Internet adoption and digital publishing in Mexico

As more and more people are adopting a digital approach to everything from reading to sales, some big markets are falling behind, and Mexico is one of them. With a population of 115 million, it is the single largest Spanish-speaking market. Add to that the influence from the US pushing them forward in many respects and it’s hard to see how such a large market could not have the same adoption of digital publishing as the rest of the developed world.

So why is this trend so persistent? Digital publishers are unwilling to invest in a market with low internet penetration. The internet adoption rate in Mexico is just 40.5% in 2012 - less than the average for Latin America, and far below Europe and the rest of North America. The problem is population dispersal. With more than 50,000 localities in Mexico having less than 10 households, the logistics make the cost benefit ratio undesirable.

A solution is on it’s way though. For more rural areas, mobile internet will become a major player, and with this, the prevalence of mobile devices will increase. Additionally, CONCACULTA (Mexico’s culture ministry), is working on a plan which would increase internet access across the population in the next few years by providing internet access at public institutions. Gustavo Flores Verdugo of CONCACULTA says that this will be made reality by the passing of a law that “will make internet access a ‘social right.’”

For the most part, the major players in digital publishing have opted out of the Mexican market. With this opening and the coming surge in connected Mexicans, now is the perfect time for smaller publishers and agnecies to get their foot in the door early in a large, influential market. CONCACULTA has already been digitizing texts - mainly relating to Mexican culture - and has experienced a positive response from the population.

If internet adoption increases like estimates show, then Mexico is sure to be the next big market in digital publishing. Will you claim your share of the Mexican market?

Source: Facing challenges, Mexico commits to digital publishing push - Publishing Perspectives, June 2013
Image: pablofalv via the Flickr Creative Commons license