Advanced Television

Research: Content quality key for Latinx viewers

May 12, 2023

Latinx TV content viewers in the US over-index for having subscription streaming services (SVoDs) compared to total market consumers, according to the newly released FOCUS Latinx Volume 1: Subscriptions report by Horowitz Research.

The report finds that 76 per cent of Latinx TV content viewers subscribe to at least one SVoD service, compared to 67 per cent among consumers overall. When considering password-sharing and promotional bundles, over eight in 10 Latinx have access to at least one SVoD. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Peacock, and HBO Max top the list of most popular subscription streaming services among Latinx, with over half of Latinx having access to each.

One in five (20 per cent) Latinx have access (either a subscription or some sort of free way to access) to Vix+, the premium service offered by TelevisaUnivision following its acquisition of Spanish-language streamer Pantaya (the service was just rebranded recently to Vix, a tiered service which will include both the free and subscription options of the service).

Usage of free OTT services is also rapidly increasing among Latinx audiences, given the proliferation of new free services now available. In 2019, over one in 10 (14 per cent) Latinx consumers said they use free streaming services; this year, three in four (76 per cent) report using them. Increased usage of free streaming services is largely driven by free ad-supported TV (FAST) services, which almost half (48 per cent) of Latinx viewers use. The top-used FAST services used by Latinx viewers include YouTube, Tubi, Pluto TV, Roku, and Freevee. Free, Hispanic-targeted streaming services such as OnDemandLatino and ViX are also gaining traction.

Indeed, Spanish-language content remains important: seven in 10 (72 per cent) Latinx viewers watch Spanish-language TV content at least occasionally, while six in 10 (63 per cent) watch international content. It is also a driver for subscriptions: Nearly six in 10 (58 per cent) say that Spanish-language TV content or content geared towards Hispanic audiences is important for their household to have.

However, the way the streaming ecosystem is evolving could make it challenging for services that stream exclusively Spanish-language content to attract the level of viewership other services enjoy, some of the Horowitz findings suggest. As with most consumers, Latinx TV content viewers say they often have a hard time finding something to watch; in fact, they over-index compared to the average consumer for feeling this way.

This could be driven by the need to search across more services — including Spanish-language and international services as well as mainstream ones — to find the content they are interested in viewing. Improved content management on streaming sites is helping make Spanish-language and/or Latinx-themed content discovery a more consumer-friendly process: 6 in 10 Latinx surveyed watch content they find by visiting curated Latinx-themed collections on their streaming services at least occasionally, according to another recent study by Horowitz, FOCUS Latinx Volume II: Viewing Behaviors 2023. And when Latinx consumers were asked, unaided, which streaming service comes to mind for having the best selection of Hispanic/Latinx-themed content, Netflix tops the list by a wide margin, even as compared to the brands that have traditionally dominated Spanish-language television.

“There’s no question that Latinx audiences are among the best customers for streaming services, and that Spanish-language and Latinx-themed content is in demand,” notes Adriana Waterston, Chief Revenue Officer and Insights & Strategy Lead for Horowitz Research. “But services that stream exclusively in Spanish need to compete with the existential threat of an ever-increasing number of mainstream services beefing up their Spanish-language and international libraries as well as offering Spanish audio and/or subtitles for most of their content. Consumer marketing to keep Spanish-language services top-of-mind, combined with strategies to drive discovery tune-in, will be critical for them to survive and thrive.”

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