18 APR 2024

USA: ​​LGBTQIA+ and younger audiences seek diverse and LGBTQIA+ content

A report by Horowitz Research showed that LGBTQIA+ content viewers and audiences aged 18-34 years old are more keen on consuming inclusive contents.

18 APR 2024

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LGBTQIA+ representation in TV content drives viewing among not just American LGBTQIA+ audiences, but among younger (18-34 year-old) American audiences overall, as reported by Horowitz Research’s “State of Media, Entertainment, and Tech: FOCUS LGBTQIA+” report. The company revealed that 66% LGBTQIA+ content viewers are more likely to watch a show that is inclusive of LGBTQIA+ characters and/or features stories around their culture/community; while 33% 18-34 year-olds also agree that they are more likely to watch a show with LGBTQIA+ characters and stories.

The demand for LGBTQIA+ visibility in entertainment content reflects the larger demand for content that represents the diversity of the U.S. in general. For example, 46% of American audiences, ages 18-34, also want to see characters with disabilities and/or bilingual characters.

Given the fragmentation of the streaming environment, content discovery remains a challenge. When it comes to finding LGBTQIA+ themed content, 52% of LGBTQIA+ streamers find collections and hubs that include LGBTQIA+ content to be valuable, and use these hubs at least occasionally to find LGBTQIA+ content to watch. They perceive Netflix and Hulu as having the best selection of LGBTQIA+ content. And it’s not just LGBTQIA+ audiences using these hubs: Nearly 4 in 10 (38%) younger streamers overall find LGBTQIA+ hubs/collections to be a valuable feature of the streaming services they use.

Demand for LGBTQIA+ inclusive content is not limited to just entertainment, but also for advertising. For example, ads featuring diverse people, lifestyles, and cultures have a positive impact on brand perceptions for more than 7 in 10 (71%) LGBTQIA+ consumers and 6 in 10 younger audiences in general. Similarly, including LGBTQIA+ people in ads resonates with 7 in 10 LGBTQIA+ consumers and almost half (46%) of younger consumers. Both segments also favor ads that try to change damaging stereotypes about people of color and other marginalized groups.

​​“LGBTQIA+ stories and characters are inherently American stories and characters, and for content and advertising to realistically portray the American experience today, it needs to be inclusive of LGBTQIA+ experiences,” noted Adriana Waterston, EVP and Insights and Strategy Lead for Horowitz Research. “Today’s younger Americans are much more open and fluid when it comes to views on sexualities and gender identities, as we have learned in our recent research with #Seeher and as confirmed by a study by Pew Research. It will be important for media brands and advertisers to get comfortable with LGBTQIA+ inclusion, even if it means ruffling some feathers along the way, if they want to resonate with younger generations of Americans.”