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Hispanics Remain Big Audio Users, But Nielsen Says Language Is Less A Factor Than In The Past.

There is a large and growing opportunity for media companies that target Hispanic audiences. That is according to Nielsen, which in a new report says Hispanic adults spend 8 hours and 41 minutes per day with media on average. “Hispanics are avid audio consumers,” says Nielsen, which according to its latest data, 94% of Hispanics aged 18 to-49 listen to AM/FM radio each month – which translates into an audience of nearly 29 million. “The importance of Spanish-language media is very clear through the lens of radio,” the report says. Nielsen says regional Mexican and Spanish AC are the top two formats among Hispanic adults 18 and older.

Even as they remain big radio listeners, the heavy media usage by Hispanics has also led the demo toward podcasting. According to Nielsen, Hispanics are 13% more likely than the general population to listen to podcasts. “Much like streaming video, the podcast landscape offers significantly more choice than traditional channels, and more than 3.5 million Hispanics are avid podcast news listeners,” its report says.

Nielsen says the growth in podcast listenership within the Hispanic community has come from relatively recent engagement. Its latest consumer sentiment study found that 49% of Hispanic podcast listeners started listening within the past two years. But once they start listening, Hispanics are heavy users. More than six in ten Latino listeners say they are listening more often to podcasts, and to more titles.

For decades, the primary focus of many broadcasters has been on offering content in Spanish. But as the population of second and third generation Hispanics has swelled in the U.S., language is not the key component that it once was. “For Hispanics, the focus isn’t solely on language proficiency or the language in which the content is delivered. Instead, it’s about striking a balance between language preference and the relevance of the content,” the report says.

Nielsen says the data shows that can be a “complex” relationship. Four in ten Hispanics say that it is important for content to be in their preferred language, while an additional third find it somewhat important.

“These numbers challenge a common perception because they show that Hispanics are highly adaptable when it comes to language,” Nielsen says. “They are open to consuming content in either Spanish or English, provided the content is culturally meaningful and resonant, demonstrating that shared experiences can be more pivotal than language itself.” The report says that means that content creators and advertisers should consider more than just the language, and also pay attention to creating content that fits seamlessly into the cultural tapestry of Hispanics’ lives.

Media is offering fewer big reach vehicles and that is proving to be true among Latinos as audio is increasingly a better way to reach Hispanics on a large scale per Nielsen’s data. As of May 2023, only 42% of Hispanic TV homes were traditional cable homes, down from 49% a year earlier5. And as engagement with cable has declined, accessing TV content through an internet connection has increased. Nielsen says as of May, 27% of Hispanic homes accessed TV content using a broadband internet connection, which is up nearly 20% in just one year.

Traditional broadcast TV continues to command significant engagement among Hispanics who primarily speak Spanish, Nielsen says, but the gravitation to connected TV is partially due to the perceived authenticity of the programming available on streaming services.

Social media also does not play as large a role among Hispanics. Nielsen says 72% of Hispanics say that social media does not factor into their content selection process, underscoring the power of trust and personal connections within the community. Far more important are friend and family recommendations, which two-thirds of those surveyed say they rely on.

Download a copy of Nielsen’s “Hispanic Audiences In Focus” report HERE.

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