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Nearly A Third Of Hispanics Listen To Podcasts For News, Says Pew Report.

Like most Americans, Hispanic are becoming more digitally focused. But audio continues to play a role in their media habits. A new report from Pew Research finds nearly half (48%) turn to radio at least sometimes for news, and three in ten (31%) listen to podcasts. But Pew says the most common outlet for news has become online, with 87% of Hispanics saying they often or sometimes get news from digital devices. 

The Hispanic news website Mundo Now added English-language content in 2021 and CEO Rene Alergia, himself a second generation Hispanic, says the Pew data is confirmation of their business model, which has expanded into producing podcasts in Spanish, English and Spanglish. He thinks the number of Hispanic podcast listeners is certain to continue growing.

“Right now, there are not a lot of shows out there that cater to U.S. Hispanics. That’s changing rapidly, and we’re certainly putting our eggs in that basket. As we do, podcasts get more popular in our community,” Alergia said. He also says that many marketers are waking up to the fact that they can no longer simply buy Spanish-language media to reach all Hispanics. “The more astute brands know that in order to make their ad dollars go further, they need to market bilingually and bicultural,” he said.

Pew says two-thirds of Hispanics surveyed prefer to get news from digital outlets. That could be a factor in why seven percent say podcasts are their favorite method of getting news above all others, compared to four percent for radio – even though far more Latinos listen to the radio than consume podcasts.

Latinos are more likely than White Americans (55%) and Black Americans (50%) to prefer getting news from digital devices or from social media. Pew says that is at least in part because Latino adults tend to be younger than the other groups, and young adults are more inclined to use social media for news.

The source of the news is just as important as the media channel, the Pew report suggests. Half of U.S. Hispanic adults say they at lease sometimes get news from Hispanic news outlets. That includes 21% who say they do this extremely or very often. “Hispanic immigrants are much more likely than U.S.-born Hispanics to get news from Hispanic outlets and about their origin country,” the report says.

As the Hispanic market continues to evolve with second- and third-generation Latinos making up a growing population segment, Pew also examined in what language Hispanic consumers prefer to get their news. Just over half of Hispanics (54%) report getting news mostly in English, while 23% say they consume news in both languages about equally, and 21% get it mostly in Spanish. 

“Immigrants are much more likely than U.S.-born Latinos to say they mainly consume news in Spanish. On the other hand, those born in the U.S. overwhelmingly turn to English-language news,” the report says. The data shows 81% of U.S.-born Latinos say they mainly get news in English, while 41% of Latino immigrants say they mostly get news in Spanish.

There is also a connection between language and interest. Pew says a quarter of Latinos who get their news mostly in English say they follow the news all or most of the time, compared with 19% of those who get news mostly in Spanish. And it says 21% of Latinos who get news in both languages equally say they closely follow the news.

The Pew report also finds that while Latinos are consuming news in new ways, like a lot of Americans their appetite for it has decreased. The share of Hispanics who say they follow news all or most of the time has fluctuated, but Pew says in recent years it has been on the decline. In 2020, 31% of those surveyed said they closely followed the news. In the latest survey that dropped to 22%. 

It is a pattern Pew says it has seen across other population segments, although Latinos have followed the news less closely than Black or White Americans. Age is also a factor. Pew also reports older Latino adults are much more likely than younger Latinos to say they follow the news all or most of the time.

Most of the findings in the report are from a Pew survey of 5,078 U.S. Hispanic adults conducted Nov. 6-19, 2023. Download the Pew Research study HERE.

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