How Hispanic media will evolve in the future
As the population skews younger, their preferences are changing
August 17, 2016
By the editors of Media Life
This article is part of an ongoing Media Life series entitled “Catching the next big wave: Hispanic media.” You can read previous stories by clicking here
Univision’s recent ratings declines – the network is down 49 percent in adults 18-49 over the past five years – underscores the seismic shift in media habits that Hispanics will undergo over the next few decades.
Everyone’s media consumption is changing, of course, with the rise of digital and more specifically mobile media.
But Hispanics’ habits are poised for an even bigger transformation.
That’s because there are other factors at play, ones that compound the rise of digital being seen across media.
The Hispanic population is getting younger, it’s getting savvier, and it’s getting acculturated. The majority of Hispanics Americans are now born here, rather than immigrating, and that makes a big difference in their attitudes and interests.
That means we’ll see new media formats and brands rising over the next few years as others fall away.
“From the language they speak to the way they interact with digital content, the new generation of Latinos is reframing the Hispanic media market in the U.S.,” says Maria Pazos, senior strategist at Colle+McVoy.
More English-language content
What should buyers be watching for? One big trend will be media aimed at Latinos that is in English rather than Spanish.
Already this has been seen with Fusion and El Rey, English-language cable networks that target young Latinos.
Pazos says it’s happening with online sites as well.
“Latino networks are more and more likely to be programmed in English, turning up the volume in a long-standing debate about what language marketers should use to be more effective,” she notes.
“Newer, English-language networks such as Fusion and Latin Post are emerging in the market, bringing culturally relevant content that’s appealing to these new generations.”
Greater integration between Hispanic and non-Hispanic content
There’s less separation between “Hispanic” brands and other brands, too. Witness Univision’s purchase of a controlling interest in the humor site The Onion earlier this year or the purchase this week of Nick Denton’s Gawker.
A few years ago, a major Spanish-language company making inroads into English-language content would have seemed odd.
Now it seems natural, because Univision is just following its audience to more general-market content. Young Hispanics may speak Spanish, but they have been raised on the same diet of social media, blogs and selfies as their English-speaking peers.
Growth in YouTube channels and beyond
These Hispanics increasingly look beyond traditional media for entertainment, like other demographics. But they’re making the switch to digital video faster, and that’s also leading to a big boom in Hispanic multichannel networks on YouTube and over-the-top ventures.
A recent Google study found the average Latino watches more than eight hours of online video per month, or 90 minutes more than the average American. Top Hispanic YouTube channel viewership is up 125 percent year over year.
“An example of this is Mitu, a bilingual YouTube channel that has grown a loyal audience of more than 36 million subscribers in only two years. That’s already the number of subscribers to HBO, a network that’s been around for over 40 years,” Pazos says.
And these are just a few of the media shifts. These changes will continue to mimic the cultural and demographic evolution among Hispanics, which is happening fast.
“The landscape will continue to shift and evolve as Hispanics themselves are changing,” Pazos says.
“At the end of the race, the winners will be the ones who understand the reality of the modern Latino in America and that it’s not just about language any more, it’s about culture.”
Want to learn more about the shifting cultural landscape for Hispanics? Media Life is hosting a webinar on that topic this afternoon (Aug. 17) and it’s not too late to sign up. Click here.
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