Black viewers drive growth in FAST, favor culturally relevant content

By NewscastStudio

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A new report from Horowitz Research highlights the importance of culturally relevant content for Black TV viewers in the United States.

The study, “FOCUS Black Volume I: Subscriptions 2024,” reveals that content aimed at Black audiences is a key factor in determining which streaming platforms and services Black households choose to use.

As traditional cable and satellite subscriptions decline, streaming services are popular among Black viewers. About two-thirds of Black TV content viewers subscribe to at least one streaming video on demand (SVOD) service, with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video being the most popular choices. However, the study also found that over 40% of Black viewers have access to at least one Black-targeted SVOD service, such as BET+ or ALLBLK.

Interestingly, free ad-supported TV (FAST) channels have significantly increased popularity among Black audiences. Three-quarters of Black TV content viewers now use FAST services, a dramatic increase from just 13% in 2019. This growth outpaces the overall market, where FAST service usage increased by 25% during the same period.

Virtual multichannel video programming distributor (vMVPD) services like YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV are also gaining traction among Black households, with nearly one-third subscribing to at least one such service.

Adriana Waterston, EVP and Insights & Strategy Lead for Horowitz Research, emphasized the significance of culturally relevant content.

“Culturally relevant content has always been an important piece of the media pie for Black audiences,” she notes. “With retention being a challenge in the SVOD and vMVPD spaces and engagement a challenge for FAST/AVOD, offering top-notch Black content can be an important differentiator.”

The importance of content for diverse audiences will be a central theme at the upcoming Cultural Insights Forum, set to return in Fall 2024 after a six-year hiatus. Scheduled for November 14, 2024, at Telemundo Center in Miami, the Forum will focus on how brands and media companies can drive ROI by reaching and serving America’s diverse, multicultural, and intersectional audiences. Sponsorship and speaking opportunities are currently available, with registration opening soon.

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