U.S. Hispanics rely on Spanish-language media

Even English speakers tune into Spanish radio, TV

Mainstream media take heed. Findings from a Univision-AP poll relating to Hispanics’ media consumption reveal that almost all Spanish-dominant U.S. Hispanics, and almost of half of those whose dominant language is English, spend several hours a day watching or listening to Spanish-language television or radio.

Unsurprisingly, the survey of 1,521 respondents across the country disclosed that 90% of Spanish-dominant Hispanics watched Spanish-language TV and 75% listened to Spanish-lingo radio.

Among English-dominant Hispanics, four in 10 turned to either Spanish-language radio or TV for their daily fix of news, sports and entertainment.

“It has been surprising to discover that U.S.-born Hispanics keep strong ties to their culture despite their language choice,” said Ceril Shagrin, exec VP of audience measurement innovation and analytics at Univision.

Given the aud erosion faced by mainstream webs, “It’s useful to know the value system of U.S. Hispanics,” said Shagrin, who pointed out that 94% of the respondents ranked a college degree first and foremost among their priorities. “They are willing to go into debt to send their kids to college more than anything else,” she added.

Tony Ruiz, partner and chief strategic officer at U.S. Hispanic ad agency the Vidal Partnership, has a different take on the survey. “Hispanic-targeted media needs to stop selling itself as Spanish-language media,” he said. “Language does not define the true value of the content. People don’t consume content because it is in a particular language; they consume content that is compelling,” he added.

As an example, he notes that the only places a Spanish baseball fan can watch the Mets or Yankees in New York is on the SNY or YES cable networks, respectively, which air in English.

But Ruiz agrees with one aspect of the survey: “Unless they are in the 10%-15% of the U.S. Hispanic population that is completely assimilated to U.S. mainstream culture, Hispanic culture is a significant portion of their daily life, affecting what they choose to consume.”

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