Hispanic Radio, Asian TV Fuel 16% Increase in Ethnic Media Reach

June 11, 2009

Some 57 million African American, Hispanic and Asian American adults are now reached by some form of ethnic media in the US, a 16% increase during the last four years that is being driven, in part, by Spanish-language radio and Asian-language TV,? according to research from New American Media.

The study, which was undertaken to determine how and to what extent ethnic media is reaching members of the three most prominent ethnic/racial groups in America, reports that ethnic media now reaches 82% of these adults overall. This number is up from 2005,? when a similar study found that ethnic media reached approximately 49 million individuals from these groups.


The penetration of ethnic media is highest among Hispanics, of whom 89% are reached. The percentages reached for African Americans and Asian Americans are 78% and 73%, respectively:


?Ethnic TV Reach

A substantial percentage of all African American, Hispanic and Asian American households have cable or satellite service at home, and the increasing availability of programming is fueling wider-scale viewing.? Findings in relation to TV habits:

  • The percentage of the Asian American adult population that is now reached by TV programming targeting Chinese, Vietnamese, Koreans and Filipinos has grown by 30% over the last four years. It remains highest among the Chinese subgroup:


  • Asian Americans watch ethnic TV stations for news coverage about their home countries.
  • The penetration of Spanish language television – led by network giants Univision and Telemundo – has grown since 2005 and its reach is nearly universal.
  • Even though the availability of “African American-oriented channels” is limited, the majority of adults from this racial group reported watching BET and other similar channels on a regular basis.

Ethnic Radio Reach

The growing popularity of Spanish-language radio is driving the increase for the whole medium overall, though other groups are seeing increases in radio penetration as well:


  • The reach of Spanish-language radio stations increased substantially over the last four years as Latin American immigrants continue to arrive in many non-traditional Hispanic states like North Carolina, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, Washington and New Hampshire.
  • African American-oriented radio stations have increased their presence since 2005 and now reach about two-thirds of all adults from this racial group.
  • Asian-American radio stations have increased their penetration but still only reach about one-quarter of all adults from this ethnic group.

Ethnic Newspaper Reach

The study found that the popularity of Chinese and Korean newspapers continues to increase, and they now reach 70% and 64 %, respectively, of their adult populations in the US. Other findings about ethnic newspapers:

  • The reach of weekly and monthly publications that cater to the interests of the Filipino and Asian Indian populations has also experienced a clear upturn.
  • Many new Spanish language newspapers have appeared over the last four years and now reach more than one-third of all Hispanic adults.
  • African American publications – sparked by interest in Barack Obama’s candidacy and presidency – have increased their penetration.

Ethnic Website Reach

The use of ethnic websites varies widely by ethnic group, the survey found. For example, the reach of Spanish-language and African American-oriented websites has increased since 2005 but only about one-fifth of Hispanic and African American adults report visiting them on a regular basis.

On the other hand, the penetration of Asian language web sites is greater. More than half of all Chinese adults in the US say that they frequent sites in Cantonese or Mandarin, and about one-third of all Korean and Vietnamese adults visit sites in their native languages.

English-Language Publications

For the first time, 2009 the New America Media poll measured the penetration of English- language publications that cater to the Hispanic and Asian populations. The study revealed that approximately 2.8 million Hispanic adults and one-half million Asian adults – mostly Filipinos and Asian Indians – are reached on a regular basis by these newspapers and magazines.

About the survey: The findings from the study, “A National Study on the Penetration of Ethnic Media in America,” (pdf) are based on a telephone poll of 1,329 African American, Hispanic and Asian American adults who reside in the US. The total sample comprised 400 Hispanics, 400 African Americans and 529 Asian Americans (including Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Filipino and Asian Indian respondents). Each of the sub-samples was designed to be representative of the corresponding adult ethnic population of the US. Interviews – which took place between April 24 and May 11, 2009 – were conducted in English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese, Hindi, and Tagalog. The polling project was commissioned by New America Media and was designed and coordinated by Bendixen & Associates.


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