In our increasingly multicultural world, how is mainstream media perceived by multicultural consumers who are quickly becoming the new general market?
In Horowitz Associates' 13th annual State of Cable and Digital Media: Multicultural Edition study, white, black, Hispanic, and Asian urban consumers were asked how well TV represents racial and ethnic groups in terms of quality (accuracy in comparison with reality) and quantity (proportionate with reality).
One-third (32 percent) say TV does a good job with quality, but a comparable number (27 percent) give unfavorable ratings; two in five (40 percent) give favorable ratings for quantity and one-quarter (23 percent) give unfavorable ratings.
Across total multicultural consumers, neutral ratings fall between 37 percent (quantity) and 41 percent (quality).
The study reveals important dynamics across races, particularly among key Hispanic segments. Spanish-dominant Hispanics are the most satisfied with racial representation in the media, reporting the highest favorable ratings and lowest unfavorable ratings for quantity (53 percent favorable; 11 percent unfavorable) and quality (46 percent favorable; 13 percent unfavorable).
Spanish-dominant Hispanics watch 69 percent of their TV in Spanish, however, making their evaluation reflective of the content on Spanish networks. On the other hand, English-oriented Hispanics, who watch 92 percent of their programming in English, give the media high unfavorable ratings for quality (35 percent) and quantity (29 percent).
Asians are the only segment that gives higher unfavorable ratings than favorable ratings for both quantity and quality.
"Multicultural audiences have always been the best customers for television and entertainment," notes Adriana Waterston, Horowitz's vice president of marketing and business development. "Tokenism and stereotypical representation of ethnicities in the media will not pass muster among this new general market for media."
State of Cable and Digital Media: Multicultural Edition is an annual, syndicated survey tracking key trends regarding attitudes and adoption of television, broadband and mobile technologies among urban, multicultural consumers. The 2012 survey was conducted among a national sample of 1,532 urban (cities with a population of 50,000+) heads of household 18+.
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