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Latinas: Exotic or Authentic?

Latinas: Exotic or Authentic?

May 1, 2008
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" only 52 percent of Americans from Mexican descent use the Internet "

In recent months the number of newly-launched independent sites and large network offerings aimed at monetizing the Latina content niche, or micro-niches within it, have been growing with sizzling speed and varied amounts of success.

As Hollywood Latina actresses like Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz have become mainstream crossover celebs, and music blockbusters like Jennifer Lopez and Hispanic television goddesses like Roselyn Sanchez have raised the Latina sex symbol's level of acceptance across many mainstream media markets, it seems only natural that the adult marketplace would join the race to capitalize on the erotic beauty of Caribbean Chicas, Mexican Maidens, Puerto Rican Boriquas, Sensual Spaniards and anyone else who fits the caliente mold. You can already see a subtle shift toward Hispanic cover-girls, centerfolds and hardcore talent in movies that are not specifically for the Latina niche.

Some of the demographic data and webmaster findings regarding this burgeoning market segment may surprise you. While female Latinas and male Latinos are gaining greater notoriety on-screen, knowing how to market them and knowing who you are likely to be marketing them to is especially important if you want to earn fists full of dollars rather than a handful of pesos for your efforts.

The most credible scientifically calculated demographical information regarding the online presence of the Latin population comes from The Pew Charitable Trusts and can be found by visiting PewTrusts.org. While none of their extensive research was intended to benefit adult online marketers directly, the results of their findings are vital information to anyone in this business who is willing to apply it.

The Pew report was published on March 14 of 2007 and was based on direct phone surveys of 6,016 Latino adults age 18 and older. The survey was conducted in both Spanish and English by properly trained bilingual surveyors.

The most relevant findings of the report were that: "78 percent of Latinos who are English-dominant and 76 percent of bilingual Latinos use the Internet, compared with only 32 percent of Spanish-dominant Hispanic adults. Also, 76 percent of U.S.-born Latinos go online, compared with only 43 percent of those born outside the U.S. Some of this is related to language, but analysis shows that being born outside of the 50 states is an independent factor that is associated with a decreased likelihood of going online. Furthermore, 89 percent of Latinos who have a college degree, 70 percent of Latinos who completed high school, and 31 percent of Latinos who did not complete high school go online."

Even more surprisingly, Mexicans are the largest national origin group in the U.S. Latino population, yet they are also among the least likely groups to ever go online. The study showed that only 52 percent of Americans from Mexican descent use the Internet. Even when age, income, language, generation or nativity is held constant, being Mexican is associated by the Pew report with a decreased likelihood of going online.

At least as a starting point, it would appear that marketing Latina content to non-English speaking American Latinos is less likely to yield prosperous results than marketing that same content to non-Latinos or the English-speaking, Americanized second-generation descendents of an emerging immigrant population. Given that information, it seems that things like Spanish translations of website text, attempts at South American or Mexican nationalism and site designs with authenticity in mind are largely unhelpful in marketing Latina content to the most likely target audience.

One prominent Latina site continues to grow rapidly, even as its competition rapidly expands — OyeLoca.com

Paper StreetCash created OyeLoca.com, taking the approach of naming the domain with a Latina flair, but using the site tour to explain its English meaning and some other common Spanish colloquialisms as well. That structure reverses the notion that a Latina site should seek to bring in Latin subscribers, and instead it presents itself as a portal for non-Latin subscribers to get a guided tour of a Latina subculture that many find both erotic and well worth buying a membership to join.

"We also go that extra mile and find real authentic Latinas that guys want to see, not just regular porn stars faking it," said PaperStreetCash Billy, the owner of the Miami-based affiliate program. "We take trips to South America and get some fresh faces along with the regular Latina stars you're used to seeing. There's a great variety of real deal first-timers and Latina pornstars to whet the appetite and keep subscribers coming back for more. The best part is, Latinas don't have a certain look to them; they come in all shapes, colors and nationalities. Light-skinned, dark-skinned, thick, skinny and everything in between; so you never really see the same type of girl over and over again."

With so much heat on the straight Latina side of the industry lately, it's always interesting to see if these trends cross over to the gay side of the marketplace as well. Trends that span the gap between both markets tend to last longer and are often richer economic resources for prospecting webmasters looking to monetize on a new revenue stream.

"From the very start of RainbowRevenue.com, we included a Latino site, HornyPapi.com, along with our other core sites," said Shok, the driving force behind CholoLovers within the company. "That site has always done very well, and the results encouraged us to try different things with our program, mixing it up to see what sticks. We do a lot of traffic analysis and try to keep an eye on what is working to gain a competitive advantage."

Shok added that with the success of HornyPapi, the company also noticed a large crossover between members who liked that site, and members who downloaded content from the company's ebony site, GangstaGays.com.

"We believe that the explosive growth of the Latino niche can be accelerated by marketing it within the context of our findings," Shok said. "That was the thought process behind our LatinoGangsta gay content site CholoLovers.com. The early sales results from this new exclusive site have been exceptional for our company and for our affiliates"

Given the results of the Pew report noted earlier, and confirmation of assumptions from those findings within the adult market thanks to the internal data from RainbowRevenue, it seems marketing Latino content devoid of any "political correctness" may be far more successful than sticking to themes seeking to make members out of people within the Latin community. As one source who wished to remain unnamed quipped, "When we make Latina porn, we try to think 'rap video' not 'Juan Valdez.'"

Some sponsors have built entire programs around a single niche in an attempt to gain market penetration among webmasters with traffic narrowly focused on that niche.

TeenRevenue.com is a great example of a company whose sole focus originally was within the teen market segment. Fine tuning their content into micro-niche categories like Latina teens is a logical and profitable business plan, according to Evil Chris, the Sales and Marketing Director of TeenRevenue.com

"TeenRevenue is always on the lookout for an exotic look," Evil Chris said. "Several of the solo-girl sites in our program, like LittleLupe.com, are Latina teens, and all of them have a huge following. If you have never considered this sub-niche, I suggest you give it a look."

Many experts who contributed their time and thoughts to this article, happened to choose the word 'exotic' when speaking of the Latina niche, and it fits the marketing data perfectly.

In all probability, the surfer who happens to find your Latina website is a white male between the ages of 18-40 who is looking for something "of foreign origin or character; not native; introduced from abroad, but not fully naturalized or acclimatized that is strikingly unusual in appearance" — and that is the very dictionary definition of the word "exotic."

At its heart, adult entertainment is perhaps the most disposable commodity on the planet. Providing content for viewers that they will find exotic and erotic is an increasingly significant challenge to videographers, designers, writers, actors and producers.

Latinas may well be the flavor of the month. Having something or someone on your site that is perceived by surfers as exotic differentiates the average from the rare site that is capable of generating real heat both on-screen and along a company's financial bottom line.

Diversifying the portfolio of a company may not allow it to make every dollar possible from a hot niche, but it provides a real degree of security, because it makes the catalog of content owned by that program less susceptible to changes in surfer likes and dislikes. While Latinas are hot today, they may quickly become stale.

Only time will tell if making a strong play at Latina porn is a profitable plan, but there is mounting evidence that a marketing mistake is being made by producers who assume that those interested in Latina content are people of Latin descent, or someone seeking politically-correct, geographically themed porn with a Spanish language enhanced interface.

More likely, it's the same surfer who bought some other site last month who just wanted to see something more 'exotic' this time around.


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