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Hispanics Overindex for Smartphone Usage

The demographic is skipping over PCs, buying mobile devices instead

Telenovelas on Spanish-language TV networks, Latin American music on local radio stations and Spanish-language versions of popular magazines—all are mainstays of US Hispanic-focused programming and media that remain important channels for marketers looking to reach this growing segment of the population. But it’s also where many efforts to connect with Hispanics often end. In their quest to reach this market—especially its large millennial and preteen populations—brands are failing to understand how and where Hispanics are consuming media, according to a new eMarketer report, “US Hispanics’ Media Usage: A Mix of the Trendsetting and the Traditional.”

US Hispanics are avid consumers of media. For the most part, their consumption is on par with non-Hispanics. What differs, to some degree, is the means by which they access various forms of content.

According to Experian Marketing Services, US Hispanic adults watched more than 27 hours of television in the seven days prior to being surveyed in summer 2013, making TV their most popular media type. Among non-Hispanics, TV was also No. 1—although, at 28 hours and 11 minutes, they watched slightly more of it than Hispanics. In addition, Hispanics’ usage was within an hour or so of non-Hispanics’ for radio, magazines and newspapers.

The biggest difference in media usage was how Hispanics accessed both digital and traditional content. This young-skewing demographic frequently consumes media of all kinds through mobile devices, which are taking the place of PCs. While Hispanics spent 54 more minutes on mobile phones than non-Hispanics, they underindexed noticeably for PC usage.

“What’s important to understand is that, many times, their mobile device is [US Hispanics’] only way to connect,” said Leonardo Basterra, executive director of digital strategy and services at Lopez Negrete Communications. “That insight itself has a lot of implications as to how to approach digital marketing to Hispanics.”

It’s a sea change that some brands are beginning to see reflected in their interactions with Hispanic consumers. David Cardona, The Clorox Co.’s director of multicultural sales and marketing, said that “mobile traffic is at par with desktop traffic” on www.Bienvenidos.com, Clorox’s lifestyle portal.

In terms of US Hispanics’ content sources, “the lens is widening,” said Patricia Oppenheimer, executive marketing director at Latina Media Ventures. “Good content is good content. We’ve found there are certain things, like beauty and fashion, that Latinas still like to look at in print, but they will read blogs online to get more information. Their media consumption is increasing.”


The full report, “US Hispanics’ Media Usage: A Mix of the Trendsetting and the Traditional,” also answers these key questions:

  • What media do US Hispanics spend the most time with? On what devices are they accessing the content?
  • How important are traditional media outlets to US Hispanic consumers?
  • What are the key elements to consider when it comes to reaching US Hispanics via mobile?

This report is available to eMarketer corporate subscription clients only. eMarketer clients, log in and view the report now.

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