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How the Hispanic Consumer is Influencing the Entertainment Industry

4 minute read | September 2013

It’s no secret that Hispanic consumers are driving growth across a range of industries in the U.S., so it makes sense that many companies aren’t asking if this demographic is affecting the nation. Rather, they’re asking how they’re affecting it. With a projected buying power of $1.5 trillion by 2015, the U.S. Hispanic population is worth watching. And, as technology continues to shape the way consumers access entertainment, it’s important to keep up with how this key demographic group interacts with TV programming, music, and games. Here, we take a look at some current trends and highlight why the entertainment industry should be taking notes.


Technology is a big part of how today’s consumers get their entertainment, and Hispanics frequently lead the general market as early adopters of emerging technologies. They also access media through just about every platform available. About 60 percent of Hispanic households own at least one smartphone, versus 43 percent of the general market.

Monthly, Hispanics spend a whopping 68 percent more time than whites watching video on the Internet and 20 percent more time watching video on their mobile phones. Nielsen VP/GM of Home Entertainment Graham Gee expands about this consumer on Nielsen TV: “They’re about 30 percent more likely to purchase Blu-ray.” In addition, Hispanic DVD and Blu-ray buyers are also ahead of the curve on adopting new devices that enable several ways to view content. For example, they are 48 percent more likely to own a tablet. Hispanic consumers are also embracing other ways of consuming home entertainment at a higher rate than the general population. Gee notes, “We see Hispanics adopting new technologies like digital downloads, downloading movies at home [and] UltraViolet.”

In general, the Latina consumer is more tech savvy than white females. For example, 77 percent own smartphones, versus 55 percent of white females. Entertainment on the go is also a growing trend, as 37 percent stream audio on their phones and 24 percent watch video on them. Furthermore, when asked about using mobile data services in the last 30 days, one-out-of-five Hispanic females said they use mobile video and 21 percent said they download full music tracks on their phone. They are also 15 percent more likely than the average adult Internet user to pay for a streaming music subscription.


Cultural influences also play a role in entertainment preferences. For example, Hispanic consumers enjoy co-viewing—when members of the same household watch programming at the same time. And the type of programming matters when it comes to this group, as Hispanics watch more talk shows, news documentaries, daytime dramas, and sports news than the average household, highlighting the group’s wide range of interests.

When it comes to gaming, Hispanics are 45 percent more likely than the average adult Internet user to have purchased simulation gaming software for the home in the last year and are 43 percent more likely to purchase action and adventure games. Similar to how Hispanics co-view television programming, they are 42 percent more likely than the average adult Internet user to have played multiplayer console games online in the last 30 days.


And Hispanics aren’t just consuming music and video in English. They co-view nearly 60 percent of all Spanish language primetime programming and co-view 48 percent of all English language primetime broadcasting. On the music side, Hispanic consumers are 89 percent more likely than the average adult consumer to listen to Spanish radio programming. Growth in the popularity of Latin music is also visible, as the number of Latin track downloads has been rising over the past three years (31.1 million in 2010, to 33.7 million in 2011, to 35.3 million in 2012). And it’s not just downloads that sell. Eighty-six percent of the Latin albums purchased last year were in the CD format, while only 14 percent were bought digitally.

As the buying power of Hispanics increases, so will their influence in the entertainment industry. Gee concludes by saying, “Hispanics are an important segment in this industry and really ahead of the curve when it comes to adapting to these new technologies and platforms.”

Marketers can engage with these consumers by getting high tech with media because making connections early and with consumers at a young age can also be beneficial in the long term, as Hispanics make up an important segment that is ahead of the curve in terms of adopting new tech and platforms.

Sources: Nielsen’s State of the Hispanic Consumer: The Hispanic Market Imperative; Nielsen Latina Power Shift; Nielsen @Plan, Nielsen SoundScan; Nielsen HomeScan.

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