Description

“As the Black population is disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, Black consumers turn to culturally relevant, trusted media sources for information as well as those that offer an escape from the chaos.”
– Toya Mitchell, Senior Multicultural Analyst

This report examines the following:

  • The impact of COVID-19 on Black consumers’ media consumption
  • How the media market will fare in the post-COVID-19 slowdown
  • Attitudes and consumption behaviors for new and traditional media platforms
  • How content drives value perceptions of different platforms

 

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Definition
        • Executive Summary

            • Market overview
              • Top takeaways
                • Impact of COVID-19 on Black consumers’ media consumption
                  • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and longer-term impact of COVID-19 on broadcast and cable/satellite and Black consumers TV, May 2020
                  • Figure 2: Short-, medium- and longer-term impact of COVID-19 on streaming/OTT services and Black consumers, May 2020
                  • Figure 3: Short-, medium- and longer-term impact of COVID-19 on newspapers/magazines and Black consumers, May 2020
                • The insights
                  • Streaming services battle cable/satellite for Black consumers’ media consumption
                    • Figure 4: Black consumers’ media service subscriptions, December 2019
                  • Black consumers still subscribe to cable, but the numbers are dwindling
                    • Figure 5: Cable and satellite household subscribers, by total and Black, 2015-19
                  • Black consumers prefer to use traditional rather than new devices to consume content
                    • Figure 6: Black consumers’ media consumption, by device, December 2019
                  • Advertising that does not entertain or inform is an unwelcome disruption
                    • Figure 7: Black consumers’ behaviors toward advertising/commercials while consuming media, December 2019
                  • Black consumers’ subscription choices to streaming or cable driven by value
                    • Figure 8: Black consumers’ TV content consumption behavior, by media service subscriptions, December 2019
                  • The opportunities
                    • Integrate relevant messaging within high-quality programming
                      • Figure 9: Black consumers’ path-to-purchase media behavior, by select media, December 2019
                    • Give consumers greater control in creating entertainment content subscriptions
                      • Figure 10: Black consumers’ TV content consumption behavior, December 2019
                    • What it means
                    • The Impact of COVID-19 on Black Consumers and Media Consumption

                      • What you need to know
                          • Figure 11: Short-, medium- and longer-term impact of COVID-19 on broadcast and cable/satellite TV and Black consumers, May 2020
                          • Figure 12: Short-, medium- and longer-term impact of COVID-19 on streaming/OTT services and Black consumers, May 2020
                          • Figure 13: Short-, medium- and longer-term impact of COVID-19 on newspapers/magazines and Black consumers, May 2020
                        • Opportunities and Threats
                          • Sequestered consumers had the time to discover new content on new services
                              • Figure 14: HBO Insecure TV program free premiere on YouTube announcement, April 13, 2020
                            • Black-consumer targeted media outlets can fill an information void using new platforms
                                • Figure 15: BET Saving Ourselves COVID-19 Relief Effort announcement, April 21, 2020
                                • Figure 16: Tweet from media personality/political pundit Tiffany Cross, March 22, 2020
                              • Independent producers may find a wider audience on streaming services
                                  • Figure 17: Instagram feed featuring Babyface and Teddy Riley Verzus media battle, April 20, 2020
                                • Impact on the media market
                                  • Streamlined and cancelled advertising will further stress Black media
                                    • Cable and satellite TV services will see accelerated cancellations
                                      • Free content draws new subscribers; content value will determine retention past the short term
                                        • Audio services see rise in at-home consumption, may expand audience across all devices post-lockdown
                                          • How the crisis will affect Black consumers
                                            • Memories of the last long recovery will cause Black consumers to evaluate their entertainment spending
                                                • Figure 18: Unemployment, by total and Black workers, January 2007-May 2020
                                                • Figure 19: Median household income (inflation adjusted), index to 2007 dollars, by total and Black households, 2007-18
                                              • Mature Black consumers will feel the loss of trusted local news
                                                • Young Black consumers will be first to shed services
                                                    • Figure 20: Jalailah Harmon sponsored tweet for Scooby movie promotion, May 20, 2020
                                                  • How a COVID-19 recession will reshape the media industry
                                                    • Terrestrial radio will accelerate shift toward syndication
                                                      • Cable networks will double-down on streaming options
                                                        • COVID-19: US context
                                                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                          • Black households include extended family relationships and more children on average
                                                            • The broadband digital divide continues to close
                                                              • Black consumers are cutting the cable cord while streaming service subscriptions rise
                                                              • The Black Population at a Glance

                                                                • The total Black population includes 44.3 million people
                                                                  • Figure 21: US population, by race and Hispanic origin, 2019
                                                                • Half of Black households include one adult
                                                                  • Figure 22: Households, by detailed type, by total and Black, 2019
                                                                • Black families include more children than all families
                                                                  • Figure 23: Average number of people per household, by race and Hispanic origin, 2019
                                                              • Market Factors

                                                                • Black household income lags behind the US median
                                                                  • Figure 24: US household median income, by race and Hispanic origin, 2019
                                                                • At-home access gap to broadband internet is closing
                                                                  • Figure 25: Broadband internet subscriptions, by race and Hispanic origin, 2015-18
                                                                • Black adults less likely to complete their college degree
                                                                  • Figure 26: Educational attainment, by race and Hispanic origin, 2019
                                                                • Black college-degreed workers less likely to work from home
                                                                  • Figure 27: Share of workers by race and Hispanic origin who are able to work from home, 2017-18
                                                              • Market Perspective

                                                                • Black cable subscribers are cutting the cord
                                                                  • Figure 28: Cable and satellite household subscribers, by total and Black, 2015-19
                                                                • Black consumers lag in using streaming services
                                                                  • Figure 29: Video streaming service use, top five streaming services, by Black indexed to all, October 2018-December 2019
                                                                • Netflix is the clear streaming video winner among Black viewers
                                                                  • Figure 30: Video streamed or downloaded services, 2015-19
                                                                • Black viewers keep cable for access to culturally related content
                                                                  • Figure 31: Top 10 cable networks, by total and Black indexed to all, October 2018-December 2019
                                                                • Streaming music tops internet usage
                                                                  • Figure 32: Online activities, media, by total and Black indexed to all, October 2018-December 2019
                                                                • Newcomer YouTube Music is the favorite among Black listeners
                                                                  • Figure 33: Digital music services used and pay subscriptions, by total and Black, October 2018-December 2019
                                                                • Black consumers see advertising as informative and entertaining
                                                                  • Figure 34: Attitudes toward media and advertising, by total and Black indexed to all, October 2018-December 2019
                                                              • Key Trends – What You Need to Know

                                                                • Content providers offer free programming to gain and retain viewers
                                                                  • Black media creates wellness space in response to COVID-19
                                                                    • Temporary, yet rising Black unemployment due to the coronavirus pandemic may impact subscriptions
                                                                    • Black Media and COVID-19 Response

                                                                      • Essence launches wellness content in response to the coronavirus pandemic
                                                                        • Figure 35: Essence Wellness House, April 1, 2020
                                                                      • Cable networks air town-hall specials to address COVID-19 impact on Black Americans
                                                                      • What to Watch

                                                                        • Access to free/low-cost content may lead to cable cancellations
                                                                          • Entertainment spending among the top choices to eliminate in an economic downturn
                                                                            • Figure 36: Extra money in household spending and eliminated household spending areas from loss of income, October 2019
                                                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                          • Streaming services have taken over cable subscriptions
                                                                            • Black consumers prefer anytime viewing on traditional devices
                                                                              • Streaming and cable subscribers are mostly happy with their subscriptions
                                                                                • TV time equals downtime for some, social time for others
                                                                                  • Black consumers expect high-quality content across all platforms
                                                                                    • Messaging makes the difference in making advertising effective
                                                                                    • Media Service Subscriptions

                                                                                      • Streaming services are primary source of content
                                                                                        • Figure 37: Media service subscriptions, by total and Black indexed to all, December 2019
                                                                                      • Young women subscribe to the most services
                                                                                        • Figure 38: Media service subscriptions, by gender and age, December 2019
                                                                                      • Middle-income households subscribe to streaming and cable at similar rates
                                                                                        • Figure 39: Media service subscriptions, by household income, December 2019
                                                                                      • Streaming services offer greater choice for parents and their kids
                                                                                        • Figure 40: Media service subscriptions, by parental status and kids’ age groups, December 2019
                                                                                    • Content Consumption Preferences

                                                                                      • Media platform source varies, but consumption still accessed on traditional devices
                                                                                        • Figure 41: Media consumption, by device, December 2019
                                                                                      • Lifestage determines TV program device usage
                                                                                        • Figure 42: Media consumption – television, by device, by key demographics, December 2019
                                                                                      • Lifestyles and routines determine radio listenership
                                                                                        • Figure 43: Media consumption – radio, by device, by key demographics, December 2019
                                                                                      • Newspaper access is primarily via print, but online is gaining traction
                                                                                        • Figure 44: Media consumption – newspapers, by device, by key demographics, December 2019
                                                                                      • Magazine format and content drive device use
                                                                                        • Figure 45: Media consumption – magazines, by device, by various demographics, December 2019
                                                                                      • Podcasts are perfect for on-the-go listening
                                                                                        • Figure 46: Media consumption – podcasts, by device, by key demographics, December 2019
                                                                                    • Attitudes toward TV, Video and Audio Services

                                                                                      • Value in streaming and cable services lies within content
                                                                                        • Figure 47: Attitudes toward TV services, December 2019
                                                                                      • Streaming and cable subscribers find value in their respective preferred platforms
                                                                                        • Figure 48: Attitudes toward TV, video and audio services, by media service subscriptions, December 2019
                                                                                      • Young viewers happiest with bundled streaming services
                                                                                        • Figure 49: Attitudes toward TV services, by age, December 2019
                                                                                      • Parents find content for everyone in the home with streaming and cable
                                                                                        • Figure 50: Attitudes toward TV services, by parental status, December 2019
                                                                                    • TV Content Consumption Behavior

                                                                                      • Anytime and appointment TV is important to Black viewers
                                                                                        • Figure 51: TV content consumption behavior, December 2019
                                                                                      • Streaming subscribers more likely to be social in person and online
                                                                                        • Figure 52: TV content consumption behavior, by media service subscriptions, December 2019
                                                                                      • Content engagement drives viewership; social media and advertising a minor diversion
                                                                                        • Figure 53: TV content consumption behavior, by age, December 2019
                                                                                      • Parents of young kids stream content alone for downtime
                                                                                        • Figure 54: TV content consumption behavior, by parental status and kids’ age group, December 2019
                                                                                    • Attitudes toward Media Content

                                                                                      • Better content on streaming platforms change viewership
                                                                                        • In their own words
                                                                                            • Figure 55: Attitudes toward media content, December 2019
                                                                                          • Everyone loves TV 2.0, especially video streamers
                                                                                            • Figure 56: Attitudes toward media content, by media service subscriptions, December 2019
                                                                                          • Mature Black consumers least likely to pay attention to advertising
                                                                                            • Figure 57: Attitudes toward media content, by age, December 2019
                                                                                        • Path-to-Purchase Media Behavior

                                                                                          • Television grabs attention, personalized and engaging ads drive familiarity
                                                                                            • Figure 58: Path-to-purchase media behavior, December 2019
                                                                                          • Young Black adults show greater consumer reaction across more media
                                                                                            • Figure 59: Path-to-purchase media behavior, by age group, December 2019
                                                                                          • Black parents open to information more likely to react to advertising
                                                                                            • Figure 60: Path-to-purchase media behavior, by parental status, December 2019
                                                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                          • Data sources
                                                                                            • Consumer survey data
                                                                                              • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                                                • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                                                  • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                                                      • Figure 61: Cable and satellite household subscribers, by total and Black, 2015-19
                                                                                                      • Figure 62: Video streaming service use, top five streaming services, by total and Black, October 2018-December 2019
                                                                                                      • Figure 63: Video streamed or downloaded services, 2015-19
                                                                                                      • Figure 64: Top 10 cable networks, by total and Black, October 2018-December 2019
                                                                                                      • Figure 65: Online activities, media, by total and Black, October 2018-December 2019
                                                                                                      • Figure 66: Digital music services used and pay subscriptions, by total and Black, October 2018-December 2019
                                                                                                      • Figure 67: Attitudes toward media and advertising, by total and Black, October 2018-December 2019

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