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Batanga Strengthens Hold on Latino Social Networking

LatCom Titles, Events Would Give Web Music Specialist Another Way to Reach Youth

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Latino internet music network Batanga is moving further into social networking, and today announced the acquisition of another Hispanic business, LatCom, which specializes in events and publications for the college and high-school students who are the biggest users of online social networks.
Online music network Batanga looks to extend its lifestyle brand with newly acquired magazines and tours.
Online music network Batanga looks to extend its lifestyle brand with newly acquired magazines and tours.

"Music is at the core, but more and more Batanga is a lifestyle brand for young Latinos," said Batanga CEO Rafael Urbina. "LatCom has made great inroads into the Latin college and high-school scene."

Rebranding mag titles
LatCom's 200,000-circulation Latino University magazine and a similar 100,000-circulation high-school magazine launched this year will be rebranded with the Batanga name, he said. LatCom also does a Latino College Tour on 70 campuses in 13 cities and alternative music and comedy series.

Batanga's growth is also being fueled by users putting My Radio, a program-your-own-radio-station feature started in June with Toyota's sponsorship, on their MySpace pages. In September, Batanga opened an online music store sponsored by General Motors Corp. with more than 250,000 Latin tracks. Users can sign up for 100 free downloads every week (previously, music could be streamed but not downloaded).

Coming up next, DaimlerChrysler's Dodge Nitro will sponsor a music mash-up starting in mid-November that will let users take tracks from different artists and create their own music online.

4.5 million uniques
Batanga gets 4.5 million unique visitors each month, Mr. Urbina said, and streams 20 million videos. Each time a user opens a radio station or a video, a 15- or 30-second commercial appears as the music starts.

"We're selling more and more video [ads]," he said.
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