Univision Tackles Mobile Fragmentation

One of the most common publisher laments in the digital era is the time and cost it takes to create properties for the ever-expanding lineup of smartphone devices hitting the market.

Univision, however, claims it has found a solution to the fragmentation dilemma and has relaunched more than 90 of its mobile Web properties to ensure device detection and proper rendering. Built using a Java-based SDK and UI building framework, Univision has opted out of HTML5 and responsive design for this effort. Instead, its Java-based sites allow for the creation of dynamic mobile experiences adapted for the various device families.

Digiday interviewed Jose Hernandez, vice president of mobile at Univision Interactive Media to discuss the new sites and the ever-changing mobile market from a publisher’s perspective. Hernandez is bullish on mobile Web advertising and the opportunities around mobile content.

Why is it important for publishers like Univision to have a mobile presence at all?
It is critical for publishers to stay relevant and, most importantly, accessible for audiences via different platforms and devices. As the digital leader serving Hispanics, Univision has been spearheading efforts to make high-quality content available to the country’s fastest-growing consumer segment, across all platforms. For the past few years, we have significantly increased our focus on mobile and have expanded our mobile offerings to meet the incredible demand our community has for relevant content on their handsets. Whether that’s our mobile website or a variety of apps for smartphones, to SMS alerts and live-streaming events. We want to be the one-stop for Hispanics on mobile and in fact, visits to our online and mobile platforms have grown rapidly as we’ve diversified and deepened our digital offerings.

Why has Univision relaunched its 900-plus mobile properties?
Media consumption is ever changing and as part of Univision’s commitment to serving its audiences across platforms, it is equally important that we do so in line with today’s consumption habits so we remain relevant. Relaunching the mobile sites allows us to continuously provide an optimal experience for users as we deliver the content that they expect. The new platform is more cost-effective and allows for greater flexibility when updating sites or deploying new ones, plus it integrates with our backend to allow publishers easier cross-platform publishing across online and mobile.

Why is mobile an important aspect of Univision’s content-distribution strategy?
Hispanics over-index on online and mobile consumption versus non-Hispanics. In fact, 65 percent of Hispanics use their handset as the primary access to the Internet. Hispanics engage in text messaging, downloading multimedia and streaming audio and video much more than the total universe of smartphone users. As the leaders in the space, Univision has been committed to serving our audience with culturally relevant content across an array of passion points, regardless of platforms. Hispanics are very passionate and social with the content they consume. We’ve seen the results in the number of downloads for our apps, in the novellas they consume online or the Univision InStudio sessions on mobile. We are seeing mobile and video consumption booming, which is a tremendous opportunity to reach this increasingly mobile consumer group.

What are some of the challenges with mobile content and how do these new sites address these challenges?
Providing the best user experience is a big challenge on mobile, with the fragmented device landscape and ever-changing nature of the medium. The new sites allow for a richer experience for users – especially on smartphone devices, better navigation, and addresses users’ demand for rich media and video content by integrating video throughout the sites. The sites also allow us to surface up sticky content more effectively, and in greater alignment with online for a truly cross-platform experience.

What are the advertising opportunities?
Yes, the sites are ad supported. Mobile website advertising has proven to be an effective way to reach our users and generate an immediate response. Our mobile website offers advertising opportunities across all channels and sub-channels. We can create a landing page or build a mobile website for advertisers with dynamic functionalities to keep users engaged with the brand. The mobile advertising toolset also includes display banner ads, text-messaging, mobile coupons, customized mobile content, rich-media capabilities and pre-rolls.

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