In the chaotic post-pandemic viewing and streaming media ecosystem, Latino viewership continues to reflect the broad range of contemporary U.S. Latino identities and household demographics. According to a recent Horowitz Research survey, demand is ever-expanding for new, high-quality Spanish-language content on par with English-language content among individuals and families with identities ranging from Hispanic to Afro-Latino/a/x and across language and acculturation segments nationwide.
According to Horowitz, eighty percent of U.S. Latinx TV content viewers are streamers, including 64% of Latinx Spanish-language content viewers. Eight out of ten (80%) subscribe to at least one SVOD service. On average, Latinx streamers pay for 4 streaming services.
According to Horowitz, half of Latinx households (49%) subscribe to both, a traditional MVPD and at least one streaming service, with younger, multilingual, bicultural, family households the most likely to leverage both MVPD and SVOD platforms to meet their households’ expansive needs, which includes demand for both English and Spanish content.
Six in 10 Latinx watch Spanish-language content at least occasionally, according to the study. Notably, viewing of Spanish-language content is as high among bilingual, bicultural Latinx as it is among their Spanish-dominant counterparts. And, almost 1 in 3 (29%) English-oriented, highly acculturated Latinx watch in Spanish at least occasionally, according to the study.
While traditional (broadcast and cable) used to be the main source for Spanish-language content, the Spanish-language TV landscape is transforming dramatically. The past couple of years have ushered in an explosion of Spanish and Latinx-themed streamed content, starting with the success of Netflix’s Narcos, La Casa de Papel, Elite, La Reina del Sur (a Telemundo series) and other popular shows.
Latinx audiences can now access Spanish-language and Latinx-themed content across a wide variety of free and paid services: Peacock, with a robust selection of Telemundo content; Amazon Prime Video, which is making substantial investments in Spanish and Latinx-themed content; FuboTV, offering Spanish-language sports programming; Discovery, which offers various Spanish language mobile apps; Pluto TV, with free programming and channel surfing in English and Spanish; Pantaya; OnDemandLatino; and the new Univision/Televisa venture Prende TV, among many others.
Horowitz’s Adriana Waterston, Senior Vice President, Insights and Strategy, notes that “Latinx consumers have long been underserved in the streaming space, but this is completely changing now.” Waterston notes, “There is a market for all sorts of streamed Spanish and Latinx-themed content, ranging from traditional telenovelas to content that speaks to the sensibilities of younger, bilingual, bicultural U.S. Latinx. Importantly, much of this content will not only appeal to Latinx consumers but other audiences as well.”
Latinx audiences continue to value the benefits of traditional MVPD services when making their subscription decisions, such as accessing live TV content, watching television episodes the day they air, and having access to local, national, and international up-to-date news coverage.
However, 2 in 3 Latinx consumers surveyed perceive that the quality and variety of Spanish content available in the streaming ecosystem is as good or surpasses that which is available through MVPD services, which could lead to more Latinx households becoming cord-cutters. The Horowitz survey shows that already, 22% of Latinx TV homes have cut the cord within the last three years.
“Latinx households have been some of the most loyal customers of MVPD services, driven by the desire to have access to the most robust selection of both English and Spanish content,” observes Waterston. “As streaming services amp up their Latinx-oriented offerings, traditional players will need to find new ways to retain their value proposition among this audience.”