Horowitz: Nearly Three-Quarters of African-American Viewers Stream TV Content

African American consumers not only watch more linear television compared to all audiences, but they also stream content at a higher percentage than all other consumers, according to a new report from Horowitz Research.

Nearly three quarters (74%) of black TV viewers report streaming at least some of their TV content, compared to 68% of all television viewers, according to Horowitz’s FOCUS Black: The Media Landscape report. Further, 65% of African-American streamers say they watch more TV content than they did five years ago.

The high percentage of African-American video streamers shouldn’t be surprising given the group’s voracious consumption of media. A recent Nielsen Total Audience Report for the first quarter of 2018 reported that African-American adults consume nearly 13 and a half hours of media per day, almost two and one-half hours more than the average adult.  

“Black consumers have long been some of traditional multichannel’s best customers," says Adriana Waterston, senior vice president of Insights & Strategy at Horowitz. "Super-serving this valuable and entertainment-oriented audience is critical for any player in the pay TV space.”

Indeed, African-American viewers overwhelmingly tune into content that feature their images and stories, particularly on digital platforms. Horowitz reported that 64% of African-American streamers say they will check out a show if it features a Black character or cast, and 57% say that shows featuring racial or other sociopolitical themes appeal to them.

That should bode well for targeted subscription video on demand services like Urban Movie Channel and Brown Sugar -- which directly target African-American viewers -- as well as mainstream video streaming services like Netflix, which looks to appeal to African-American viewers with targeted, original content like its Spike Lee-produced series She’s Gotta Have It and the recently launched comedy All About the Washingtons

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.