Differences in Media Consumption among Racial Groups

May 14, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

African-American | Hispanic | Media & Entertainment | Radio | Television

Targeting advertising toward African Americans, Hispanics, Asians and Whites requires distinct media plans, because these groups use traditional media differently – and their new-media adoption patterns also vary, according to an analysis by BIGresearch.

“Understanding how media consumption behaviors differ by race is fundamental for marketers wishing to increase ROI for advertising,” said Gary Drenik, president of BIGresearch.

Below, some of the findings from BIGresearch’s most recent Simultaneous Media Survey (SIMM 11, Dec. ’07) of 15,727 participants.


The types of TV shows watched most often differ by racial group:


Although movies are the most watched type of TV show among all categories, African Americans (66%) and Hispanics (63.6%) are more likely to regularly watch them than Asians (52.5%) and Whites (51.4%).

Dramas and police/detective shows round out the top three for types of shows watched most often – except for Asians who would rather catch a sporting event or a cartoon.


Radio formats listened to by the various groups vary even more than their TV watching:


New Media

Although cell phones are the form of new media used most for all segments, with 57% of Hispanics, 53% of African Americans, 53.9% of Asians and 49.4% of Whites regularly using, the similarities stop there.


Minorities have a higher regular usage of new media than Whites across all media types. They are more likely to use iPods, text on cell phones, play videogames, use video/picture phones, instant messaging online and watch videos on cell phones.

“Minorities are using new media in higher percentages, providing marketers with unique opportunities to create specific marketing plans that integrate non-traditional media options into their digital ad strategy,” Drenik said.

Internet Use

Differences among the various ethnic groups are apparent in how they use the internet for fun and entertainment:


Shopping tops the list for African Americans (40%), Asians (43.7%) and Whites (43.1%) – whereas Hispanics would rather check out movie news (42.7%).

About the data: BIGresearch’s syndicated Simultaneous Media Survey (SIMM) is focused on consumers to gauge their consumption across media, products and services. The SIMM monitors more than 15,000 consumers twice each year. More findings are available from BIGresearch.


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