The Digital Behavior of Latinos in Entertainment Consumption

Nov 23, 11 The Digital Behavior of Latinos in Entertainment Consumption

Tony D’Andrea, PhD

Director of Research and Planning – The San Jose Group

If you want to understand and even influence new forms of behavior “on the go,” then Hispanics are a group to watch. They engage with mobile and online technologies at levels that often overindex the general market. According to Comscore and Emarketer data, Latinos excel in a variety of digital activities, such as instant messaging and photo sharing (120-plus index points), video watching (140-plus), online gaming (160-plus), etc. In entertainment, they listen, download and transfer videos and music via mobile phones above the national average (160-plus index points). Likewise, while leading in smartphone ownership, Hispanic households are the most wireless group in America: 35% compared to the national average of 23%, according to government’s CDC Wireless Report. Simply put, Hispanics are at the vanguard of the digital consumer revolution in the streets and homes of America.

As they use new technologies for entertainment consumption, we see some really dynamic behavior. For starters, almost 30% of heavy movie goers in America are Latinos. In connection, they rely on smart phones to gather information and make choices about films and theaters. In fact, Latinos decide “on the go” and within less than 4 hours before showtime. Being the youngest ethnic group in the country (a 27 median age compared to 40 for Non-Hispanic Whites), their reliance on digital mobile to make entertainment decisions is even sharper among younger adults (between 18 and 24), as over 60% of these Hispanics use smart phones to make on-the-spot entertainment decisions.

But this is not a one-way information stream from movie apps to consumers. Latinos not only search information on their cell phones but quickly share their opinions with friends and relatives by texting and social media updates. Moreover, digital Latinos are quite open to mobile advertising, as nearly 40% say they are influenced by mobile ads, banners and search findings compared to the 31% national average.

In sum, as the emerging mobile culture creates havoc in people’s schedules which are updated contingently with last-minute texts while “on the go”, their shopping patterns become disrupted too, based on more spontaneous, improvised, and on-the-spot decisions. This opens up opportunities to flash promotions, particularly if integrated with engaging conversations with brands. In other words, marketers capitalizing on the immediate, near ubiquitous power of digital technologies will enjoy a competitive edge in the Hispanic marketplace.

The San Jose Group is a premier multicultural marketing agency celebrating over 30 years of experience in helping clients’ brands connect with people. For more information on this article’s topic, please email or visit us at


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