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Cutting the Cord

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The year 2017 will be known as the year for live stream TV. Univision and many others now allow consumers to both watch TV and still “cut the cord”. The advent of YouTube TV is a perfect example of this upward trend. Events of interest to sports administrators and enthusiasts, music promoters and concertgoers, and education gurus and students etc. are making use of this powerful marketing tool. eMarketer predicts that by 2020, 54.9% of Americans will watch top quality live digital TV at least once a month, which would include examples of sports that showcase exciting tactical skills, which provide unforgettable tournament experiences and championship moments.

In the U.S., Hispanics possess $1.5 trillion in purchasing power while the live online ecosystem is viewed as a $14 billion-dollar opportunity. Millennial Hispanics, specifically, are opting to watch videos on their smartphones and use apps more and more.

According to the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA) 2017 Hispanic Market Guide, 93% of Hispanic households own at least one smartphone. This rate is higher than the general population and savvy marketers should target this group. The AHAA also reports that Hispanics encourage their peers to spend their money on the same things. Clearly, there must be a recognition of interests of cultural relevance for this group and other millennial groups. Companies are also recognizing that the tastes are evolving over time as second and third generation bilingual Latinos — who Univision calls “billennials” — are now looking for culturally relevant content in English. Other companies are also waking up and taking notice.

African-American tastes are also moving away from traditional streaming services like Netflix. The start-up Afrostream is a niche streaming service for African, African-American, and Caribbean audiences. In November 2016, the startup launched its service in 24 new countries. It originally launched in France, Belguim, Luxembourg, and Switzerland. In addition, Warner Brothers, Viacom, Lionsgate, Sky Vision, and Sony have also signed distribution deals.

African-Americans also depend on relatives and friends for advice on tech purchases and are considered early adopters. Specifically, 55% of African-American millennials spend an hour or more daily on social networking sites, which is 11% higher than the total millennial population, using social media to raise awareness about the issues confronting them. In 2016, 91% of African-Americans accessed the internet via a smartphone or broadband, up from 86% from 2015. African-Americans are the also second largest multicultural group for mobile device ownership, with 91% owning smartphones.

The purchasing power of African-American millennials is also improving. The median income of African-American households has increased 3.5% from 2011 to 2013 with the real median household income up to $793 compared to a $433 increase in Caucasian households, according to the U.S. Census.

According to the Pew Research Center, 43% of African-American smartphone users experience data caps, which affects the numbers streaming music, and African-Americans stream music more hours per day than all other millennial groups. This need is being addressed by T-Mobile’s Music Freedom™ product, which allows their users to stream unlimited music from certain popular music services without using their data. Enter the new status quo in music and fast growing Tidal. In December 2016, Drake’s Views went quadruple platinum, selling 4 million units (100 streams counting as one certifiable unit) and showing untouchable popularity that year. Both consumers and multicultural businesses are booming as a result of the new technologies.

As these groups continue to grow in size and influence, understanding their consumption habits will be key to winning their spending dollars. More importantly, their influence extends beyond their demographic into U.S. culture at large, from clothes to music to behaviors. This is only the beginning.

 

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