Over the years, we’ve reported that today’s Spanish-speaking consumers are more eager than ever to connect with their heritage, seeking out authentic Hispanic cultural stories.
This creates a significant opportunity where creators and producers partner with brands to grow the market, moving from a content strategy that still relies on important assets from Mexico and Latin America to one that prioritizes ideas that are native to American Spanish-speaking consumers, mainly depicting their lives between their Spanish-speaking and English-speaking cultures.
Back in 2008, we at alma were pioneers in identifying this trend and called this group Fusionistas, consumers who fuse the two cultures, living as 100% Latin American and 100% American without feeling the need to replace any aspect of your life.
A new Spanish-language content creation deal was recently announced, bringing together two major players in the industry, NGL, co-founded by actor and activist John Leguizamo and industry leader David Chitel, and mitú, a leading digital media publisher. I spoke to Chitel about this deal; below is an edited version of that conversation.
Isaac Mizrahi – How did the deal go?
David Chittel- NGL and mitú have been on a parallel path for the past ten years. NGL has become a leading Latin American digital B2B organization, while mitú has done the same in the B2C space. Our business models are complementary, and the combination and scale of the two make us indispensable to advertisers looking for a US Latino connection in language, culture and context. Our unique focus is 100% US Latino and is unmatched in the industry for all the tools we offer advertisers to meaningfully connect with our audiences across platforms, language preferences, life stages and beyond.
Mizrahi – Why now?
Reader – Given all the fragmentation in the Latinx media and entertainment space, it made sense for NGL and mitú to join forces to create new opportunities for the community and advertiser partners we serve. We’ve both grown tremendously over the past few years and the timing for our respective companies and the market as a whole made a lot of sense. The community is looking for more content that speaks to them, and demand from advertisers is at an all-time high. The timing couldn’t be better for our two companies to combine.
Mizrahi – What is the possibility of Spanish/Latin content?
Reader – Both NGL and mitú are well known to be pioneers in the New Generation Latinx (NGL) space. Having coined the term “NGL” 20+ years ago, no one is better positioned than us to move the needle when it comes to creating content for bilingual, bicultural and English-speaking Latinos in particular. To quote my friend and business partner John Leguizamo – “America may not realize it yet, but Latin prototypes are being created right now, and not just by me. They are those mambo kings and queens of salsa, Aztec lords and Inca princesses, every Hernandez and Fernandez that this country will one day understand and respect. Now is the time for a company like NGL to help guide the Latin American narrative in media, marketing and entertainment. With John on our team and leveraging mitú’s production resources and audience reach, NGL is extremely well positioned to do just that.
Mizrahi – What is the content gap?
Reader – Arguably, there is no shortage of great Spanish-language content available here in the US and around the world. The gap that exists in the US is specific to the Latinx content that is in the culture. By “in the culture” I mean Latino themed content and/or content that features a predominantly Latino cast. Behind the camera, there is also a huge gap to be filled in the writers’ rooms and in the areas of showrunners and executive positions of power with the ability to change the Latin American narrative in media and entertainment.
Mizrahi – What exactly will the new organization do to change that?
Reader – NGL and mitú specialize in creating content that speaks directly to Latino audiences in the US. Whether it’s branded content, documentaries, TV promotions, IRL and virtual events and more, it’s in our DNA to shine a positive light on the Latino community in everything we do. The size, scope and resources of our combined company have grown exponentially as a result of this merger. Specifically, we have a 14,000 sf facility in East Los Angeles that is already a busy studio producing content for the many platforms we distribute through. We intend to double down on our business with studios to provide more opportunities for Hispanics in front of and behind the camera and for advertisers to connect organically with our audience. The best is yet to come.
Initiatives like this deal will further strengthen the market with high-quality, authentic content that will resonate with the Latin American consumer. I foresee more deals in the coming months and years, leading to a boom in Spanish content. Marketers should follow this process closely and ideally have their own Latin American content strategy to complement their advertising efforts.