Bloomberg — Having more Latino talent working in front of—and behind the camera—directly impacts a TV show’s viewership within that community, according to a study from the ratings giant Nielsen.
In a report issued Wednesday, Nielsen researchers analyzed 530 of the most-streamed programs in the US between 2021 and the first quarter of 2022. In shows where more than 19% of the on-camera talent was Hispanic or Latino, which corresponds to the group’s share of the US population, viewers were at least one-third Hispanic or Latino. They also looked at programs with a smaller number of Latinos on screen and found viewership amounted to 30%—if there were Hispanics working behind the camera.
The report shows, not surprisingly, that viewers respond when they see something of themselves on the screen. But it also suggests having Latinos involved in the production of a series will boost its appeal within that ethnic group, even if their on-screen representation is small. That makes both important to advertisers seeking to reach Latinos, the largest US minority group.
“Inclusion in front of and behind the camera is a critical strategy to increase cultural watchability when considering the growing size and importance of the Hispanic audience,” the researchers noted. The Nielsen report used the terms Latino and Hispanic interchangeability.
There’s still work to do: 92% of the shows analyzed didn’t include Hispanic people in key behind-the-scenes roles. And 41% of Hispanic viewers said not enough streaming content represents them. Just 41% of respondents said the on-screen representation of Hispanics is accurate.
The Nielsen report noted that the Latino-focused reboot of “Father of the Bride,” which debuted in July, attracted 448,000 new viewers who continued to watch HBO Max content. Almost half of those viewers were Latino. And approximately 5% of the total Hispanic viewership on HBO Max had gone to the platform specifically for “Gordita Chronicles,” which was canceled after its 10-episode debut in June.
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