Advanced Television

Report: Decline in TV diversity

June 13, 2024

Samba TV’s latest report, The 2024 State of Diversity in TV, delves into the current state of ethnic representation within top TV shows and advertisements.

Based on Samba TV’s first-party data, this comprehensive analysis highlights key trends and disparities in TV diversity, which are critical for advertisers and content creators aiming to engage today’s diverse audience.

Key Findings:

  • Decline in Non-White Leads: Despite the US becoming increasingly diverse, the representation of non-white leads in top TV shows has decreased by 12 per cent year over year. This gap in representation is particularly stark for Hispanic actors, who make up 19 per cent of the population but only 6 per cent of top-billed cast members, marking a 40 per cent decline from last year.
  • Viewer Preferences and Representation: Samba TV’s data reveals a significant positive correlation between diverse casting and viewership from diverse households. For instance, Black households showed a 46 per cent correlation with watching shows that feature a higher proportion of Black leads, while Hispanic households exhibited a 50 per cent correlation with watching shows with Hispanic leads.
  • Advertising Reach Disparities: Despite their growing numbers and spending power, Hispanic, Black, and Asian audiences are underserved by traditional TV advertising. Hispanic households, which comprise 19 per cent of the US population, received only 15 per cent of ad impressions, highlighting a crucial area for improvement in targeted advertising strategies.
  • Successful Representation in Specific Shows: Shows like Griselda (pictured) on Netflix, with its all-Latino cast, and The Equalizer on CBS, featuring a majority Black cast, stand out as examples of effective representation that resonate with diverse audiences. These programmes have driven higher engagement and viewership among respective ethnic groups.
  • Advertiser Strategies: The report underscores the need for advertisers to adopt advanced targeting techniques to reach underrepresented groups. Brands that have embraced such strategies, like TurboTax, have successfully engaged Hispanic audiences, serving ads proportionately to their demographic representation.

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