Hispanic Millennials By the Numbers

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Latinos will account for more than 80% of the growth in the population of 18- to 29-year-olds over the next few years and this makes them a key demographic for marketers targeting young consumers. However, marketers need to develop their marketing strategies taking into account the rapid changes under way in the composition of the population of the Hispanic youth.

In 2015, a total of 22.7MM Hispanic Americans – that is a 42% of the total U.S. Hispanic population – are Millennials. This represents 27% of all U.S. Gen Yrs.

A pretty impressive number when compared to a total of 10.8MM Gen Xrs, and 7.4MM Latino Boomers.

Now, let’s take a look at the 2010 Census data compiled by the Pew Hispanic Center:

  • 58% of Latinos in the 20- to 29-year-old age group are U.S.-born,
  • 81% of Latinos in the 15- to 19-year-old age group are U.S.-born, and
  • 95% of those in the 10- to 14-year-old age segment are U.S.-born

Thus, within a few more years, U.S.-born Latinos will dominate the 18- to 29-year-old age segment within the Hispanic population.

Don’t take these numbers lightly just because they were gathered in 2010. It is only less than 5 years ago and all you need to do to comprehend the magnitude of this impact is subtract 5 years to each segment and the percentage of U.S. Born Hispanics dominates even more.

What are Hispanic Millennials like?

Unlike their immigrant parents who tried to be less visible, Hispanic millennials want to “stand out and be noticed.” They still embrace parts of their culture—mostly family, music and food— and they have incorporated American values such as open-mindedness, especially in their relationships. Hispanic Millennials are abandoning class hierarchies and embracing working class moral standards. They want to become heroes, healers, rescuers as well as small business owners.

The proportion of foreign-born/U.S.-born population has been rapidly changing among young Latinos and this has had a significant impact on the media usage habits of Hispanic Millennials, who for the most part are now the children, grandchildren or even great-grandchildren and beyond of Latino immigrants. A phenomenal 73% of 18- to 29-year-old Latinos watched English-only television or a combination of English and Spanish language television in the past seven days. Only 4% watched Spanish-language television alone.

Hispanic millennials are nearly 66 percent more likely to connect via mobile than non-Hispanic whites. And they are nearly twice as likely to own a tablet such as an iPad. Online, Hispanic millennials are just as likely as other millennials to be heavy Facebook users but they are almost twice as likely to use YouTube.

When Millennial Latinos read magazines or visit websites, English predominates even more. They are more likely to read English-language magazines alone then they are to look into a combination of English and Spanish magazines (28% vs. 21%). When going online, 18- to 29-year-old Latinos are even more likely to choose to visit English-language websites alone rather than both English- and Spanish-language sites (38% vs. 25%).

Still, Hispanic millennials are maintaining close ties with their cultural heritage. The Pew Hispanic found that among the U.S.-born children of Hispanic immigrants, country of origin is still important. As far as self-identification, 33 percent of second generation Latinos use American first, 21 percent refer to themselves first by the terms Hispanic or Latino, and 41 percent refer to themselves first by the country of origin of their parents.

While Hispanic millennials may want to make it on their own, they are more likely to still be living in their parents’ home. More millennials are doing this due to the economy and delayed marriage and children trends. But Latinos are “the” most likely to live in a multi-generation home.

They feel like a generation and have great expectations for themselves. They are also aware of their future family obligations and the difficulties they will face to be able to support their parents and grand-parents.

Unlike their Gen Y counterparts who have been told over and over again that they are special, and expect the world to treat them that way, Hispanic Millennials see themselves as part of their families, communities and not separated from the rest.

As a result, marketers in both the Latino and youth markets have had to revamp their marketing strategies about how to reach this key demographic.

The Two Tempos for How We Consume Information

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It is a media-quintet world we live in today.  Information moves fast via smartwatches, smartphones, tablets, online and print.

For Hispanics, it’s also radio and television as favorite platforms, so make that a septet.

My work with media companies worldwide shows me that it is not an easy task to organize editors around messages that will be presented via multi platforms. But, across seven platforms? How is an editor or advertising creative to present information in just the right platform?

Furthermore, what is the ideal language to address US Hispanics? Regardless of whether we use Spanish, English, or “Spanglish”, the idea is to reach this group of about 50 million, with purchasing power expected to surpass $1.5 trillion in 2015.

Before we discuss that, it is probably helpful to discuss the current state of receiving information in the digital age.

We consume information through what I call two tempos: lean forward and lean back. Both are essential. Both are important.  We must create, write, edit and design to accommodate how these two tempos move, almost in perfect synchronization.

This is how it works. We all are constantly leaning forward to check for news and information on our mobile devices.  But we all have a special time of the day to lean back, take off our shoes and go for more in-depth analysis of the news of the day.

I often remind publishers and editors that when it comes to distributing information, it is raw meat for the constant flow of information, via mobile devices, and a more cooked steak for lean back platforms—think print and tablets.

These two tempos fulfill the information needs of our audience.

Every media house, no matter its size, needs to become aware of these two tempos and adapt them to how the news cycle flows in their newsrooms.  In this regard, I don’t think that Hispanics are much different from the rest of the population, except that we do know that Hispanics consume 12 hours of online video a month, two percent higher than the average U.S. audience.

How would I apply the two tempos to a strategy specifically designed for US Hispanics? Here are 5 tips:

  1. I would put my emphasis on mobile platforms, specifically smartphones. According to Pew Research, 13% of US Hispanics are smartphone-dependent, compared with 4% of whites.
  2. I would seriously consider personalizing how information arrives at those mobile platforms.  We are all Hispanics, but multiculturalism defines us .  Mexican-Americans out in the west section of the country will be interested in information that may not be exactly what appeals to Cuban Americans in Florida.
  3. I would explore the so called “Billennials”—bilingual Latino millennial audiences.  This is a difficult group to reach, as they are greatly interested in information but hardly show any loyalty to a media brand.  This group must be addressed in English, but with topics that take them back to their roots.  Recently, at a Broadway performance of the new musical On Your Feet, based on the life and music of Emilio and Gloria Estefan, the crowd included a significant group of these Billennials.  The show is in English, with Spanish words peppered here and there and music in both languages, which is how we should communicate with this young group.
  4.  In terms of advertising, it is time to create sponsored and native ads for the US Hispanic market. While we are seeing great examples of these innovative ways of pushing for advertising content, it is hardly present with Spanish-language newspaper and magazine websites, which are simply not tapping into this incredibly successful way of storytelling for ad messages.
  5. Let videos be king! Knowing how young US Hispanics love video, I would create very video-centric apps not just for music, but also for presenting news and information, the type of innovative approach that I have not seen even for mainstream app development. Here is brand creation waiting to happen.

Let’s face it, US Hispanics are a hot market, with a voracious appetite for consuming news of their current and former home countries, with a special interest in sports and entertainment and with a commanding purchasing power.  Like the rest of us they lean forward (se inclinan) and lean back (se relajan).  We should explore more of the media quintet to serve them better.

Dr. Mario Garcia is CEO/Founder Garcia Media. He is Senior Adviser on News Design/Adjunct Professor at Columbia University School of Journalism.

Mobile-Centric Focus Pays Off For SBS

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Digital was the shining star for Spanish Broadcasting System during the first quarter, with interactive billings up a staggering 35% over the previous year. With a young Latino audience, the company has invested heavily in what COO Albert Rodriguez calls a “mobile-centric focus.”

All its station websites have been redesigned to be mobile friendly and the company racked up another 40,000 downloads for its La Musica app, during the quarter for a total of 650,000 to date. But La Musica offers more than just SBS station streams. Users can access event-related content from 13 of its top stations and other cross platform content. Live events have become a crucial content and revenue generator for the company’s SBS Entertainment division, which leverages local station relationships with artists. The unit produced 30 events last year and expects to stage more in 2015, including January’s Calibash at L.A.’s Staple Center.

A mobile focus gave SBS some impressive digital metrics to tout to investors yesterday: 1.9 million monthly unique users who streamed 7.6 million audio sessions, which delivered 43 million ad impressions per month. SBS has accumulated 3.4 million social media followers.

The company reported solid ratings growth in key markets. Flagship tropical “Mega 97.9” WSKQ-FM finished first in New York with 18-34 year-olds. Regional Mexican KSOL, San Francisco (98.9) grew almost 50% during the last few months in adults 18-49. Tropical “El Zol 106.7” WXDJ Miami ranked first among Hispanics in Q1 among adults aged 18-34. Total SBS revenue in the quarter was down 2% in what Rodriguez described as a “mixed advertising environment.” Strongest growth came from the auto, restaurant and general services categories while retail billings declined.

 

Bringing Big Ad Money to Hispanics—Challenge Remains.

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Helping Latino media owners secure financial backers to buy their stations is just the beginning of what many see as a huge and continuous industry challenge. Attracting advertisers is just as critical. And even though multicultural populations are growing, the dollars aren’t always following.

Hispanic media outlets captured $8.7 billion in ad dollars last year. “That is actually down a little bit from 2014, but its still significantly higher than the $2.53 billion that was spent on African-American media-related business and industries,” Nielsen senior VP Cheryl Pearson-McNeil told the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council’s 14th annual Access to Capital and Telecom Policy conference in Washington last week. “That is out of about $64 billion that was spent overall,” she added.

Among the brands that trimmed their Hispanic media spending last year were Procter & Gamble, McDonald’s, Nissan and Toyota. Black-targeted media netted fewer dollars from clients such as General Motors, SoftBank and Toyota. “We’re not doing really well when it comes to garnering the advertising dollars of corporations,” Pearson-McNeil said.

To help make the case to chief marketing officers, Pearson-McNeil says one strategy may be for minority media to play a different demographic card—age. “Millennials equals multicultural because 53% of the Africa-American community is under the age of 35 and 59% of Hispanics are under 35,” she pointed out. “You can’t think Millennials and not think multicultural. It’s just going to be detrimental to a business.”

Pearson-McNeil also believes it’s important to highlight the success stories. Among the clients that boosted multicultural spending last year were AT&T, Loreal, Time Warner and Comcast. “These companies that take the time to advertise with us on our stations, or even on general market stations, it is really important for us to celebrate those companies that are getting the message right,” she said.

Much of the multicultural marketplace is currently focused on African-Americans and the fast-growing Hispanic community. But there’s a sleeper demo explosion building. “Asian consumers are growing faster than any other group right now,” Pearson-McNeil said. The population has increased 25% since 2009 and there are now 20.4 million Asian-Americans living in the U.S. Pearson-McNeil said if the population continues to grow at its current pace, Asians will become the largest multicultural group in the U.S.

Pearson-McNeil said the Asian-American market should be especially attractive to marketers since its average annual income ($74,800) tops all others. “They are ahead of the curve,” she addee, pointing out 90% of Asian-Americans own a smartphone and 76% own a tablet.

Latinos are now the largest minority group, comprising 18% of the U.S. population with 57 million people of Hispanic descent. And while Asians may be growing at a faster pace right now, Nielsen says Latinos are expected to account for two-thirds of the growth of the U.S. population for the next 45 years.

“The youthfulness of the Hispanic population is really driving a lot of the interest that we’re seeing,” Pearson-McNeil said. Nielsen data shows that younger-skewing age group leans more digital. Latinos spend more than 52 hours per week using apps or the web on a smartphone, which is 8 hours more than the general population.

African-Americans currently make up about 14% of the population and the segment is growing at a rate of 17.7%. That’s 4% faster than the total population. Pearson-McNeil pointed out African-Americans are also big media consumers.

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