MySpace's Success May Hinge On Young, English-Speaking Hispanics

by , Oct 11, 2012, 6:26 AM
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The recently launched new MySpace features a slick design, horizontal scrolling, and a focus on musicians, artists, celebrities and their fans. The new owners, including Justin Timberlake, who bought MySpace from News Corp for only $30 million in June 2011, are aiming to turn around the world’s first social network.

Given Facebook's dominance in the social space, it won't be an easy task. But one thing is clear: the success of MySpace might just depend on how it connects with the acculturated Hispanics. That is, the growing number of young, upwardly mobile Hispanics who tend to use the Internet in English.

Making Some Space for Hispanics

This segment of the Hispanic online market is very attractive to MySpace for several reasons. 

  • It is large and growing; the 2012 Census reported that 63% of the 50 million Hispanics in the U.S. were born here

  • Preference for English, 73% of Hispanics surf the web in English or in both English and Spanish

  • Tech savvy, this group is extremely active with social media and are early adopters

  • Younger, more educated and more affluent when compared to less-acculturated Hispanics
     
  • Advertising budgets are increasingly being allocated to reach them

  • Relatively little competition as few big media companies are paying attention to them

Given these factors, I was not surprised to see the new MySpace launch with an offering for U.S. Hispanics, a U.S. Latino version of the site accessible from the bottom navigation. This, coupled with the fact that MySpace has maintained a strong position in the Hispanic online market over the past few years, is a good starting point.

MySpace reaches more Hispanics than Univision.com

Despite being somewhat neglected, MySpace received 3.7 million Hispanic visitors in August 2012, according to comScore. Compare this to Univision.com, which received 2.6 million.

Not only does MySpace compete well against Hispanic sites, it also holds a solid position among smaller social networks. MySpace currently reaches 14% of the total Hispanic online market, just behind Twitter, which enjoys 16% reach and more than Tumblr and Pinterest, which have 11% and 7% reach respectively. In case you’re wondering, Facebook reaches almost 70% of online Hispanics.

What Should MySpace Do?

MySpace can thank its strong position among Hispanics in large part to its focus on music and entertainment, which resonate with younger, acculturated Hispanics. In August 2012, 54% of MySpace’s Hispanic visitors were between the ages of 12 and 34, compared to 42% for the overall Hispanic online market. In terms of language, 56% of MySpace’s Hispanic visitors use the Internet primarily in English compared to 52% of all online Hispanics.

As MySpace reinvents itself, it is clear it should pay special attention to the acculturated segment of the Hispanic market. It has a strong Hispanic user base, a renewed content approach that will resonate with this audience, and advertisers hungry to reach them. In order to succeed, MySpace should ensure that it continues to provide content that is relevant to acculturated Latinos, proactively market to them and provide targeting solutions that allow advertisers to reach them

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