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Nielsen: In Online Video, Ethnicity Matters

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Online video won’t make the list of Stuff White People Like anytime soon, according to new data published by Nielsen this week. The media research company took a specific look at the online and offline media habits of African-American, Asian, Hispanic and Caucasian consumers in the U.S. as part of its New Digital American Family report.

Turns out that white folks watch less than four hours of online video per month, which is less than any of the other ethnicities covered by the Nielsen report. Asians and Pacific Islanders, on the other hand, watch close to 11 hours of video online every month, followed by Hispanic consumers with 6 hours and 20 minutes and African-American consumers with close to six hours per month. Check out the detailed statistics below.

One caveat worth mentioning is that Nielsen’s numbers tend to only address PC-based video viewing, so any consumption through connected devices isn’t covered by these numbers. However, it’s unclear if including mobile devices or game consoles would have made any difference.

Also interesting: Online video consumption habits don’t seem to be tied to traditional TV viewing. African-American consumers watch more TV than any other ethnic group and are also more likely to subscribe to premium pay TV offerings, but they still watch substantially more online video than white viewers.

Of course, segmenting consumers by race is a touchy subject, especially when it lends itself to make overly broad assumptions about any ethnic group’s values or lifestyle. However, the data itself is pretty interesting, and it mirrors earlier findings about minorities as early adopters of cell phones and other types of technology.

It also raises questions about whether the industry is doing a good enough job to reach out to its most engaged audiences. In other words: If Hispanics watch close to twice as many streams as white consumers, why aren’t there more video services or even web series specifically targeting this segment of the market?

2 Responses to “Nielsen: In Online Video, Ethnicity Matters”

  1. I think that anyone is consuming online video content is awesome, but I am biased. It is somewhat surprising but really important for independent content creators to keep in mind as they are weighing their distribution options. This is especially true if they are creating content for which they would consider these audiences a good target.

  2. tesmith

    this is surprising considering the fact that it is just the opposite for access to the internet. I.E. black populations have less access to the net than whit populations.
    I wonder if this includes adult content, the white guys I know spend a lot of time and money there.