Industry Powerhouses Launch New U.S. Latino Podcast Company--Pitaya Entertainment
Early Signings Include Some of The Most Popular Latino Personalities and Influencers in Entertainment
16 Feb, 2021, 10:30 ET
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Five powerhouse executives from the entertainment, podcasting, and advertising industries have joined forces to create Pitaya Entertainment, a new company dedicated to producing podcasts for U.S. Latinos. Pitaya Entertainment launches with six podcast series featuring some of the most popular Latino personalities in entertainment--including television stars, award-winning comedians, and major YouTube influencers--with a combined social media following of more than 27.5 million. All six series were released in the last two weeks, all debuting on the Apple Podcast charts, with two becoming the #1 and #2 most popular Spanish-language podcasts on Apple's Top 200 podcasts chart in the U.S.
"While podcasts are exploding in popularity in the U.S., the Latino podcast audience is underserved and underdeveloped, and Latino voices are seriously underrepresented in podcasting. Pitaya Entertainment aims to change that by bringing podcasts to the forefront of the Latino community," said Zach Horowitz, Managing Partner and Co-Founder.
All of Pitaya Entertainment's initial podcasts will be weekly series using an unscripted talk show format and hosted by well-known Latino personalities with a large and devoted fan base, both in traditional media and online.
Most of the series will be in Spanish, with some in English or Spanglish, but all are for and about Latinos. All will be free to listeners and available worldwide on multiple platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Pandora, and Pitaya Entertainment's website, pitaya.fm.
Pitaya Entertainment's podcast hosts are as diverse as the U.S. Latino community itself, with the debuting series featuring Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cuban-Americans, and Venezuelan-Americans. What all the hosts have in common is a deep and powerful connection with their fans.
The six initial series are:
Giselle Blondet, the beloved Puerto Rican actress and T.V. host, and her daughter, Gabriella Pabón, a recent mother herself, co-host ¡Ay, Mamá!, a candid and heartfelt Spanish-language podcast series about the joys and challenges of motherhood. A star for over 30 years, Giselle's popularity spans generations. ¡Ay, Mama! debuted at #3 on Apple Podcasts' U.S. Parenting chart and as the highest-ranked podcast in Spanish on that list. (https://www.pitaya.fm/ay-mama)
José Eduardo Derbez hosts El Pedcast, a Spanish-language comedy series featuring humorous interviews with colorful guests. José Eduardo, son of actor/comedian Eugenio Derbez and telenovela star Victoria Ruffo, has appeared in numerous films and T.V. shows, including the Amazon Prime hit reality series De Viaje con los Derbez and Unicable's Terapia de Shock. El Pedast debuted at #32 on the Apple Podcasts U.S. Comedy Interviews chart and at #27 on Apple's top 100 most popular podcasts charts in Mexico. (https://www.pitaya.fm/el-pedcast)
Alejandra Espinoza, actress, model and T.V. host, and her sister Damaris Jimenez, a life coach, co-host Entre Hermanas, a Spanish language podcast series centered on self-improvement and female empowerment. The sisters draw upon their journeys, chronicling their paths to becoming inspirational role models. Entre Hermanas debuted as the second most popular Spanish language podcast in the U.S. on Apple's Top 200 podcasts chart and the sixth most popular podcast in any language on Apple's U.S. Education chart. (https://www.pitaya.fm/entre-hermanas)
Ana Patricia Gámez hosts Ana Patricia Sin Filtro, a revealing Spanish-language podcast series about the lessons learned during a remarkable life as a first-generation Mexican immigrant, beauty queen, T.V. star, businesswoman, wife, and mother. In its first week, the show debuted as the highest-ranked Spanish language podcast in the U.S. on Apple's Top 200 podcasts chart and the #5 most popular podcast in any language on Apple's U.S. Education chart. (https://www.pitaya.fm/sinfiltro)
Jomari Goyso, the renowned beauty and fashion expert and co-star of the popular T.V. show Sal y Pimienta, hosts Sin Rodeo, a Spanish language podcast of free-ranging conversations with celebrities, friends, and lifestyle experts. Every week, Jomari and his guests will motivate listeners to think outside the box and see life differently. Sin Rodeo debuted at #1 on the Apple Podcasts U.S. Entertainment News chart. (https://www.pitaya.fm/sinrodeo)
Joanna Hausmann, a Venezuelan-American, and Jenny Lorenzo, a Cuban-American, co-host the English language series Hyphenated, exploring what it means to live in the "hyphen" that connects American and Latino culture. The award-winning Latina millennial comedians are known for their humorous videos inspired by their Latino heritage. Hyphenated debuted at #46 on the highly competitive Apple Podcasts U.S. Comedy chart and was the highest-ranked podcast about Latinos and the Latino experience on that list. (https://www.pitaya.fm/hyphenated-1)
"Latinos want programming that speaks to their interests and authentically connects in-culture. Our podcasts give them just that—culturally relevant and popular hosts whose passionate fans will now be able to engage with them weekly through our shows," said Diana Mejia-Jones, Co-Founder & Partner.
Pitaya Entertainment's five principals are a virtual dream team with over 100 years of high-level experience in successfully developing and promoting talent and programming in the entertainment and podcasting industries, with a special focus on Latino entertainment.
Zach Horowitz is the former long-time President & Chief Operating Officer of Universal Music Group, the world's largest music entertainment company. He started the U.S. Latin music division at Universal Music and championed its growth to become the industry market leader. He also co-wrote and co-produced the Latin Grammy-nominated Los Tigres del Norte at Folsom Prison, Netflix's fourth most-watched documentary in Mexico in 2019. He is the Managing Partner of the company.
Guillermo Santiso is the former head of Fonovisa Records, one of the world's leading Latin record companies. He developed such multi-platinum artists as Enrique Iglesias, Marco Antonio Solís, and Los Tigres del Norte. He is currently the Executive Vice President of Campanario Entertainment, the Latinx T.V. and digital content production company responsible for Netflix's Selena: The Series.
Andy Bowers is a podcast pioneer who's been called "the godfather of the podcasting industry" by the New York Times Magazine. He founded one of the first professional podcasting networks at Slate.com in 2005 and built it into a significant force. He then co-founded podcast industry giant Megaphone, which Spotify purchased in 2020. Bowers has created and developed dozens of successful podcasts and has overseen podcast partnerships with Malcolm Gladwell, The Wall Street Journal, Vox, Vanity Fair, Netflix, HBO, Politico, and Buzzfeed.
Diana Mejia-Jones is a top Latina marketing, advertising, and branded entertainment expert with almost 20 years in the field. She is currently the V.P. of Spanish Development and Integrated Marketing at Campanario Entertainment, where she develops and produces original T.V. series and films for the Latin market. She has secured tens of millions of dollars in brand marketing endorsements and licensing programs targeting U.S. Latinos.
Jordi Oliveres is an award-winning producer and media executive. He comes to Pitaya Entertainment from Univision Communications, where he developed digital video series at Fusion T.V., started the online music magazine TrackRecord, and negotiated important celebrity endorsement deals. He will serve as General Manager of the company.
"As a team, the principals of Pitaya Entertainment bring extraordinary insights into the Latin culture, unparalleled business and entrepreneurial skills, and a deep network of contacts in podcasting, entertainment, and advertising," said Guillermo Santiso, Co-Founder & Partner.
Over 100 million people in the U.S. now listen to podcasts every month— double the number from five years earlier. U.S. podcast ad revenue has been consistently growing at double-digit rates, even in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. In 2021 U.S. ad revenue is expected to surpass $1 billion for the first time.
Latinos significantly lag in podcast awareness and consumption compared to the general market, with recent surveys finding that 55% have not yet tried a podcast and 39% have not yet heard of the term. This represents a fertile opportunity for growth.
Said Andy Bowers, Co-Founder & Partner, "The Latino podcast audience is a sleeping giant. The only things keeping it from awakening are a shortage of high-quality shows aimed at these listeners and a robust effort to raise awareness of the medium. Pitaya Entertainment intends to be a leader in both areas."
Said Jordi Oliveres, Co-Founder & Partner, "U.S. Latinos represent over 18% of the U.S. population, with 1.7 trillion dollars in purchasing power. They are driving culture, entertainment, and commerce. Our podcasts will offer Latinos high-quality programs and provide marketers with fantastic opportunities to reach this important consumer group."
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