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Latino Market Thrives on Community

14 Apr, 2008 By: Stephanie Prange

I always look forward to our annual Latino DVD conference — ably led by our own Angelique Flores — because it's like a family reunion. Invariably, a panelist will opt to give me a hug, rather than just shake my hand, after a presentation. There is a feeling of camaraderie that you don't always find in entertainment industry gatherings.

This year, it was clear that the Latino market is an established part of the home entertainment industry. The studios continue to view the segment as integral to the business. For instance, Warner includes David Hernandez, director of multicultural marketing, in many decisions on marketing major studio hits.

But while the Latino home entertainment market is established, it continues to work hard to maintain its shelf space with retailers, panelists said. Pricing and placement are important in the battle to reach the audience.

Comments at the Latino conference point out the shifting nature of the business at large. While the overall home entertainment industry tries to navigate the mature DVD market and another format change, the niche, or more focused, players are trying to do the same thing with a more-targeted product. The variables in marketing and selling a Latino release are in many ways more complicated, by issues of age, regional preference and language. Latino product often must find its audience in static or shrinking shelf space filled with a sea of big-budget studio films, and, increasingly, Blu-ray Discs.

Still, there is a rabid and growing audience.

Consumers on a panel at the conference all said they were hungry for more Latino home entertainment, looking for treasures online or at mom-and-pop Latino stores when big-box retailers don't satisfy their interests.

I'm sure the Latino home entertainment industry will continue to find a way to reach that audience — together.

Conference guest entertainer Alex Reymundo — and winner of the Best Stand-Up Comedy DVD award for One Funny Hick-spanic from Vivendi Entertainment and Salient Media — noted in his routine that Latinos don't often travel alone. That united, familial spirit has served the Latino home entertainment market well, and will continue to serve the business in the future.

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