While many companies backslid on their DE&I efforts in 2023, diverse-owned media companies continued creating content for marginalized audiences — and growing their footprints.

At the 2024 IAB NewFronts, presentations by diverse-owned and targeted media companies, including LatiNation Media (formerly LATV), Revry, My Code, Canela Media and Estrella Media, touted their growing reach to media buyers.

“People now know the true value of partnering with minority-owned media when it comes to not just targeting minorities, but targeting the fastest-growing segments of the population,” said Andres Palencia, CEO of LatiNation Media. 

In the wake of the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement, the industry began “making rules to create relationships with diverse publishers and companies” where they didn’t exist before, noted Palencia. 

Now, clients are “understandably looking for quality, scale, authenticity and a return,” added Oswald Méndez, chief marketing officer at Canela Media. 

And this year, companies are certain of their ability to provide those metrics. 

Diverse media companies tout growth and authentic reach

Diverse media companies are increasingly able to provide the reach and returns that advertisers seek and have established a “track record of providing value to the client,” according to Palencia. 

Hispanic media company Canela Media, for example, reported that it reaches 45 million unique viewers per month, equivalent to 65% of the U.S. Hispanic population. Meanwhile, Spanish-language media company Estrella Media grew its unique CTV impressions by 28% year-over-year, and LGBTQ+ media company Revry now reaches 13 million households. 

Advertisers are waking up to the importance of reaching marginalized communities as they continue to grow. The U.S. Hispanic population’s spending power is comparable to that of an entire nation, and if it was its own country, it would be the fifth largest in terms of spend. LGBTQ+-owned Revry noted the community has $1.7 trillion in disposable income.

Many of these companies are also teaming up with mainstream partners to broaden their growing reach. Canela Media has partnered with Warner Bros. Discovery’s WBD Conexión Latina platform to provide its advertisers access to the WBD portfolio while growing WBD’s reach among bilingual Hispanic audiences in the U.S. 

Revry launched an ad network called Prism Riot shortly after its NewFronts debut in 2023, which saw a 669% increase in request volume and 575% increase in impressions served between the second and fourth quarters of last year. Revry cofounder and CEO Damian Pelliccione said the network has raked in nearly half a billion CTV impressions.

“Revry, not just as an ad network but as a voice and a leader for media and with our community, is able to show super positive ROI for these brands,” they said.

Many diverse media companies, including LatiNation Creative and Revry, have their own creative studios that work with advertisers to create work that speaks to their audiences, led by diverse creatives. 

Aiding with creative “helps brands connect better and more organically with our audience who are very perceptive to the ‘data sheet authenticity’ versus the hands-on authenticity,”Palencia said.

Diverse media owners add that the nature of the content itself attracts a more engaged audience. “Diverse audiences are often served a subpar product. We want to make sure that the product is always elevated and has the highest level of quality,” said Méndez. 

Upgrading ad units and infusing technology

As these media companies scale, they’re rolling out new tools, data and solutions for advertisers. 

My Code launched Remezcla Media Group, which helps advertisers reach the Hispanic community programmatically across hundreds of publisher partners, a suite of digital and audio products and OTT and CTV channels, as well as integrated content, talent partnerships and experiential opportunities. 

Canela Audience Solutions, Canela Media’s data platform, claims to target U.S. Hispanic audiences more accurately than other data providers. It was designed to solve a “frustration that the marketplace has in terms of identifying Latino audiences with accuracy and precision,” said Méndez.

Canela has also upgraded its ad offerings to provide “more interactivity and more opportunities to seamlessly integrate with our content.” It also announced the Canela Rewards Program, launching later this year, which will give advertisers ”an opportunity to engage with our users in a different way,” said Méndez.

Canela has also begun using AI to make the ads it serves contextual to the content they are placed against — in other words,“match the mood of our audience with the types of campaigns that we’re serving them,” said Méndez. 

“We have to provide brands a way to assign the value that this audience deserves,” he added.

Are advertisers buying in?

Revry was affected by brands’ hesitancy to align with the LGBTQ+ community after seeing the backlash Bud Light experienced after partnering with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney. 

Pelliccione said the company saw “regression from brands” and noted that “half of our struggle is misconceptions that conservative advertisers have about who and what we are.”

However, chief content officer Chris J. Rodriguez noted that the company had developed enough “great relationships with great partners that were not swayed” by the backlash that the company still saw growth in investment. 

And its pitch to advertisers is still working: Particularly, brands such as Pantene have invested in Revry’s bespoke creative offerings, while others have attributed to significant growth of its Prism Riot network, despite launching it during a tumultuous time for the community. 

Pelliccione noted Revry received its TAG certification against fraud in the past year, which also alleviated advertisers’ concerns.

Canela’s Méndez said the platform has seen strong investment growth since it launched five years ago. And LatiNation Media said advertisers are investing in reaching its English-speaking Hispanic audience, resulting in “tremendous growth” so far this year, according to president Bruno Ulloa. It is reinvesting back into the community by partnering with creatives across the Latin diaspora to strengthen its slate of content, including Nuestro Stories and Revry.

This article originally appeared on Campaign US.