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DVD Web Site Learns Spanish

10 Apr, 2006 By: Holly J. Wagner

How would you feel if you could find films in your native language, or the one your parents speak, only in a dusty or garishly colored section shunted off to the side of a store?

That's just what the management behind comparison-shopping site DVDMarketplace.com thought when they added a Spanish-language section to their site.

“We want to cater to all Americans regardless of their ethnicity,” said Brian Holden, DVD Marketplace's marketing director. “We also don't want to limit the scope of product that our customers are exposed to.”

While they are supporting the section with a separate URL (HispanicDVDMarketplace.com) launched with about 1,000 Spanish-language titles in late March, buyers will purchase from the same account they use to shop the rest of the site.

“The research that we have done has shown that Latinos are more aggressive purchasers, with 54% buying DVDs purchasing two or more at a time, which can add a lot of dollars in incremental sales,” Holden said. Among other consumers, 42% buy multiple discs at a time, he said.

The site hopes to offer one-stop shopping for consumers who may use a mix of languages in the home – for example, an extended family with working parents, teens in school and abuelita at home.

“You never know which people may have the grandmother who is first-generation and still speaks Spanish,” he said. “We know that this is going to pay off a millionfold.”

DVD Marketplace plans to launch an advertising initiative, starting in the Miami area, within the next two months. The campaign is slated to include traditional and electronic media directing potential buyers to the site.

The site hopes ultimately to offer thousands of Spanish-language titles alongside their volume of Hollywood and Bollywood fare. For merchants looking to sell, the site lets them sell product for a 10% commission, with no sign-up or registration fees. Sellers pay only on what sells. The site does not offer rentals, which the operators believe will be eclipsed by new or used sellthrough.

The idea that Latino consumers are looking only for Spanish-language titles is a myth, Holden said.

“Since we've uploaded HispanicDVDmarketplace, we have seen an enormous amount of sales in the Spanish-language marketplace,” he said. “Someone ordered 12 titles yesterday, and it was a mixed sale — about three of the movies were Hollywood movies, and the others were Spanish. That shows you what the rest of the industry is missing.”

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