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Black Media: Nielsen report shows growing demand for investment in diverse media content to engage Black America

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Black Media: Nielsen report shows growing demand for investment in diverse media content to engage Black America

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Among U.S. audiences, Black consumers spend over 81 hours per week with media — 31.8% more than the general population, according to the latest Nielsen’s Diverse Intelligence Series report, “The global Black audience: Shaping the future of media.” With record-setting engagement and influence, what Black audiences expect from media—and how they access it—is changing. 

In the quest for representative content, 73% of Black American audiences pay for three or more streaming services. Black audiences also feel they could be better represented in the advertising targeted towards them. In the United States alone, 67% of Black audiences agree that they wish they saw more representation of their identity group while watching TV. The demand is also high in other countries, based on Nielsen’s research. 

The issue of representation also extends to advertising, as 35% of Black Americans believe brands portray Black people the same way. 66% of Black consumers are willing to cut ties with brands that devalue their community. Nielsen’s report underscores the value and importance of building trust with Black audiences— not only because of their buying power, which is expected to top $2 trillion in the U.S. by 2026 —but also because Black-created and Black-inclusive content has become more influential than ever. 

“Brands and programmers trying to connect with Black America have their work cut out for them to push beyond ‘urban’ and represent the spectrum of African American traditions as well as emerging nuance from the expanding Black immigrant and Black first-generation perspectives,” said Charlene Polite Corley, vice president of Diverse Insights & Partnerships at Nielsen. “When considering any kind of engagement with Black audiences, it’s key to remember that Black culture is vast and expansive, and the global exchange of influence needs to be taken into account.”

 The report, covering Black audiences in the U.S., Brazil, Nigeria, the U.K. and South Africa, examines the untapped power and influence Black people have on the media landscape. With the African and Caribbean-born Black population growth increasing in the United States (about one in five Black Americans are immigrants or children of Black immigrants), Black experiences with media are becoming more globalized, setting the stage for brands and programmers looking to engage with this diverse audience in a rapidly expanding media landscape. 

Black people are engaging more than ever with media content from creators across the Black Diaspora, pointing to the increasing influence of the African continent on Black culture and media habits across the globe. On average, 57% of respondents across the general audience in the United States, Brazil, Nigeria, South Africa, and the United Kingdom agree. More than half of first generation Black Americans say they’re following a Black creator based outside of the U.S., and seven out of 10 Black respondents from the U.K. said they followed Black creators from other countries.

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