'Hispanic Hulu' Seeks to Capitalize on Growing Number of Latinos Online

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Maximum TV is close to announce that it has signed its first advertising deal with the Orange Advertising Network to begin selling advertisements for its free, Hispanic-targeted broadband television service in the U.S.

Based in Houston, Texas, Maximum TV (www.maximum.tv) went live earlier this year and offers television programming in categories including telenovelas, movies, news, sports, travel and documentaries. It seeks to position itself as the Hulu for U.S. Hispanics. Unlike Hulu, though, much of its content is not readily available in the U.S. or, if it is, it usually costs a premium either on cable or satellite.

"We are offering viewers great content from ‘back home,' free of charge and easy to navigate, personalize and share with friends," JR de Souza, Maximum TV's VP of business development and content acquisition, said.

De Souza is betting on recent data showing Hispanics as the fastest growing segment of the online population and one of the most attractive and lucrative customer segments on the Internet.

According to the Pew Hispanic Center, Internet use among Latino adults from 2006 to 2008, rose by 10 percentage points, to 64% from 54%. In comparison, the rates for whites rose 4 percentage points, and the rates for blacks rose only 2 percentage points during that time period.

This and the demographic's fast adoption of broadband creates a great opportunity for services like Maximum.TV which at least for now offers only Spanish-language content.

Maximum TV's content hails from Latin American providers including SUR, Venevision, RCN, Caracol and EFE.
The service, which went live in March, can is available to anyone in the U.S. that connects to www.maximum.tv. The service has geographical blocking so that is only available in the U.S.

De Souza declined to give specific numbers on both initial investment and current traffic, but said the company is self-funded to date and has no debt.

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