How Black Audiences Are Consuming Media Today

Across the Generations: How Black Audiences Are Consuming Media Today

American media consumption is at an all-time high and Black influence on popular culture is undeniable. The influx in Black content creators, entertainers, and entrepreneurs is a result of the representational gaps in media and entertainment. Black Americans are leveraging their resources to intensify their influence and participation as consumers. With steady advancements in the digital world, they are able to connect and collaborate across an array of networks, create new products and services that cater to their unmet needs, and critique those who continue to neglect their desires and requests. 


Power of the Black Voice 

African Americans’ participation on social platforms has significantly increased their impact. The power of Black Twitter alone had a tremendous effect on popular brands over the past year. Black Twitter users are constantly holding companies accountable for their racial & cultural insensitivity and lack of representation, forcing them to be more conscious of the Black consumer. As the leading group of consumers across multiple platforms, Black voices cannot be ignored without severe consequence or significant revenue loss for these brands. Popular brands and networks quickly realized they must speak to Black consumers in ways that resonate with them experientially and culturally if they want their business and viewership to thrive.


A Connected Community 

The African American community is 48 million people strong, with nearly 25 million of them being Millennials or Gen-Z with a median age of 32. According to the Nielsen 2019 Diverse Intelligence Series (DIS) report on African Americans, Black consumers spend more than 50 hours watching live and recorded television per week. The company’s research indicates that this is approximately 11 more television-watching hours than the total population. 


Black consumers are extremely tech savvy, embracing new content distribution platforms and devices regularly. Nielsen found that 37% of African Americans are more likely than the total population to be the first among their peers to try new technology products. The report also shows that African Americans spend roughly 30 hours a week consuming content on their smartphones including but not limited to video, mobile applications, and websites.


YouTube is African Americans’ most utilized entertainment application at 79%. 65% of Black adults use Facebook while Black adults and youth over-index in the use of other social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest compared to the total population. Black consumers gravitate towards content that reflects their image and experiences which has played a large role in the rise of Black content creators and entrepreneurs. With the advantage of living in a digital age, African Americans have built modern digital communities and safe spaces across multiple platforms that maintain massive political and cultural influence.


Black Consumers Create to Meet Their Needs

Content providers and brands need to be able to identify Black consumer needs in order to cater to them properly. However, the recent ‘Pull Up or Shut Up’ initiative, spearheaded by UOMA Beauty founder Sharon Chuter, exposed the lack of Black faces involved at corporate and executive marketing levels. With this insufficient representation on the decision-making end, it’s difficult for brands to cater to Black consumers in an authentic way. Black-created apps are now on the rise as African Americans have grown frustrated with their search to find products and services to fit their needs. 


Nielsen’s research explores how apps like the ‘Official Black Wall Street’ and ‘I Am Black Business’ create easy access to information about African American owned businesses. The availability of this information is impacting Black consumers’ ability to support Black-owned businesses with their purchasing power. If brands do not prioritize catering to Black consumer needs, African Americans have made it clear that they will use their creativity and vast resources to create the products and services that will satisfy their needs. 

8 LBTQ Women on the Ballot in 2020
Eight LGBTQ Women on the Ballot in 2020

8 LBTQ Women on the Ballot in 2020

The Top 15 Black TikTok Stars/Influencers You Should Know and Why
The Top 15 Black TikTok Stars/Influencers You Should Know and Why

The Top 15 Black TikTok Stars/Influencers You Should Know and Why

You May Also Like