US Hispanics are most likely to watch TV in the language primarily used in their home, according to data released in April 2011 by The Nielsen Company. In home where English and Spanish are used equally, there is an even split in which language is used for TV viewing.
English Dominant Homes Most Skewed toward Home Language
Hispanic homes where English is the dominant language were by far the most likely to watch TV in their primary language. On average, a combined 97% of TV viewing in these homes is conducted in English. Three percent of TV viewing time is spent watching Spanish language broadcast TV, with essentially no time spent watching Spanish language cable.
In contrast, the average Spanish-dominant Hispanic home views a combined 78% of TV in Spanish. English language broadcast TV accounts for 19% out of the remaining 22% of TV viewing time.
Hispanic homes where the two languages are used equally have equal distributions of English and Spanish language TV viewing (44% of time spent viewing both English and Spanish language cable TV, 7% of time spent viewing both English and Spanish broadcast TV, total more than 100% due to rounding).
Spanish Ads Reach More Hispanic Viewers
Nielsen data shows that for English-language television, Hispanic viewing time is dispersed over a large number of networks, while Spanish-language viewing is more concentrated. A brand advertised across all English-language national broadcast networks in primetime would only reach about 40% of all Hispanics aged 18-49, while a Spanish-language broadcast would reach 53%.
However, when looking into Hispanics 18-49 who are Spanish-language dominant, the gap widens substantially. An English-language broadcast campaign in primetime only reaches 19% of Spanish-language dominant Hispanics, compared to a Spanish-language campaign that reaches 85% of Spanish-language dominant Hispanics during a month. That’s a difference of 5.6 million Spanish-language-dominant Hispanics 18-49 or roughly 60 percent of the demographic.
Spanish Ads More Effective for Hispanic Viewers
Besides providing access to a unique audience, Spanish-language advertising is generally more effective than English-language advertising for Hispanics. Nielsen’s advertising effectiveness studies show that advertisers who translate English ads into Spanish receive an increase in general recall among Hispanics when compared to general market English-language commercials.
However, original Spanish ads (ads that do not have an English counterpart or that are based on existing ads by modifying the narrative and soundtrack) see a 15% general recall lift from English-dominant Hispanics and a 69% general recall increase from Spanish-dominant Hispanics. Nielsen says two reasons for this effect are that Spanish ads create a deeper personal connection to Hispanic consumers, and Hispanics are less likely to time shift Spanish-language programming.
- 77% of US Hispanics speak English well.
- 61% of Hispanics aged 18-plus tell Nielsen they prefer to speak Spanish in their homes, compared to only 17% who say they speak only English.
- If US Hispanics were a country, they would rank as the 12th-largest global economy, somewhere between Mexico and Australia, commanding more than $1 trillion in purchasing power.
- By 2050, Hispanics are projected to account for more than 30% of the US population.
Asians Least Likely to View Most TV-related Media
Asians spend the least amount of average daily time viewing most TV-related media, according to other Nielsen data released this month. Asians average three hours and 14 minutes per day of overall TV viewing, compared to seven hours and 12 minutes for African-Americans. In terms of average daily live TV viewing, Asians average two hours and 34 minutes, compared to six hours and 16 minutes for African-Americans. Asians also average nine minutes of daily video games, compared to 16 minutes for African-Americans; and 12 minutes for DVD playback, compared to 18 minutes for African-Americans.
Figures differ for average time spent viewing DVR playback, however. Whites spend the most average time per day viewing this media (27 minutes), and Hispanics spend the least (14 minutes). It is also worth noting whites have the second-highest average daily viewing time for every other form of media covered by the study.