America’s multicultural audiences are on the leading edge of tech adoption. From 2013 to 2018, Asian, Latino, and black audiences have been ahead of the streaming curve. The average TV viewer spends 43 percent of time with live TV, and 35 percent with streamed content. Latinx, blacks, and Asians split their time almost evenly, with about four in every 10 hours spent on live, another four in 10 on streaming, and the rest on vod, dvr, or dvds.

The explosion of streaming can be directly correlated to the growth of connected TV penetration. Multicultural households have always been ahead of this trend, which accounts for the correlation between the increased penetration of connected TVs and the decrease of about 11 percent of traditional multichannel penetration since 2014.

Interestingly, Latinx and Asians are less likely to show signs of cord-cutting, compared to white and black households. The research suggests this is due in part to the stickiness of in-language and in-cultural packages.

Horowitz research findings:

  • Half of the TV content viewers have a subscription to an svod like Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu.
  • 15 percent of households subscribe to a vmvpd. Hispanic, black, and Asian households are more likely to experiment with one.
  • A number of things drive interest. These platforms come with tech-forward features: access across multiple devices, the same out-of-home / in-home experience, without cables or satellite equipment.

What’s a content producer to do for multicultural omnivores?

Historically, multicultural audiences are among the hungriest for content and need the most robust packages. That’s why multicultural households are more likely to be content omnivores—using all platforms, screens, and services to manage their content needs.

Broadcast content—entertainment and news—still matters. Multicultural audiences are no different. Even Millennials still care about broadcast content; 71 percent of Millennials say broadcast TV shows are important. But it’s original content on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime that people think of first.

Better ‘culturally attuned’ content

Data shows investments in better content on behalf of Spanish language networks like Telemundo, and services like Netflix, have led to an increase in viewing of Spanish language content among bilingual and even English oriented Latinx. Almost nine in 10 bilinguals spend about one in three hours of TV time with Spanish content, as increase of 26 percent since 2013.

Take the box office successes of movies like ‘Black Panther,’ ‘Crazy Rich Asians,’ or ‘Instructions Not Included.’ It should be no surprise that over half of Latino and Asians, and two in three black respondents, told us that they would make an effort to check out a show that features a character or cast that looks like them.

Half (50 percent) said ads during streamed shows are effective. In today’s personalized environment, social media, especially organic social media relationships, are critical. It’s about being everywhere your customer is.

Look at social media

Among multicultural Millennials, social media usage is fragmented, with Instagram quickly catching Facebook. 62 percent of Latino Millennials use Facebook daily, 54 percent use Instagram. Among blacks, 54 percent use Facebook, 49 percent Instagram; among Asians, it’s 62 percent and 55 percent.

One way to build a meaningful connection with multicultural audiences is to acknowledge your customer. Almost six in 10 Latino and black consumers, and half of Asians, say it appeals when a brand creates advertising with people that look like them. Across multicultural groups, six in 10 consumers say it appeals when a brand creates advertising that features people of different cultures, races, ethnicities, sexualities, and lifestyles.

Building real relationships

Especially for multicultural Millennials, it is important to build relationships via dialogue. Audiences expect to engage with brands one on one, which is why almost two in three Latinx, half of black and Asian Millennials, and four in 10 white Millennials, say it appeals when a brand creates an ad campaign they can participate in via hashtags, comments, photos, videos, and experiences.

A growing part of the consideration set of multicultural Millennials, is what your brand stands for—38 percent of white, 40 percent of Latino, 42 percent of black, and 42 percent of Asian millennials say it has a positive impact on their likelihood to buy from a company whose values match theirs. The bottom line—as Nike just experienced—don’t be afraid to take a stand. Knowing what matters to your audience and showing solidarity can have a very positive impact on ROI.

Cracking the code

In our increasingly fragmented market, how can brands spend their money most effectively? What will drive ROI? When it comes to new technology, understand that it’s not just a fragmented media world, it’s a completely transformed media ecosystem fundamentally changing the way people discover, interact with and feel about the content and advertising they consume. So be bold.

It’s time marketers reset their expectations. Maybe we can begin to reimagine a world in which we predicate success on a new set of metrics, beyond eyeballs, like engagement that leads to brand loyalty, even if it might be to smaller audience. With that freedom, we become more able to take risks and lean into delivering edgier content that multicultural millennial audiences crave.

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Adriana Waterston

Adriana Waterston

Adriana Waterston is Senior Vice President of Insights and Strategy at Horowitz Research, where she oversees millennial, multicultural and Latino research endeavors. Well-known for her leadership in this space, Adriana is a frequent speaker at industry conferences.

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