StarMedia Women’s Channel Relaunch Part of Broader Strategy

It may not be competing for the same audience as the likes of iVillage or ClubMom, but with the relaunch of its women’s section, Spanish language portal StarMedia wouldn’t mind grabbing some of their ad dollars.

“The U.S. is the most important country for us in terms of advertising revenue,” stressed StarMedia VP of Operations Juan Jose Nunez.

The portal publisher has expanded its StarMedia Mujer channel, building out its editorial content in the hopes of giving Spanish speakers in the U.S., Mexico and other Latin American countries more reason to stay on the site — and more reason for advertisers to reach women there.

Advertisers including Tyson, Jeep, Kraft and AstraZeneca’s Nexium are running ads in the StarMedia Mujer section. Spanish-language microsites for Nexium and Kraft Foods’s ComidaKraft.com, hosted by Starmedia, link from ads in the women’s channel. Tyson is running a spot linking to its own Spanish-language site, and

Jeep is running a banner linking to an English-language site promoting the 2007 Jeep Compass.
According to Nunez, three or four new advertisers are expected to buy media in the new women’s channel in the coming weeks. Rich media formats, sponsorships, watermarks and editorially-integrated ads are available on the site.

StarMedia has enhanced content areas throughout the women’s section, particularly in Fashion and Beauty and Diet and Nutrition. To accommodate the need for more content, Nunez noted that the company has boosted its editorial staff, based in Spain, to four people. StarMedia Mujer features content areas including Family, Sexuality, Relationships, Home, Horoscopes and Forums.

The relaunched channel also offers a new sub-section called “Tu Espacio,” or “Your Space,” which includes in-depth content regarding family, work and travel and leisure. StarMedia also provides services such as chat, e-mail, games, e-cards and classifieds across the portal. The firm also launched its online digital Latin music service VOY Music about four months ago.

StarMedia, which is wholly-owned by France Telecom Group’s online division, Wanadoo, derives the largest portion of its ad revenue from auto and entertainment advertisers, according to Nunez. He expects to see more dollars from sports and technology advertisers in the near future, he said.

Site visitors from Mexico and the U.S. comprise the largest portion of the portal’s user base, Nunez told ClickZ News. Mexico accounts for around 20 percent of its audience, and the U.S. makes up around 15 percent. “The market is much bigger than the rest of the countries,” he added. “That’s the reason why we’re focused on those markets.” Other visitors reside in Peru, Argentina, Columbia and Chile. StarMedia often targets ads to users living in the U.S. or Mexico, or specific zip and area codes.

StarMedia ranks fourth in Web traffic among major Spanish-language sites, according to Hitwise. The Web measurement firm found Univision garnered .04 percent of the weekly market share of total Web visits for the week ending July 29. Yahoo Telemundo came in second with .009 percent, Terra Networks third with .004 percent, StarMedia fourth with .001 percent, and AOL Latino fifth with .00008 percent.

The portal must balance its need to go head-to-head with other Spanish-language sites with its broader goal of growing the Hispanic market in the U.S, explained Nunez. Indeed, he sits on the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Hispanic Committee, along with several representatives of StarMedia’s competitors. “We’re going for the same audience,” admitted Nunez. “We have to work together to increase the U.S. Hispanic market.”

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