|Digital Media in Mexico
By: Luke Willoughby
Our neighbors to the south operate an underrated emerging economy, looking to take large strides out of corruption, violence, and self-destruction. With radical political and economic changes occurring in the last two years, Mexico is now legitimately poised to transform into a modern marketplace with enormous consumer potential and marketing possibility.
According to eMarketer, just under half of Mexico’s approximate 120 million citizens have access to the Internet. But this in the early stages of a growth cycle, where smartphones are still reserved for early adopters. Looming challenges lie in coaxing monthly fees out of a poor middle class and developing the infrastructure out of bureaucratic stalemate. Mexico is home to the world’s fifth-largest telecom company in America Movil, which equates to a virtual monopoly of the national market. Lack of competition costs the Mexican people billions of dollars each year. Meanwhile, America Movil owner Carlos Slim bypassed Bill Gates as the world’s wealthiest man from 2010 to 2013.
It is in this typical Mexican fashion that across national Mexican websites there is a distinct and far-ahead leader across every economic vertical. According to Alexa.com, the largest education site, by far, is UNAM — the National Autonomous University of Mexico. The largest news site, by far, is El Universal, which displays a robust and modern advertising integration.
The social landscape, however, is relatively vibrant due to a high concentration of young users amongst Mexico’s Internet demographic. Although the market is led by Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, just like the rest of the world, there is a much stronger presence of additional social players than in the U.S. One such site is Taringa!, which is a worldwide platform started in Argentina that virtually hosts any kind of content as long as it's rated PG-13. From games, news, and music to entertainment, it was noted in Wired in 2013 as a site that “outshines Facebook.” It does, at least, have a less noticeable advertising presence. All social media activity does carry a harsh reality in Mexico, however, as the power of the deadly cartels extends into the digital conversation. Cartels have claimed responsibility for violence, based on what some victims had said across social media.
Rising out of crippling conditions like the fear instilled by the cartels, and the bureaucratic waste of monopoly control, will help Mexico gain more access to the Internet, increase traffic, and produce more opportunity for growth. New President Enrique Peña Nieto took office in 2012 with a progressive agenda to promote technological advancement. He’s joined by a cabinet of ivy-league educated technocrats fighting to combat the destructive conditions holding back Mexico's advancement. First item on the agenda and his most ruthless obstacle: his fellow politicians.
Luke Willoughby works in the digital media landscape of New York across varying agencies and brands. He also has a background in video and content production, and is invested in the resurgence of the full-service advertising agency and the associated opportunities for the marketing industry. Originally from Denver, Colorado, he's a fan of most outdoor activities and otherwise enjoys reading and film.
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