that investment in programming at Univision, [NBC Universal-owned] Telemundo and [Univision’s second network] TeleFutura are translating into audience gains and in turn advertising revenues,” said Jon Swallen, senior of VP research at TNS.
Those networks are also doing increasingly well in the annual TV upfront market, dominated by the English-language networks.
“[Spanish-language] networks are seen to have finally gained a seat at the upfront table and are finally being considered with networks and cable,” he said.
Breaking down where the new Hispanic TV ad dollars are coming from, Mr. Swallen said some advertisers are new to the Hispanic market, like Astra-Zeneca’s Nexium antacid and PeoplePC, an Internet service provider that spent more than $4 million during the last four months of 2005. Established Hispanic marketers such as Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson and Clorox all added brands that hadn’t had Spanish-language TV budgets before, Mr. Swallen said.
During the September-December 2005 period, Unilever added nine brands that hadn’t been on Spanish-language TV before, including several products from Dove, Axe body spray and Vaseline Intensive Care lotion, he said. And Nestl%E9; last year started advertising Coffee-Mate and Nesquik on Spanish-language TV as well.
Though some existing advertisers cut back, others really unleashed their Hispanic-TV spending last year, especially in hot categories like wireless, beer and satellite TV. Big beer brands doubled their spending-or more. Anheuser-Busch upped outlays on Budweiser to $17.5 million from $8.9 million the previous year and SABMiller spent $36.4 million on Miller beer in 2005, up from $17.6 million. From a much smaller base, Coors Brewing jumped to $11.2 million from $3.8 million in 2004.
Univision Communications’ financial results reflect bigger growth toward the end of 2005. Last week the company announced that 2005 net revenue grew by 9 percent to $1.95 billion, up from $1.78 billion in 2004. For the fourth quarter, net revenue increased by 11 percent for the company and by slightly more, about 12 percent for television. TV net revenue for the fourth quarter was $368.4 million, up from $324.8 million for the same period the previous year, the company said.
For early 2006, Univision said it expects high-single-digit growth for net revenues, except for the music division, whose growth has been slowing.