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Speaking Latam

Can English-Only Sites Offer Big Reach to Latam?

Nearly all the top 40 Web sites in Latin America are either in Spanish or Portuguese. But 5 are only in English—and they still draw millions of unique visitors from the region. Here’s why.

Top 40 Countdown
Not surprisingly, per comScore the 40 most popular Web sites in Latin America include big brands like Microsoft, Facebook, Terra, iG and Vevo.

While almost all of them are in Spanish or Portuguese, 5 are not—their content is English-only:

Site comScore Latam
rank
# of uniques per month
MTV Networks Music #21 13.5 million
Conduit #28 12.8 million
Amazon sites #33 12.8 million
CBS Interactive #34 10.94 million
English-language Wikipedia #9* 9 million


A Handy Tool
Do these numbers mean that these 5 web properties are pulling a desirable, high-income audience that’s highly fluent in English? Not exactly. With all of these sites, Google Toolbar provides a rough translation into Spanish or Portuguese. It’s not perfect or similar in quality to content originally written in these languages for the audience, but it works. As such, users can go to all of them and get what they want. With MTV, they’re likely to be watching videos, TV shows and movie trailers that don’t need a pitch-perfect translation to enjoy them. The same applies with a shopping site like Amazon or a tech site like Conduit: as long as you can follow the basic directions, navigation is relatively easy. With Wikipedia, the start page lets you choose Spanish or Portuguese as an option. Or you can use the toolbar to translate English Wikipedia content into either language.

English Exceptionalism
However, toolbar translations don’t drive traffic. These 5 English-language exceptions attract a combined 64 million Latam users because of:

  • Worldwide brand equity
  • Unique services

And CBS Interactive is the exception to the exceptions. Unlike most of these other sites, it draws readers with content. CBS’ site portfolio offers tech news, reviews and downloads with CNET and ZDNET (4.6 million combined monthly uniques), playing tips and reviews for gamers with Gamespot (1.7 million), music downloads via last.fm (3.6 million) and news/entertainment info through CBS News and TV.com (1 million).

This broad mix delivers a deeper reach with different audiences that tend to skew A/B in terms of socioeconomic class. And because of the unique, high-quality content on CBS Interactive’s sites, they’re stickier, so users stay longer—all the better to reach them with ads.

*#9 ranking is for all Wikipedia sites, including Spanish Wikipedia and Portuguese Wikipedia

To find out more about reaching Latin America with online advertising, contact us at info@usmediaconsulting.com.

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