Caracol expands its digital strategy


In an interview prior to his participation in the next editions of NexTV CEO Latin America and NexTV Series Colombia & Andean, Caracol Television’s digital Vice President, Marcelo Liberini, spoke about the company’s online strategy, the generation of original content and the future of Caracol Play SVOD platform.

-How is Caracol’s digital strategy?

We have a portfolio of eight content brands where we develop the entire digital media and content strategy. Our business is related to traditional TV and we are analyzing how to expand in the digital world.

In the TV market, Caracol has three digital brands: Noticias Caracol, Gol Caracol and Caracol Televisión. Each brand have a website and, in addition, we have a lot of presence in social media. We also have radio, newspapers and magazines brands.

We have very strong brands but when I arrived in 2015, historically the leader in digital brands in Colombia had always been the newspaper El tiempo, and secondly our newspaper, El Espectador. We made a couple of strategic changes and today, two years later, we are the leaders in digital audiences in the local market with the Caracol brand, which is a combination of news, sports and entertainment. Caracol brand has been leading for five months, and we hope it continues like this.

-To what do you attribute the rapid growth?

We decided to focus on Noticias Caracol. We changed the generation and loyalty strategy of digital audiences with the news brand and then we grew three times in two years. With this single brand, we were almost equal to the rest of the news portals. And we complement it with the entertainment segment. The Caracol Televisión site is also very attractive, especially in social networks and online video. These videos are related to the TV screen but we also have original videos that we produce in the digital area. This combination made us grow more than the rest of the players.

We have focused a lot in the production of original video content and views have grown in our portals and in Facebook and YouTube.

-Do you have statistics to share about it?

With our video strategy, we are achieving milestones every month. We are close to 500 million monthly views of all our videos on all platforms, always in short formats, which is an important milestone considering the size of the Colombian or regional market, because our content is currently 80% consumed in the Colombian market, so this figure is quite relevant.

-When did the production of original digital videos begin?

In mid-2015, we began to experiment with a smarter clipping of certain TV contents of genres like news and entertainment, humor, lifestyle, etc.  In 2016, we started producing original content that was not related to any TV product. Now, we have more than 70 original formats, including hit web series and other productions of lifestyle, entertainment, humor, documentaries, interviews, etc.

-What are the monetization models?

The monetization of this traditional digital media business is driven by digital advertising, which is growing in the Colombian market. But here it happens the same that in other markets: Google and Facebook take the most of digital advertising, as it happens in the United States and the rest of Latin America. And with our leadership, we have to fight for what is left.

We are working, depending on the brand, on some subscription projects. We have a SVOD platform (Caracol Play) and we are analyzing if we build a more generous business, if it is worthwhile to move towards complementing Amazon, Netflix. It has been working for several years and very well, but in this context, we only have our contents, so we are analyzing what will be the evolution to avoid to be harmed by the largest players. We are not going to compete with Netflix, nobody does, but in the Latin American territory, we know that we have different values that we can take advantage of.

-What type of device are your viewers using to consume your video content?

All digital media in Colombia are accessed over 50% through mobile platforms, from smartphones. In some brands, we have 55% and in others 75% or 80%. When the brand has content aimed at younger audiences, the percentage of consumption from smartphones exceeds 70%. When it is a more traditional content, then the diversity of audience segments is much broader and approaches 50%.  In any case, none of our brands, looking at the ComScore metrics in digital content, have more PC users than mobile users today.

We are focused on the audiovisual digital production and in general, we have done very well, even in monetization, with the branded content concept we have managed to monetize our digital video products, it has been a very big challenge and we are achieving good results.