Alliance Stimulates Broadband

An alliance between YupiMSN, the Spanish language Internet portal, and Zoom.TV, a Spanish language content provider, promises a broader array of entertainment programming for Hispanic Americans, and new opportunities for advertisers.

The alliance--not an acquisition--will allow YupiTV, the broadband offering of YupiMSN, to play Zoom.TV programs. "We get quality content for our users and Zoom gets the opportunity to present its content to the U.S. Hispanic audience," says George Levy, Yupi's director of integration. YupiMSN was acquired by Microsoft and Telmex, the Mexican phone company, in June. Zoom.TV is a Mexican joint venture between Technology & Internet LLC and Argos Communications.

Of the Zoom content, Levy says, "It's not like traditional Internet broadband. It allows users to interact with shows. You can interact in real time, send emails and chat with people who watch the shows. There are also cutting edge games."

The market for the Zoom programs is large. "The U.S. Hispanic base is mostly Mexican and this allow us to present more Mexican content to users," Levy says. Of course, the general Hispanic population in the U.S. is growing steadily, according to the most recent census figures. Yupi reaches both a U.S. and Latin American audience.

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Levy also says, "Zoom focuses on a younger demographic, so it diversifies our audience."

The alliance took effect Oct. 30.

Zoom programs on Yupi can be seen at Yupimsn.com or YupiTV.com.

The advertising implications of the alliance are uncertain now, because the alliance is brand new. But Levy thinks it will serve to stimulate advertising by allowing new forms of it. "By being able to present a broadband offering, you can go beyond traditional banners, with video and audio commercials," he says. "You can't do that with traditional html pages. It allows advertisers to have more colors to play with." Levy even says product placement advertising, such as Pepsi being consumed in Zoom programs, would be possible. That remains to be seen.

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