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AOL partners with Hispanic digital net MiTu

MiTú's lifestyle verticals currently focus on beauty, food, DIY, home and health, much of it short-form, unscripted video content. (Pictured: El Show with Chuey Martinez)
January 21, 2014

AOL has closed a licensing deal with MiTú, a multi-channel video network for Latino audiences, that calls for MiTú to syndicate its original and partner-produced content across all of AOL’s platforms in both English and Spanish.

It’s a non-exclusive one-year agreement, with a revenue-share component, Charlie Echeverry, MiTú’s chief revenue officer (acting) told realscreen sister publication STREAM.

Multiculturalism is important to companies like AOL, who put a “premium on this type of content,” he added. “Everybody wants to be able to speak to these audiences authentically, so they’re turning to companies like ours.”

MiTú, which is still less than two years old, has grown to more than 45 million global unique viewers and more than 200 million monthly video views, driving nearly 10 million hours of engagement per month, according to November 2013 YouTube Analytics data cited by the company.

Its lifestyle verticals currently focus on beauty, food, DIY, home and health with short-form unscripted content. It also recently launched MACHO by MiTú, a male-facing pop culture vertical anchored by the variety show El Show with Chuey Martinez. The licensing agreement includes all of AOL digital platforms, including AOL On, which focuses on docu-style programming, The Huffington Post and its Hispanic content network, Voces.

Not surprisingly, MiTú has attracted backing from some well-known names in venture capital and American media, including Peter Chernin, the former president and COO of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, who currently heads The Chernin Group, which invests in technology and new media; and Shari Redstone, president of National Amusements and vice-chair of CBS Corporation and Viacom, whose father, Sumner Redstone, is the majority shareholder of all three companies and executive chairman of Viacom and CBS.

Other MiTú backers include Allen DeBevoise, chairman, CEO and co-founder of Machinima; Jason Ostheimer, co-founder with Redstone of venture capital firm Advancit Capital; and Quincy Smith of the Internet and media-focused merchant bank Code Advisors.

“We see this partnership as an excellent way to supplement our video catalog with high-quality content across a range of topics for our growing Hispanic audience,” Frank Besteiro, VP and head of business development & partnerships for AOL Video, said in a statement.

The media industry amped up its focus on Hispanics and their buying power in the wake of the 2000 U.S. census, which first demonstrated the rapid population growth of Hispanics in America, and forecast what was to come, both economically and demographically. Today for example, in many of America’s largest cities, including Los Angeles and Miami, Spanish-language newscasts regularly beat all their English-language competitors in the Nielsen ratings.

The most recent census, in 2010, estimated the U.S. Latino population at “more than 50 million, more than double its size in 1990, and up 46.3% since 2000,” according to the Pew Research Center. Hispanics are also the “nation’s youngest ethnic group. The median age of Latinos is 27, while for non-Hispanic whites it is 42 and for non-Hispanic blacks it is 32,” Pew says.

“We believe that this relationship helps to better serve today’s exploding Hispanic audiences who have demonstrated a passionate appetite for MiTú’s English and Spanish language, culturally relevant video content,” CEO and MiTú partner Roy Burstin said in the statement.

Louis Chunovic is the U.S. East Coast reporter for STREAM, a new online daily launching soon from Brunico that covers online video entertainment.

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About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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