“After a difficult year with the pandemic and social justice tragedies, the Black community will take some time to recover and heal. Leisure and entertainment can play an important part in this process, with digital entertainment and streaming receiving a significant boost during lockdowns. However, the Black community is likely to be cautious about a return to normal. There are clear opportunities to market at-home entertainment solutions and safe out-of-home options to the many Black families who are ready to begin moving forward.”

– Dana Macke, Director of Consumers & Culture

This Report looks at the following areas:

  • The impact of COVID-19 on Black consumer behavior in the leisure and entertainment category
  • Black consumer attitudes regarding how they spend their free time
  • Black consumer participation in leisure activities such as watching TV and streaming video, reading, hobbies and shopping
  • Strategies entertainment companies can use to attract a broader Black audience

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • This Report looks at the following areas
    • Definition
    • Market context
    • Economic and other assumptions
    • COVID-19: US context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
      • Figure 1: Median household income, by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2019
    • Impact of COVID-19 on leisure and entertainment
      • Figure 2: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on leisure and entertainment, June 2021
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • Digital brands have a great opportunity to drive upgrades
      • Figure 3: Home entertainment product ownership/subscribership, by all and Black consumers, November 2020, January 2021 and February 2021
    • Even seniors have engaged more with digital
      • Figure 4: Black seniors’ changes in behavior regarding technology due to COVID-19, April 2021
    • Leisure, social distancing more critical for parents
      • Figure 5: Changes in behavior regarding technology due to covid-19, by parental status, April 2021
    • Support Black values and heritage
  3. Target Audience – Key Takeaways

    • Black population growth outpaces White population growth
    • Economic challenges are a factor
    • COVID-19 imposes a high cost
    • High costs, health risks may discourage outings
  4. The Black Population by the Numbers

    • A significant and growing audience
      • Figure 6: US population distribution, by race, 2016-26
    • More women-led households
      • Figure 7: US household type, by all and Black households, 2020
    • Lower median incomes may limit entertainment spending
      • Figure 8: Median household income, by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2019
    • A mixed outcome from COVID
      • Figure 9: Financial impact of COVID-19, by all and Black consumers, May 2021
    • Clustered in urban areas
      • Figure 10: US population, by county type and race/Hispanic origin, 2016
  5. Market Factors

    • Disproportionate pain from COVID-19
      • Figure 11: Percent with one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, by race, May 2021
    • A burgeoning social justice movement
    • Unemployment remains persistent
      • Figure 12: Total unemployment rate and Black unemployment rate (seasonally adjusted), Jan 2007-Apr 2021
    • A digital divide – that’s bridged with mobile?
      • Figure 13: Black consumers’ smartphone ownership and attitudes, January 2021
    • Higher gas prices discourage travel, outings
      • Figure 14: US gasoline and diesel retail prices, January 2007-April 2021
    • Movies may prove to be less of an escape
      • Figure 15: Attitudes toward watching movies, by all and Black consumers, September 2020
  6. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • Avoid going too fast, too soon
    • Opportunities for growth in digital devices, services
    • Show your support
    • Hire Black creators – and executives
  7. Market Opportunities

    • Build on eagerness to resume old leisure routines
      • Figure 16: Attitudes toward new and old leisure activities, April 2021
    • Provide options when it comes to out-of-home
      • Figure 17: Importance of a social bubble, April 2021
    • Opportunity to drive home theater upgrades
      • Figure 18: Home entertainment product ownership, by all and Black consumers, January and February 2021
    • Room to grow for streaming
      • Figure 19: Top video streaming services used – last 30 days, November 2019-November 2020
    • High levels of engagement for gaming
      • Figure 20: Video game participation and purchase intent, by gender and age, April 2021
  8. Competitive Strategies

    • Mintel Global Trend Drivers
      • Figure 21: Mintel Trend Driver, Identity
    • Support the community
      • Figure 22: Social movements that need more support, February 2021
    • Embrace Black content creators – and Black leadership
    • Cracking the mobile model
  9. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • Varying levels of comfort with return to leisure
    • Screen time is now all the time
    • Significant increases in digital activities
    • Majority did not add new services
    • Culture counts – at least for some
    • Having fun balanced against cost and guilt
  10. Leisure and Entertainment Attitudinal Segments

    • Factors
      • Figure 23: Leisure and entertainment attitudinal segments, April 2021
    • Burnouts (36%)
    • Characteristics
    • Opportunities
      • Figure 24: Demographic profile of Burnouts segment, April 2021
    • Nesters (16%)
    • Characteristics
    • Opportunities
      • Figure 25: Demographic profile of Nesters segment, April 2021
    • Breakouts (25%)
    • Characteristics
    • Opportunities
      • Figure 26: Demographic profile of Breakouts segment, April 2021
    • Spenders (24%)
    • Characteristics
    • Opportunities
      • Figure 27: Demographic profile of Spenders segment, April 2021
  11. Participation in Leisure Activities

    • Video a critical pastime during COVID-19
      • Figure 28: Leisure activities done in the past year, April 2021
    • Age, income help drive video, digital participation
      • Figure 29: Leisure activities done in the past year – Watching TV, by age, April 2021
    • Gender roles drive interests
      • Figure 30: Leisure activities done in the past year – analog items, by gender, April 2021
    • Breakouts want to do it all
      • Figure 31: Leisure activities done in the past year, by leisure segments, April 2021
  12. Change in Leisure Habits Due to COVID-19

    • Digital pastimes see a boost
      • Figure 32: How leisure participation has changed in the past year, April 2021
    • Older consumers particularly likely to increase digital
      • Figure 33: Activities with more participation in the past year, by age, April 2021
    • Pandemic did not inspire major leisure changes for most
      • Figure 34: Change in leisure priorities, April 2021
    • Parents particularly likely to improve life balance
      • Figure 35: Change in leisure priorities, by gender and parental status, April 2021
  13. Change in Digital Habits Due to COVID-19

    • New services don’t necessarily lead to cutting cable
      • Figure 36: Digital leisure habits since the pandemic, April 2021
    • Slight gap seen in comparison to overall consumers
      • Figure 37: Digital leisure habits since the pandemic – Adding subscriptions, Black adults and total population, April 2021
    • Younger women cancel cable, senior women watch less
      • Figure 38: Digital leisure habits since the pandemic – Adding subscriptions, by gender and age, April 2021
    • Affluent invest in home viewing
      • Figure 39: Digital leisure habits since the pandemic – Adding subscriptions, by income, April 2021
  14. Culture in Content

    • Black perspectives and content matter
      • Figure 40: Attitudes toward Black culture and heritage in entertainment, April 2021
    • Affluent audiences place more value on culture
      • Figure 41: Attitudes toward Black culture and heritage in entertainment, by age and income, April 2021
    • Fathers place the highest emphasis on culture
      • Figure 42: Attitudes toward Black culture and heritage in entertainment, by parental status and gender, April 2021
  15. Attitudes Toward Resuming Leisure Routines

    • An important way to manage stress
      • Figure 43: Attitudes toward leisure as an escape, April 2021
    • Parents need leisure – even if they aren’t in the mood for fun
      • Figure 44: Attitudes toward leisure as an escape, by parental status, April 2021
    • Stiff competition from free
      • Figure 45: Attitudes toward the value of leisure activities, by age, April 2021
  16. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Consumer survey data
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.


Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.


Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.


Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our tables of data are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

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