A new study from consumer insights agency Horowitz Research finds that Black and Hispanic audiences are steady consumers of multicultural media — highlighting the key role such outlets play in the turbocharged racial climate in contemporary American life.
The firm’s “State of Consumer Engagement 2020” report, which was fielded in May, found that roughly three-quarters of Black (74%) and Hispanic (73%) consumers at least occasionally consume Black- or Hispanic-targeted media. And 44% and 42%, respectively, are frequent consumers. In addition, Horowitz’s study found that 60% of Asians are at least occasional consumers of targeted media.
One of the broader determinations emerging from the research is that culturally-relevant media — radio, television, social media, websites and more — aren’t just for entertainment. About 60% of Black and Hispanic consumers — and 46% of Asians — assert that targeted multicultural media advocates on behalf of and educates communities in ways mainstream media doesn’t.
“With the sociopolitical climate so charged — from Black Lives Matter to COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on diverse communities — and considering the looming election, targeted multicultural media provides coverage and perspective that more directly reflects the needs of the communities they serve,” Adriana Waterston, Horowitz’s SVP of Insights & Strategy, says in a news release.
“On the entertainment side, while representation and relevancy are always improving in mainstream media, there’s still a long way to go,” she continues. “Targeted media offers an authentic voice.”
The findings suggest a potential opportunity for advertisers seeking to reach a diverse array of consumers. Horowitz cites a 2019 study by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) that found that the share of advertising spend invested in Black, Hispanic and other multicultural forms of media compared with their so-called “mainstream” counterparts, is disproportionate to the size of the multicultural population.
“Because ad revenue enables media brands to make investments in production, programming, and talent, advertisers’ support (or lack thereof) of multicultural media through advertising has a direct impact on the communities these outlets serve,” Horowitz says, noting that its study “suggests that consumers are becoming aware of this connection.”
Horowitz says roughly six in ten Hispanic (58%) and Black (61%) consumers think it’s important for brands and advertisers to support multicultural media via advertising purchases. More than 40%, meanwhile, say they’re more likely to consider brands that utilize targeted multicultural media.
“Advertisers tend to think very pragmatically about their media investments,” Waterston says in the release. “There’s a general sentiment that advertising in mainstream media is more efficient because it delivers a broad swath of audiences, rather than a specific targeted audience, and the immediate end justifies the means: If a campaign delivers a lift in sales for the product it is selling, it’s a success, no matter what. But supporting targeted media has the ability to impact consumer perceptions on a brand on a broader and more long-term level.”