MiTu - MCNs - online video startups - Fierce 15 2015

Where it's based
: Santa Monica, Calif.
When it was founded: 2012
Website: www.MiTú

Why it's Fierce: MiTú has emerged as not only the top Hispanic-focused multichannel network (MCN), but one of the largest networks to spring from YouTube and remain independent. Mega-sized MCNs like AwesomenessTV and Maker Studios have been acquired outright by Dreamworks and Disney, respectively--but MiTú, moderately sized with around 1,500 YouTube partner channels, 15,000 network channels and nearly 800 million views per month, is taking its own independent migration path from YouTube.

MiTú caters to the U.S. Hispanic audience--a demographic that largely includes younger millennials who engage with entertainment primarily from mobile devices and whose spending power is dramatically increasing. But MiTú isn't the only online service targeting this segment. So what makes it stand out from other Hispanic-focused MCNs and OTT providers?

One key point is its agility in reading viewer tastes and demands and then responding to them. The length and content of its videos vary, Charlie Echeverry, MiTú's CRO, told FierceOnlineVideo, making the meaning of terms like "short form" and "long form" video somewhat nebulous. Developing attractive advertising campaigns around its partners' differing content takes flexibility and original thinking.

"Each of these platforms has a distinct format and mindset. We want to create the right approach for that particular platform at that particular moment, and not just come up with an asset that is two minutes long and try to cram it into everywhere where these people are," Echeverry said.

For example, one holiday-themed campaign featured 20 of MiTú's top "influencers" creating content that showed the way they celebrated the holidays. "They created all kinds of content, not just the stuff for YouTube that we were helping them produce, but they also created Vines and Instagrams and Facebook posts and all kinds of stuff," Echeverry said. Letting the MCN's creators lead the way in developing themed content for several different platforms was more economical and garnered more exposure for everyone involved.

Reaching out beyond the YouTube platform has been another important component that has set MiTú apart from other MCNs. The company has presented at the annual Digital Content NewFronts in New York since its 2012 launch. It began syndicating short-form content on Univision's TV Everywhere platform in 2013 and across AOL's digital footprint in early 2014. Its content can be found on Televisa digital platforms and on TV via Discovery Familia. And fellow MCN Maker Studios syndicates MiTú's content as well.

The company most recently closed its Series B funding round, garnering $5 million from investors that included AMC Networks and Upfront Ventures, among others. Combined with its seed and Series A funding rounds, MiTú has brought in $18 million so far.  It also is bringing aboard new executives to lead its product development and editorial production efforts, giving a hint as to its ambitious strategies ahead.

What's next: MiTú's successful fundraising is helping it to leap away from YouTube as its primary platform; MiTú is developing its own platform. While it will remain a strong presence on YouTube, its customized, owned and operated online video platform will allow it to gain deeper metrics on its audience, which includes more than 100 million YouTube subscribers.

"The idea is that we are able to create our own MiTú product experiences out of the web and on mobile through applications and on mobile web," Echeverry said. "So that we can capture audiences, redirect audiences to those platforms, capture data on those audiences and be able to build a better suite of insights that we can share with brands and advertisers and other companies that might want to partner with us."

MiTu - MCNs - online video startups - Fierce 15 2015