YouTube Network Plays Well With Latino Audiences Latinos are more likely than other Americans to watch online videos, but there hasn't been much of an effort to develop special content for them — until now. Mitu is a YouTube network that specializes in lifestyle videos with, as one user puts it, "Latino flair."

YouTube Network Plays Well With Latino Audiences

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.


And I'm Audie Cornish.

Research has found that Latinos are more likely than other Americans to watch online videos, but there hasn't been much of an effort to develop content especially for them - until now. Marketers say, in the past year, there has been a flood of videos geared to Latinos.

NPR's Laura Sydell has this story about one production company that's pivoted from making TV to developing a YouTube network for Hispanic Americans.

LAURA SYDELL, BYLINE: When 29-year-old Trina Hernandez and her family have questions, they have a favorite place to find answers.

TRINA HERNANDEZ: YouTube is such a popular word in my family...

SYDELL: And that's not just with her husband and son.

HERNANDEZ: well with my mom. She has a question, and she'll go to YouTube to search. And my aunts, they're like, oh, did you watch that video on YouTube? Oh, look it up real quick and...


SYDELL: Recently, Hernandez discovered a YouTube network called Mitu. It has all kinds of short, lifestyle videos. She especially likes the cooking shorts.

HERNANDEZ: I'm not a very good cook, and Mitu has really great short videos, like two-minute videos where they quickly show you how it's done, and I'm like, oh, OK, that's all I need.

SYDELL: Shows like this one.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Hi, guys. It's (unintelligible). I'm a fugu(ph) chef. Hey, let's make some chili-rubbed roasted chicken.

SYDELL: Hernandez says the food recipes on Mitu are geared to people like her, Americans of Hispanic heritage.

HERNANDEZ: Our problem is we're sometimes a little bit too Americanized, and my mom, she lives three hours away, so I really can't necessarily turn to her and say, hey, mom, how do I make the salsa, you know, that you used to make? And Mitu has really helped in adding that Latino flair.

SYDELL: That desire for content with Latino flair is an opportunity for people like Danielle Gonzales, a vice president at Tapestry, a multicultural marketing firm.

DANIELLE GONZALES: For years, the Hispanic market has been there and has been using YouTube and has been using a lot of the different video sites, but there wasn't a lot of content that was directed towards them.

SYDELL: Gonzalez says advertisers were willing to pay premium prices for the limited online content they could find. Now, there are six Latino-oriented channels funded by YouTube, and Univision and Telemundo, the major Hispanic TV networks in the U.S., are starting to fund special content for their websites.

GONZALES: This is the first year that we really have now, in my opinion, enough supply to satisfy most advertisers and most consumers.

SYDELL: The founders of Mitu, Beatriz Acevedo and Doug Greiff, feel their moment has arrived. They are TV and film producers.

DOUG GREIFF: We've had a successful production company for many, many years, but we both genuinely believe with all our heart and soul that Mitu could be 20 times bigger than whatever we've accomplished on the TV production side of it.

SYDELL: Greiff has some numbers to back him up. According to the Pew Research Center, Latinos are much more likely to visit video-sharing sites than white, non-Hispanics - 81 percent versus 69 percent.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Fashion, take two. Marker.

SYDELL: Today, Greiff is directing a series of shorts about life while pregnant with actress Karla Zelaya who actually is pregnant.


KARLA ZELAYA: Hi, guys. As you can see, I'm still pregnant with a huge belly that keeps on growing, and I just don't know what I'm going to wear. I have a very important event tonight, and I have no idea what I'm going to wear because it seems like I'm fitting into nothing.

SYDELL: In this video, Zelaya will consult with her friend fashion designer Ximena Valero.


XIMENA VALERO: So, first of all, you have to relax and acknowledge you're pregnant. Be proud of that.

ZELAYA: I'm acknowledging.


VALERO: Be proud of that. Imagine how many people will love to be pregnant.

SYDELL: Doug Greiff says his budget for online videos is tighter than what he's used to for his television work.

GREIFF: I would actually put up any of our premium originals with any of the TV shows that we produce, and, you know, it just - it forces you to kind of be a little more creative. It forces you to hunker down a little bit.

SYDELL: Mitu also collaborates with people who are already producing online content. Fashion designer Ximena Valero has her own YouTube channel and a couple of million viewers, but she's now part of the Mitu network.

VALERO: They have so many different interests for people, and they have so many members already signing with them. So just by being part of them, a lot more people are going to see my stuff.

SYDELL: Since launching in April, Mitu videos have gotten more than 300 million views, and the network has some 950,000 subscribers. Mitu's Doug Greiff says their growth strategy counts on Latinos' heavy use of social media.

GREIFF: Our first hire was a social media community manager who is now communicating nonstop with these folks - both viewers and channel partners - and using Twitter, using Facebook, using everything that she can to get people talking about it.

SYDELL: And this year, Latinos who like to spend time surfing the Web are going to have a lot more to talk about. Laura Sydell, NPR News.

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