Latino Streaming Audience Continues To Grow, Opening Opportunities for Spanish-Language Content

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When we were kids in Latino households, the telenovela was a time of family communion. Watching stories written by and for our community, which told our everyday lives, was a unique experience.

Fast forward many years, and now the streaming world is recognizing that narrative void while realizing the power of our Latino audience.

According to Nielsen data, streaming consumption is on the rise, accounting for 31.9 percent of TV time in May.

Historically, Latino households have always been among the most loyal to traditional pay-TV services. But that trend is rapidly changing and, with it, the need for content that matches that demand.

According to Horowitz Research, a premier consumer insights and market research agency with expertise in multicultural, media, and millennial research, penetration of MVPD services is now on par compared to the total market, at 52 percent and 51 percent, respectively.

In a new study, Horowitz found that there is also increased consumption of Spanish-language content.

Seven in 10 Latino viewers watch Spanish-language TV at least occasionally, up 11 percent from 2021, while two-thirds watch international content. And a growing percentage of Latino households are turning to AVOD and SVOD streaming platforms to watch the programming they want.

The proportion of Latino households subscribing only to streaming and not to MVPDs continued to increase, now standing at 38 percent.

The study, conducted in February 2022, found that Latino content viewers outpace AVOD usage. For SVOD subscriptions (at 11 percent) over the total market, on average, they subscribed to 4.7 SVOD streaming services, up from 4.0 last year.

“This is due, in part, to the fact that these households want access to both Spanish/Latinx-themed and English language mainstream content,” wrote the Horowitz report authors.

According to Horowitz, YouTube and Peacock stood out as the free streaming services most used by Latinx TV content viewers.

“Notably, Peacock offers content not just from NBC’s family of mainstream networks, but also has a wide array of content from Telemundo, one of the two leading Spanish-language broadcasters in the U.S.,” wrote Horowitz’s study authors.

On the quality of Spanish-language content

Now, as the Latino audience grows, the need for quality Spanish-language content grows along with it.

As Fierce Video reported, various platforms have begun serving up offerings that cater to Spanish-language, bilingual, and Latino-themed content viewers.

For example, last month, The Roku Channel launched a destination hub, Espacio Latino, geared toward U.S. Hispanic audiences with an extensive aggregated collection of Spanish-language programming.  In May, YouTube TV added a Spanish-only plan along with additional options. Horowitz Research also pointed to Pantaya, a popular Spanish-language SVOD service, which TelevisaUnivision recently acquired. In addition, the firm noted that Peacock has recently redoubled its commitments to the Latino market with its Tplus bilingual content hub in partnership with Telemundo.

However, while there are more options, not everything is hitting the mark with audiences, and it appears that media companies have work to do in terms of quality Spanish content.

Horowitz’s report found that nearly half (45%) of Latinx content viewers did not find Spanish content to be on par with the quality of English content – a sentiment the research firm said is likely to change in the future as media companies continue to invest in quality Latinx-themed content.

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