An Univision-AP Poll relating to Hispanics and Media Consumption shows that U.S. Hispanics, including English-dominant speakers, turn to Spanish-language media on a daily basis.
The findings revealed that 90% of Spanish-dominant Hispanics watch some Spanish-language TV, and 75 percent listen to Spanish-language radio each day. Among English-dominant Hispanics, nearly 4 in 10 said they consume either Spanish-language television or radio.
The poll found that for U.S. Hispanics who speak mainly English, the main reasons for tuning into Spanish-language TV and radio are sports and entertainment, a cultural connection and the sentiment among some Latinos that English-language media portrays them negatively.
In a press release last week, Ceril Shagrin, executive vice president for Audience Measurement Innovation and Analytics for Univision Communications Inc., said, “The Univision-AP Poll on Media Consumption confirms that Hispanics who speak English and Spanish continue to choose Spanish-language TV and radio for culturally relevant content they can’t get anywhere else. Today’s findings reaffirm that Spanish-language media reaches 80 percent of all Hispanics in the U.S.”
The Census Bureau estimates roughly 3 out of 4 U.S. Latinos speak some Spanish at home. Those numbers have fueled the surge and interest in Spanish media marketing. From Spanish music and college recruiting to a bit of politics, several parties are in a bid to reach the U.S. Latino demographic of 48 million people. All of this taking place even amidst a fiery immigration debate with many cities and states considering English-only policies.
“In the political world there is this angst. But the business and multinational world understand to be engaged with the consumer you want to use every opportunity to create a touch point,” said Jose Cancela, author of the book, “The Power of Business en Espanol” and a 30-year veteran of Spanish-language radio and television. “Just because Hispanics learn English, it doesn’t mean they go away from Spanish. It’s an important part of their psyche. Speaking Spanish gives you the upper hand.”
Maria Teresa Kumar, executive director of Voto Latino, worries that the later generations of younger Hispanics may be underserved by Spanish-language media. Kumar pointed to preliminary survey data that indicated U.S.-born Hispanics were less likely to participate in the 2010 census as a result of less exposure to the federal government’s $25 million Spanish-language ad campaign that promoted the benefits of the population count.
“In order to reach Latinos in general, we have to create media that speaks to them in English with a Spanish cultural sensibility,” Kumar said.
The AP-Univision poll was conducted from March 11 to June 3 by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. It is being released as a series of articles based on the findings. The series began with a story examining the diversity, views and experiences of Hispanics, followed by a story on the Economy, Politics, Higher Education, Hispanic Identity, Language Barriers, Religion, and last week’s piece on Media Consumption. The final article will focus on Living in Two Worlds.