Aiming to capitalize on a growing number of Hispanic podcast listeners, a group of five media executives are joining forces to launch a new company targeting the segment. Pitaya Entertainment launches with a half dozen podcasts featuring a mix of television personalities, comedians, and YouTube influencers.
"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)," said Zach Horowitz, Managing Partner and co-founder.
Horowitz is the former long-time President & Chief Operating Officer of Universal Music Group, who launched the U.S. Latin music division at the record label. He is joined by podcast pioneer Andy Bowers, who is credited with founding one of the first professional podcasting networks at Slate.com in 2005. He then co-founded Megaphone, which Spotify purchased in 2020. The other Pitaya partners include Jordi Oliveres, a former Univision television executive who will serve as General Manager of the company; as well as Guillermo Santiso , the former head of Fonovisa Records; and Diana Mejia-Jones, a top Latina marketing, advertising, and branded entertainment expert.
Most of Pitaya Entertainment's series will be in Spanish, with some in English or Spanglish, but all are for and about Latinos. The company quietly released its first shows during the past two weeks, and it notes that two of the shows have hit the top of the chart of Apple Podcast’s most popular Spanish-language shows.
“The Latino podcast audience is a sleeping giant,” said Bowers. “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."
The first six podcasts released by the company include:
¡Ay, Mamá! is hosted by Giselle Blondet, a Puerto Rican actress and T.V. host, and her daughter, Gabriella Pabón, a recent mother herself. The show is a candid and heartfelt series about the joys and challenges of motherhood.
El Pedcast is a comedy series hosted by comedian and actor José Eduardo Derbez, son of actor/comedian Eugenio Derbez and telenovela star Victoria Ruffo, who has appeared in numerous films and T.V. shows.
Entre Hermanas is a series hosted by actor, model and TV host Alejandra Espinoza and her sister Damaris Jimenez, a life coach. The Spanish language podcast series is centered on self-improvement and female empowerment.
Sin Filtro is a hosted by beauty queen, TV star, and businesswoman Ana Patricia Gámez who offers a revealing Spanish-language podcast series about the lessons learned during a remarkable life as a first-generation Mexican immigrant.
Sin Rodeo is hosted by Jomari Goyso, the renowned beauty and fashion expert and co-star of the popular TV show “Sal y Pimienta.” The podcast features conversations with celebrities, friends, and lifestyle experts. Sin Rodeo debuted at No. 1 on the Apple Podcasts U.S. Entertainment News chart.
Hyphenated is an English-language podcast hosted by Millennial comedians Joanna Hausmann, a Venezuelan-American, and Jenny Lorenzo, a Cuban-American, who explore what it means to live in the "hyphen" that connects American and Latino culture.
"Latinos want programming that speaks to their interests and authentically connects in-culture,” said Mejia-Jones. “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.”
Santiso said the founder’s “deep network of contacts” in the media and entertainment industries will help them not only bring new hosts to Pitaya, but also give them insights into the Latin market.
Edison Research data shows 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.