Of all the sources for television content available today, Netflix commands the greatest share of streamed TV viewing among Latinx millennials (22-37 year-olds), according to the latest FOCUS Latino: The Media Landscape 2019 report published by Horowitz Research. Latinx millennials spend 34% of their streamed TV time with the service- 3 in every 10 hours, on average- while Amazon Prime Video and Hulu each enjoy about 10% share of viewing. The remaining 46% of streamed TV viewing is spent using services including YouTube, network sites and apps, TV provider sites and apps, and others*. In contrast, Netflix’s share of streamed TV viewing among non-Hispanic millennials is 28%.
In fact, four in ten Latinx millennial viewers who have a TV (38%) say that, even when sitting down to watch TV in front of a TV set, Netflix is their first, “go-to” source, compared to 29% among Hispanic TV viewers overall and just 20% of total viewers.
Netflix Connects with Latinx’ Identity Through Content Offerings
Netflix’s ability to leverage a wide and deep variety of well-branded, familiar content from major studios, mainstream broadcast and cable networks, and Spanish-language networks like Telemundo— combined with its own selection of critically acclaimed original content— resonates particularly well with Latinx millennials. This audience has a wide variety of content interests and is linguistically and culturally fluid. They seek quality content that reflects the diversity of their milieu and their lives. For example, about half (52%) of Latinx millennials say they find it very relatable when TV shows and movies feature characters who are bilingual and/or who are bicultural, and 58% wish there were more TV shows and movies that feature bilingual and/or bicultural characters. Seven in 10 (73%) agree that Netflix is doing a good job offering content that appeals to people like them, higher than any other network or streaming service tested— suggesting that Netflix is filling an important void in the content landscape for this audience.
Moreover, three in four (75%) Latinx millennials watch TV in Spanish at least occasionally, underscoring that resonating with Latinx millennials is both an English and Spanish-language opportunity for networks and advertisers striving to reach the audience. Netflix seems to have gotten the message: 8 in 10 Latinx millennials who watch in-language content turn to Netflix at least occasionally for its Spanish-language content offerings.
Netflix’s Achilles Heel is the Traditional Players’ Advantage
Netflix’s success in many ways catalyzed the streaming revolution. But, even as streaming continues to replace live, linear viewing as the main way audiences consume TV content, the data from this study point to growing frustrations with aspects of the streaming experience for Latinx and other millennials. About 4 in 10 Latinx millennial streamers feel that the “amount of content available today is overwhelming” and are finding it “harder and harder to find new shows to watch,” suggesting there is continued demand for managed entertainment services that offer the aggregated content discovery and browsing experience that cable and satellite providers offer, but in the streamed environment. And, there remains a yearning for the days of “must-see TV.” Four in 10 (41%) Latinx millennial streamers say they are finding it “more difficult now to talk about TV shows with other people” since people are watching on-demand, and half (53%) of Latinx millennial streamers have at least one show they try to watch as close to airing as possible to be able to participate in the “buzz” about the show.
Most critically for Netflix, the value of the service is substantially bolstered by the vast library of syndicated, network content the service offers. In the Horowitz study, 45% of Latinx millennial Netflix users- and over half (52%) of non-Hispanic millennial users- concurred that if major networks NBC, Fox, AMC, etc., pulled their content from Netflix, they would consider cancelling their subscription. As more media companies— like Disney Media Networks— launch their own streaming experiences and withhold their content from Netflix, it remains to be seen whether Netflix can continue to differentiate through its original content to retain Latinx and other millennial audiences.
“Netflix has transformed the media landscape for Latinx millennial audiences by providing access to the innovative, culturally resonant, and differentiated content they crave—in English, in Spanish, and even bilingual— that many other mainstream media companies have been slow to lean into,” notes Adriana Waterston, SVP of Insights and Strategy for Horowitz Research. “Latinx and other multicultural millennial audiences are undoubtedly the most valuable audiences for media companies today, and they have grown to love what Netflix has been providing them. It will be interesting to see what happens when other major media companies decide to commit to super-serving this audience. For many traditional players, this would require taking risks with their programming— like incorporating more bilingual dialogue or focusing on diverse heroes and storylines— that they have typically shied away from.” * The FOCUS Latino Media Landscape 2019 study provides viewers’ self-reported share of viewing for many of the popular services, including YouTube, HBO, virtual MVPDs, and others.