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Latino representation in video content drives bingeability

4 minute read | October 2022

The importance of representation in media can’t be overstated. Among Hispanics, for example, 56% say they’re more likely to watch content when it features someone from their identity group1. And when content creators and distributors give audiences content in which they see themselves, they stand a better chance of keeping them to watch more. 

For Hispanic audiences, streaming platforms offer more of what they’re looking for, as they spend more of their time with TV with over-the-top content than any other audience. And what’s more, when inclusive content attracts them to a service for the first time, they stay to watch more than just what they came to watch.

To understand the correlation between being attracted to content and staying to watch more, Nielsen collaborated with Latino Donor Collaborative to track and better understand viewer engagement beyond a specific program that attracts viewers. In our first-of-its-kind analysis2, we found that a program’s “bingeability”—or the likelihood that an audience will watch additional episodes— among Hispanics is strongly correlated with inclusion.

For this analysis, we looked at the 530 most-streamed programs3 in the U.S. from 2021 through the first-quarter of 2022 to better understand what drives bingeability. Our analysis found that Hispanic representation is correlated with bingeworthy programming on two dimensions: on-camera Hispanic representation and Hispanic talent.

First, when a show featured on-screen Hispanic talent, bingeability scores4 increased. Second, the contribution of Hispanic talent to bingeable content is significant. Among the streaming programs available in 2021, 134 had bingeability scores of 3 or higher. On the bingeability scale, programs with a score of 3 or higher are considered highly bingeable. When looking at top bingeable content (a score of 3 or more), Hispanic talent has a significant contribution to the production of a show, as 56 of these 134 programs feature Hispanic representation on at least one side of the camera.

Importantly, Hispanic-inclusion has benefits well beyond the Latino community. Through our collaboration with Latino Donor Collaborative, we looked at the audience attracted to three new programs led by Hispanic talent: The Lincoln Lawyer, Gordita Chronicles and Father of the Bride (2022 movie on HBO Max). Our analysis found that only 42% of the viewers that were attracted to a new service because of these programs were Hispanic, meaning more than half were from other identity groups. And what’s more, these audiences stayed on the streaming platforms to watch more than what attracted them in the first place.

It’s also worth noting that Hispanics are drawn to content inclusive of other identity groups. According to Nielsen’s 2022 Attitudes on Representation TV study, more than one-third of Latinos say they are interested in seeing content featuring people from other identity groups. In analyzing the top 345 streamed shows in 2021, 25% (87) had a Latino share of audience that was above 19% (the percentage of Latinos in the U.S. population), indicating that Latinos were more likely to watch those shows. Sixty-two percent of those shows (87), where Latinos watched at a level above their population percentage, are inclusive of Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC), including Middle Eastern North African. This illustrates that Latinos are drawn to and consume content with representation outside of their identity group.

As the streaming landscape broadens—and engagement rises—the importance of inclusion and accurate representation can’t be overstated, especially as competition for audience attention increases. Hispanics now represent 19% of the U.S. population5, with a buying power of $1.9 trillion6. Given Hispanics’ appetite for streaming, creators and distributors have a significant opportunity if they give this audience more of what they’re looking for.

Notes

  1. Attitudes on Representation on TV Study, April 2022
  2. Custom Analysis of Nielsen National TV Panel and Streaming Content Ratings data based on available measurable content across platforms.
  3. 2021-Q1 2022 National TV Panel and Streaming Platform Ratings
  4. Bingeability scores from Gracenote’s Distribution Dynamics and Program Availability Archive data measure the average number of show episodes viewers watched per day to quantify viewer propensity to consume multiple episodes in a row.
  5. 2020 U.S. Census Bureau
  6. 2020 Selig Center for Economic Growth, Terry College of Business, The University of Georgia

For additional insights, download our Latino-led content and viewers: The building blocks for streaming success report.

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