Advanced Television

Study: Culturally relevant content key for black audiences

July 10, 2024

The availability of culturally relevant content plays a major role in which platforms and services Black TV content viewers decide to use, according to Horowitz Research’s annual report, FOCUS Black Volume I: Subscriptions 2024.

The report, which tracks the evolution of the pay and free TV, streaming, internet and mobile environment among Black Americans, finds that content geared toward Black audiences is important for over 6 in 10 (62 per cent) Black households, underscoring how necessary culturally relevant content is to the value proposition for streaming services.

As traditional cable/satellite subscriptions decline, penetration of subscription streaming services has remained steady among Black households. Similar to total market, 2 in 3 (67 per cent) Black TV content viewers subscribe to at least one SVoD. While Netflix and Prime Video top the list of most popular SVoDs, Black audiences also use a range of Black-targeted SVoD services: Over 4 in 10 (42 per cent) have access to at least one Black-targeted SVoD, such as BET+, Zeus, Black World Cinema, ALLBLK, etc.

The Horowitz study also finds that Black audiences are more likely to watch content on FAST channels. In fact, a full 3 in 4 (75 per cent) Black TV content viewers use FAST services (compared to 67 per cent of total market consumers). That’s more than a five-fold increase from 2019, when only 13 per cent of Black households reported using these services. In comparison, the total market usage of FAST services increased 25 per cent during the same time span. The array of Black-focused content available on FAST channels is an important driver of viewership. Notably, 2 in 3 (66 per cent) Black FAST viewers say that they watch content geared toward Black audiences at least weekly, according to the report. In the past month, Black households over-indexed for usage of Tubi, Pluto TV and XUMO.

Virtual MVPD services like YouTube TV, Sling, and Hulu with Live TV are also gaining traction among Black households. Almost 1 in 3 (32 per cent) Black TV content viewers subscribe to at least one vMVPD service (over-indexing compared to 23 per cent of consumers overall). Notably, almost 2 in 3 vMVPD subscribers report high satisfaction with the channels and content geared toward Black audiences on their vMVPD service

“Culturally relevant content has always been an important piece of the media pie for Black audiences,” commented Adriana Waterston, EVP and Insights & Strategy Lead for Horowitz Research, a division of M/A/R/C Research. “With retention being a challenge in the SVoD and vMVPD spaces and engagement a challenge for FAST/AVoD, offering top-notch Black content can be an important differentiator.”

Categories: Articles, Consumer Behaviour, Content, FTA, Research, VOD

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