African-American TV Usage and Buying Power Highlighted

October 18, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

African-American | Media & Entertainment | Retail & E-Commerce | Television

The Nielsen Company today released insights into shopping preferences and television-viewing behavior among African-American consumers (with a total buying power expected to reach $1.1 trillion by 2012). The information comes via a new online publication, Consumer Insight.

Nielsen data on African-Americans’ shopping activity:

  • There are few differences among African-American and non-African-American households when it comes to shopping at grocery, mass merchandisers and warehouse club stores
  • A much higher proportion of African-American consumers shop at convenience-oriented formats, such as drug, dollar and convenience/gas stores.


  • Nearly half (46%) of African-American households shop beauty supply stores – almost three times the rate for non-African-American households.
  • Automotive supply stores and electronic stores follow beauty stores as the most popular alternative shopping channels for African-American consumers.
  • African-American shoppers make more shopping trips each year compared with the average household (175 versus 165) but spend less per trip ($39 versus $44). 

Nielsen data on African-Americans’ television viewing:

  • The top market for African-American TV viewing is New York, which is followed by Atlanta and Chicago.


  • During the 2006-2007 television season, seven shows placed among the top 10 primetime programs among both African-American and white viewers.
  • The top 3 shows last season (American Idol – Wednesday, American Idol – Tuesday and Dancing With the Stars) ranked in the same position for both groups of viewers.


  • In contrast, 10 years ago, during the 1996-1997 season, African-American and white viewers had only one top 10 show in common: Monday Night Football.

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