10 JUL 2024

USA: 62% of black audiences prioritize black-focused content

A study by Horowitz Research underscored the necessity of culturally relevant content to the value proposition for streaming services.

10 JUL 2024

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Content geared toward black audiences is essential for over 6 in 10 (62%) black households, underscoring how necessary culturally relevant content is to the value proposition for streaming services, according to Horowitz Research’s new annual report, “FOCUS Black Volume I: Subscriptions 2024.” As traditional cable/satellite subscriptions decline, penetration of subscription streaming services has remained steady among Black households.

Similar to the total market, 2 in 3 (67%) Black TV content viewers subscribe to at least one SVOD. While Netflix and Amazon Prime Video top the list of most popular SVODs, Black audiences also use a range of Black-targeted SVOD services: Over 4 in 10 (42%) have access to at least one Black-targeted SVOD, such as BET+, Zeus, Black World Cinema, ALLBLK, etc.

The new Horowitz study also found that Black audiences are more likely to watch content on free, ad-supported TV (FAST) channels. In fact, a full 3 in 4 (75%) Black TV content viewers use FAST services (compared to 67% of total market consumers). That’s more than a five-fold increase from 2019 when only 13% of Black households reported using these services. In comparison, the total market usage of FAST services increased 25% during the same time span. The array of Black-focused content available on FAST channels is an essential driver of viewership. Notably, 2 in 3 (66%) Black FAST viewers say that they watch content geared toward Black audiences at least weekly, according to the new FOCUS Black Volume II: Viewing Behaviors 2024 report. In the past month, Black households over-indexed for usage of Tubi, Pluto TV, and XUMO.

Virtual MVPD services like YouTube TV, Sling, and Hulu with Live TV are also gaining traction among Black households. Almost 1 in 3 (32%) Black TV content viewers subscribe to at least one vMVPD service (over-indexing compared to 23% of consumers overall). Notably, almost 2 in 3 vMVPD subscribers report high satisfaction with the channels and content geared toward Black audiences on their vMVPD service.

“Culturally relevant content has always been an important piece of the media pie for Black audiences,” noted Adriana Waterston, EVP and Insights & Strategy Lead for Horowitz Research, a division of M/A/R/C Research. “With retention being a challenge in the SVOD and vMVPD spaces and engagement a challenge for FAST/AVOD, offering top-notch Black content can be an important differentiator.”