December 23, 2000

Access Worldwide Communications, Inc. announced the final results of an online research study that was conducted to understand Internet access and usage among multicultural markets in the United States. Access Worldwide's Cultural Access Group completed the research study in partnership with and a broad range of ethnic web sites that target African American and Hispanic audiences.

Though at lower levels than the general market, Internet access by multicultural audiences has doubled during the previous two years. The study measured online attitudes and practices among African Americans, Hispanics and the general market. Research indicates that ethnic and cultural factors play a prominent role in determining the unique needs, usage and attitudes of multicultural users. Among the many findings, the study revealed the following trends:

* Online African Americans and Hispanics are using the Internet to explore information and content for different purposes than the general market. African Americans focus their Internet activities more on career advancement and professional development, family/relationship themes, education, entertainment and exploring hobbies and interests. Online Hispanics overwhelmingly use the Internet as a major source of news content, particularly international news. Unlike the general market, both groups are less likely to seek financial or technological information online.

* The more longevity and experience that ethnic users have with the Internet, the more likely they will engage in e-commerce activities. The level of online experience is a determining factor whether online African Americans and Hispanics will use the Internet to eventually purchase products. More than 40% of online African Americans with three or more years of experience have purchased products from the Internet, compared to only 19% of online African Americans with less than three years experience. Similarly, 42% of online Hispanics with three or more years of experience have purchased products from the Internet, compared to 26% of online Hispanics with less than three years experience.

* Despite increasing usage, continuing skepticism characterizes the attitudes of many ethnic Internet users, particularly among online African Americans. Among all groups, online African Americans are the least likely market to believe that the Internet removes racial barriers and creates new social opportunities. African American and Hispanic respondents were nearly three times and five times as likely, respectively, than the general market to mention negative perceptions of the Internet.

* Online African Americans and Hispanics are very concerned about the influence of the Internet on their children and families. In contrast to 37% of the general market, 55% of online African Americans and 89% of online Hispanics have children at home. Forty percent of the African American and Hispanic respondents were dissatisfied with the Internet content for children. Half of African American respondents even felt that the Internet should be censored, twice the level of Hispanics and the general market.

"Unlike the majority of multicultural online research that has focused solely on the issue of access, this study analyzes the role of culture in determining how African Americans and Hispanics use the Internet and what their unique needs are," commented David Morse, Senior Vice President of Access Worldwide and Chief Operating Officer of Access Worldwide's Cultural Access Group. "These research results provide insights that companies need to stay competitive in the emerging multicultural marketplace."

Michael Dinkins, Chairman and CEO of Access Worldwide, stated, "With a growth rate double the general market and more than $600 billion in annual buying power, multicultural markets have continued to catch the attention of companies from all industries. We believe that there will be a growing demand for market research firms with a multicultural expertise and through our proprietary studies, we can identify major marketing and sales opportunities. Additionally, these studies offer an additional research revenue stream for Access Worldwide."

The study was conducted entirely online and included approximately 3,500 responses from Internet users recruited from key ethnic web sites and's consumer panel. Respondents had the option of completing the survey in either English or Spanish.

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