Isabella Sanchez is vice president and managing director at Tapestry, the nation’s largest multicultural media buying agency. Sanchez joined Tapestry in May after 13 years at the Bravo Group where she was vice president and director of media services. She recently spoke with Multichannel News contributor Luis Clemens about audience measurement, multiplatform buys and the future of Hispanic television. Sanchez was particularly upbeat about the inclusion of Spanish-language broadcasters into the mainstream Nielsen Television Index. An edited transcript follows:
MCN: Has Hispanic television audience measurement improved, deteriorated or stayed the same with the shift to the Nielsen Television Index from the Nielsen Hispanic Television Index?
ISABELLA SANCHEZ: Definitely improved. The introduction of NTI or the integration of the Spanish-language networks into NTI provides a definite apples-to-apples comparison with all the other networks. Nielsen has obviously demonstrated their commitment to the quality of the audience measurement. [NHTI], in a way, has provided a little bit of doubt on the part of some clients [who used to ask], 'Why does it have to be a separate study?’ Now the same study provides the same measuring stick and confidence in the numbers.
MCN: Why the sharp variation in numbers for Telefutura and Telemundo when comparing NTI to NHTI?
IS: That is not happening as much [any longer]. Obviously, with any new methodology you are going to have some kinks to be worked out.
MCN: There was a lot of talk about multiplatform buys going into the upfront. Is it a significant factor at this point in terms of drawing resources away from television buys?
IS: I wouldn’t say it is driving resources away from television by any means. Univision has been offering [multiple platforms] now for a few years ever since they started with their dotcom success, and so this year is really the first time Telemundo was able to bring that to the table. I don’t think it drives dollars away from television, it just provides advertisers a way to have more of an integrated campaign.
MCN: How do you see Hispanic television changing?
IS: The good news is that it is changing and evolving and that there are a lot more offerings for the Spanish-preferred viewer. Where consumers once upon a time had two choices, Univision and Telemundo, now they have a number of broadcast and cable choices. What you have to watch out for, though, is that it is not so easy anymore from our perspective.
[Before,] if you aired spots on Univision and Telemundo, you knew it was easy. That’s where Hispanics were, put the ads there, everybody saw them and you were done. Now, we have to really look out for trends, for fragmentation, for how the programming is staying current.
MCN: What are some of those trends?
IS: Once upon a time, folks had a choice of one or two offerings. Now from a broadcast perspective, obviously Telefutura has been around for a number of years.
While their numbers are nowhere to be compared with Univision, there is certainly an audience. Azteca America, while their distribution has been slow, certainly has an audience and then all the cable. Cable is one that we really need to look out for. It is not just cable but it is satellite. Satellite penetration among Hispanics is growing faster than cable. But that is something we should look out for. The typical myth that Hispanics aren’t going to buy into the technology, [that] they are just going to stick with the basic cable, is not true anymore.