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Panama 2016 | TELECOMS & IT | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Néstor Altuve, General Manager of Capital Financiero, on audience demographics and expansion plans.

Néstor Altuv
BIOGRAPHY
Néstor Altuve has been a leader and co-leader in many projects for modernization and transformation of digital media organizations in Venezuela. He has over 30 years of professional experience in business and finance, over 17 years of professional experience in media in the areas of planning, business, finance, strategy, process of publishing, and multimedia processing, and has more than 10 years dedicated to comprehensive strategic analysis of the media industry.

Who is your audience?

Previously, 80-90% of our readership at Capital Financiero was made up of top executives. However, it now consists of many mid-level executives who read our newspaper, particularly women in senior- and middle-management positions and people between 28 and 34 years old. Our subscriptions are increasing and our female and young readerships are becoming increasingly important. Senior- and mid-level executives make up approximately 50-60% of our readership today. Students in the past did not buy the newspaper, but now we connect with this demographic by working through social media and attending events. The newspaper's model is based 95% on physical subscriptions, with 6,000 paper copies going to specific subscribers in various industries

What is driving readership in this younger demographic?

Capital Financiero is a strong brand in Panama. Moreover, younger people are increasingly in positions of power in Panamanian businesses. The reason for this change is that younger people have the required skills because of better educational opportunities today and the digital transformation that has taken place. This is the principal reason. Younger people can be seen in any kind of office in Panama, so this trend is simply representative of what is happening in the country in general. We have the combination now of older and younger readers, which is a perfect mix. The lifestyle of our audience has changed and multimedia represents a big percentage of our business. However, the future for us is not only online, we need to establish complementary platforms.

Is Capital Financiero distributed internationally and do you have any plans to publish in English in the future?

Panama City is our principal area for distribution and around 90% of our overall distribution is in the larger cities across the country. In 2016, we are planning to begin expanding, with the first step being to publish a newsletter in English. The second step will be having all of our supplements in English. We are finding that there is demand from businesses for information about Panama in English, and Capital Financiero needs to facilitate communication between Panama and the rest of the world. Furthermore, Panama City has become a cosmopolitan hub that attracts English speakers and they need access to this same information.

How are you integrating events into the newspaper's ecosystem?

Capital Financiero has traditionally held forums over the last 15 years, but we have changed this toward events as a broader concept. We now have 12 events per year, covering energy, telecommunications, entrepreneurship, education, talent, banking, logistics, maritime, environment, economic diversification, and business transformation and development. We have one event per month, usually with 200-300 people in attendance. Our forums used to be attended largely by our subscribers and by general managers. Now our events are larger with a wider appeal, so even students and middle management attend. In 2016, we intend to have more events with higher-profile speakers.

What goals do you have for the newspaper, and what will be the main stories to look out for in 2016?

The media business is like a shopping mall; it is not only digital content, it is all kinds of products. We do need to increase the volume and quality of digital content. Capital Financiero has traditionally been known for its high-quality output and top-rate journalists. However, we need to combine this expertise in the paper with the whole ecosystem. In 2016, we are planning to change the editorial and content management system for the web so that it works well online. Commercial advertising is another area that has changed for newspapers. Clients can advertise not only in the physical newspaper and its supplements, but also digitally. One topic is that Panama's GDP is staying above Latin American and world averages. Oil prices are also an important issue for 2016. Panama will experience healthy growth in the coming year. Panama is not just about the canal and copper, and that our construction sector continues to perform well is evidence of this.