The following was created as a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis for my Principles of Marketing class in the Olin Business School. I picked Univision because of its unique place in the entertainment industry and its growing importance in a culture-rich Latino market.
I. Problem Overview
Univision is a Hispanic/Latinx media behemoth now challenged by rapidly digitizing mediums and difficulty in courting the below-35 demographic. After a few quarters in the negatives, profits have been up the past two quarters, although many of the causes are non-sustainable (election-related political ad spending and significant subscription fee hikes). The challenges above and below have delayed its IPO.
II. Company Strengths
- Continued position as most influential U.S. Hispanic media company, over rival Telemundo.
- Successful expansion into many digital platforms, including a large stake of The Onion and new acquisition of Gawker Media sites, including Jezebel.
- Ratings for special event programming—such as Copa America Centenario tournament, the Rose Bowl Parade, Premios Juventud, and the Latin Grammy Awards—are consistently high.
- Around 92% of UNI TV’s viewers watch live, a draw for advertisers, compared to around 2/3 of other networks’.
- UNI TV ratings/share is down 28% for all age groups, which is the largest decrease of all major channels and about twice as significant as the second-most decreasing network.
- Prime time audience (including week DVR playback) has come down from 3.7 million to 2 million in the past 5 years.
- Online interfaces are difficult in places to navigate and Spanish platforms have little to no translation or alternate language features accessible.
- Univision Radio’s profits are increasing only by slim margins and has faced difficulty transitioning to the age of Internet Radio.
- Fusion Media Group, a Hispanic millennial-targeted TV and digital project whose Disney shares were recently bought out by Univision, has had trouble finding an audience and reported significant financial losses.
- There is a booming market for Hispanic content from non-Hispanics, with 12.1% of non-Hispanic adult American population speaking Spanish well enough to hold a conversation and 2.8 million Non-Hispanic Americans speaking Spanish at home.
- Univision bought out Gawker Media in August and, once the deal officially goes through, will have a built-in younger audience to expose multi- and cross-platform content to.
- While traditional radio is slowing, Internet Radio is experiencing a boom, with annual growth rates estimated at 24% and ad revenue growth at 20% of all radio industry by 2017.
- A rapid flood of TV content is shifting the entertainment industry toward niche shows, which includes many non-Univision Hispanic shows (CW’s “Jane the Virgin” and Netflix’s “Narcos”), and small-scale or non-U.S. produced shows on streaming services that will compete for viewers’ attention with Univision.
- Increase in alternative, non-live consumption of TV/radio is forcing rapid industry changes.
- A significant majority of Hispanics in the USA are millennials or younger and prefer watching/listening to fast-paced and English-based content. UNI TV and Univision Radio don’t always provide English subtitles or alternatives.
VI. My Recommendation
Appeal to wider audience—not just Hispanics but also Spanish speakers and non-Hispanics wanting to learn more about Hispanic culture or consume Hispanic-focused entertainment/media. Offer easy English translation of Spanish-based web assets and subtitles for TV assets to appeal to millennials who speak mixes of Spanish/English and native English speakers fluent in Spanish. Diversify program and media offerings to include Spanglish or English/Spanish combinations or English-friendly alternatives. Develop straight-forward, user-optimized interfaces for digital media and transition TV and radio assets to have full online and mobile capabilities, incorporating live and archived web radio and TV programming.