US Latinos are less likely to access the internet, have a home broadband connection or own a cell phone than whites or blacks, according to an August 2011 study from the Pew Research Center Project for Excellence in Journalism. Data from “The State of the News Media 2011” indicates that about two-thirds of Latino (65%) and African American (66%) adults went online in 2010, roughly 14% less than the 77% of white adults who did so.
Furthermore, only 45% of Latinos have broadband access at home, 13% less than the 52% of blacks and 31% less than the 65% of whites with home broadband access. Just more than three-quarters, 76%, of Latinos owned a cell phone in 2010, 4% less than the 79% of blacks 11% less than the 85% of whites who owned cell phones.
Socioeconomics, Language Play Key Roles
When controlling for education and income (Pew data shows that on average, Hispanics have lower levels of education and earn less than whites do), the differences in these three measures between Hispanics and whites disappear. In other words, Hispanics and whites with similar socioeconomic backgrounds have similar usage patterns. Moreover, those born in the US and bilingual and English-dominant Latinos were more likely to use digital technologies.
Pew analysis indicates that bilingual and English-dominant Hispanics are far ahead of Spanish-dominant Latinos in many measures of digital usage, too. Spanish-language Latinos are significantly less likely to use the internet, have a home internet connection, have home broadband access, or have a cell phone than English-dominant and bilingual Latinos. But Spanish-dominant internet usage has increased 31%, from 36% in 2009 to 47% in 2010.
Univision Competes with ‘Big Four’ Networks
Looking at trends in Latino TV consumption, Spanish-language Univision is now the fifth-largest network in primetime audience in the US. Univision dwarfs all other Spanish-language broadcasters in the US. In the 2010-2011 television season, Univision was the only major US TV network to grow average primetime audience among 18-49 year olds, up 8% compared to the season before. For the same demographic group among the English-language networks, Fox lost 4%, CBS lost 8%, ABC lost 9% and NBC lost 14% in the same period.
In total viewers, Univision remains behind its English-language counterparts (ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC). But it has closed the gap substantially in recent years. For the season running June 2010-May 2011, Univision averaged 1.9 million viewers ages 18 to 49 in primetime, according to Nielsen data cited by The Wall Street Journal. That would rank it just more than a million shy of the fourth-ranked English-language network, NBC, which dropped to 3.1 million viewers in that age group. Rival Spanish-language network Telemundo, by comparison, averaged less than half of Univision’s audience, 650,000 viewers between 18 and 49 for the same period, down 1.5%.
- The Latino Print Network, whose measures include both Spanish- and English-language newspapers aimed at the Hispanic population, estimated Hispanic newspaper ad spending in 2010 at $712 million, a 5.6% drop from $754 million a year earlier.
- In 2010, local ads accounted for 78% of all Hispanic newspaper ad revenue, or $554 million, according to Latino Print Network. National ad revenue accounted for 21% ($151 million); online web advertising represented only 1% of ad revenue ($7.2 million).
- By the most recent count (fall 2009), there were 1,323 Spanish-language stations, up 8% from 1,224 in fall 2008.
- Pew estimates Spanish-language magazine ad spending grew 5% year-over-year in 2010.
Young, Minorities Dominate ‘Cell Mostly’ Web Use
Younger adults, minorities, and lower income earners who own smartphones are likeliest to mostly use them to access the internet, according to a July 2011 survey from the Pew Research Center Internet & American Life Project. Survey data indicates 42% of 18-to-29-year-old smartphone owners mostly use them for web access, double the 21% of 30-to-49-year-olds who do so and more than four times the 10% of smartphone owners 50 and older.
In addition, 38% of black and Latino smartphone owners mostly use the devices for web access, more than double the 17% of white smartphone owners who do so.