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Infobae shares its strategy to remain the world’s most-read Spanish-language platform

By Raquel Meikle

INMA

Frankfurt, Germany

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By Ana Gutierrez

INMA

San Salvador, El Salvador

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Infobae has become the most widely read Spanish-language medium in the world since its 2002 debut with nearly 724 million views as of September 2020.

Because it is a purely digital medium, it knows the behaviour of its users, keeping track of those who access its site at the office and then migrate to another platform such as print or access the information via other media (Google, Twitter, Facebook, Spotify), Angel Sotera, Infobae product manager, shared with INMA members during a Monday Webinar

The strategy of Infobae, which intends to continue expanding to the Spanish-speaking world, includes doing journalism that surprises, that excites, that makes you think, Sotera said.

“The impact of the pandemic has been like a missile,” Sotera said. “Large media corporations are projecting their staff will return to the offices in mid-2021. Despite nearly empty newsrooms, news continues to be updated and reported while staff continues to work remotely.”

One huge change is the mobile phone is once again playing a star role, as it has allowed the company to continue generating content (with COVID-safety precautions, of course). There was a vital change in the way users consume information and content thanks to the access of large parts of the world’s population to mobile devices, which has allowed a significant increase in users in access to information and content.

Today users visit different platforms and Web sites, where information is shared in a different way in the consumer environment through social media (WhatsApp, Snap, Instagram, Facebook) to share and viralise content, Sotera said.

“People seek information, and the news goes where you are thanks to mobile. With the expansion in the consumption of mobile phones, we are faced with the paradigm of “less PC, more mobile,” he said.

One of the keys to Infobae’s success is its policy of “less whats, more whys” — thinking not only about what happened but why it happened, Sotera said.

“The task of contextualisation by the journalist — the ‘why’ — is vital. And think about tomorrow — ‘less yesterday, more tomorrow’ — because the news happens and our audiences follow it, projecting what comes next. Less comments and more analysis are key priorities for Infobae, since comments abound everywhere. The goal is to analyse the context of why and how the events happen.

“The key for users is to be able to read a note, watch a video, or listen to a podcast. You have to surprise the audience with quality content,” Sotera said.

Unique vsitors (left top) in Argentina, total views (right top), and visit time spent (source: Comscore).
Unique vsitors (left top) in Argentina, total views (right top), and visit time spent (source: Comscore).

Journalists must take into account the observations made by the Reuters Institute’s Digital Report regarding changes in trends:

  • The consumer spends less time on Facebook and more time on WhatsApp and Instagram than in previous years.
  • Television and digital media are the most popular news sources for live content.
  • 78% of respondents use a smartphone to access the news.
  • 56% share news through social networks, messaging, or e-mail.
  • 31% interact with the news through comments on social networks or the Web site.

According to the latest Google Analytics report, from October 2016 to October 2020, Infobae is the most widely read Spanish-speaking brand in the world today: 

  • Argentina: 40 million
  • Mexico: 25 million
  • Spain: 7 million
  • United States: 5.5 million
  • Colombia, Chile, and Peru: 3+ million respectively.

Regarding online media in its weekly reach, Infobae leads the ranking in Argentina with 40%, followed by TN online (36%), Clarín online (29%), La Nación online (22%).

Infobae ranks second in terms of visit time spent (14 minutes), compared to YouTube with 27 minutes — beating out Facebook, Twitter, and Google).
Infobae ranks second in terms of visit time spent (14 minutes), compared to YouTube with 27 minutes — beating out Facebook, Twitter, and Google).

Audiences are also looking for quality video content, a useful tool for thinking, analysing, enjoying — and a space to spend time, Sotera said. Infobae’s audiences have been consuming not only news for a long time, but also quality content with infographics, photographs, and video.

What Infobae will not change in its strategy, Sotera said.

“We continue to feature quality content, backed up during the pandemic with interviews with leading scientists that allow great stories to be presented. Infobae has become a basic search site for information on the pandemic, which has increased responsibility towards our public.”

The “pillars of the spirit Infobae” are:

  • Sense of urgency.
  • Empowerment of the audience: we believe, we feel it, we defend it.
  • Obsessive: be very attentive to detail.
  • We educate ourselves, we learn, we are current and we are digital.
  • We use all available technology to enhance our objectives.
  • Make the life of our users simpler (CX).
  • Become a data driven area: data, a strategic source of ideas and information.
  • In terms of productivity, we convert costs into value.
Infobae titles have 723,746,000 views as of September 2020.
Infobae titles have 723,746,000 views as of September 2020.

Infobae is financed entirely through advertising with campaigns on its site and a brand content agency that is in-house, Sotera said. Its business model today is based on advertising, and in the context of Spanish-speaking countries, the subscription model is not considered. It maintains different covers for Argentina, for America and has two special editions for Infobae in Mexico and Colombia, which have their own editors.

“Our territory is the Spanish language, in the world there are 500 million Spanish speakers and Spanish is also spoken in countries such as the USA, Brazil, Italy, the Philippines, and France.”

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