Advanced Television

Research: Black households strong streamers

April 19, 2023

Black Americans over-index for using free OTT services compared to the total market, with four in five (80 per cent) using them within the past month, compared to 69 per cent of consumers overall. In fact, usage of free OTT services among Black audiences has grown tremendously from 13 per cent since 2019, according to the FOCUS Black Volume 1: Subscriptions report by Horowitz Research.

Usage of free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) services such as Tubi, Peacock, and Pluto TV play a major role in driving free streaming, with nearly half (45 per cent) of Black TV content viewers reporting using at least one FAST service in the past month, compared to one-third (35 per cent) of total market consumers.

The study also finds that subscription to SVoD services has continued its upward trajectory among Black TV content viewers. In 2022, nearly 7 in 10 (68 per cent) Black consumers said they subscribe to at least one SVoD; this year, 76 per cent say they subscribe (an additional 7 per cent have access without a fully paid subscription), over-indexing compared to the total market (67 per cent).

The top SVoD services Black TV content viewers use are Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. In addition, Black viewers report subscribing to a variety of Black-targeted SVoDs such as BET+, Black World Cinema, ALLBLK, and Zeus, among others. Notably, 60 per cent of Black TV content viewers surveyed say that having Black-focused content is important for their household, underscoring the role robust, varied Black content has in driving adoption and usage of streaming services, whether paid or free. Black content can also be a retention tool for both MVPDs and vMVPDs: Two in three Black subscribers to MVPD or vMVPD services give favourable ratings to their provider’s selection of channels geared towards Black audiences, the study finds.

“For many years, Horowitz’s data has underscored that Black audiences are among the most valuable customers when it comes to the pay-TV market, and the same holds true in the streaming space,” notes Adriana Waterston, Chief Revenue Officer and Insights & Strategy Lead for Horowitz Research. “This is an audience hungry for content, which drives higher consumption across a wide variety of platforms and services. In today’s fragmented media ecosystem, offering a broad array of content that represents the diversity of Black experiences, lifestyles, cultures, and communities is an important way for media companies to super-serve this important audience and keep them engaged.”


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