Hub: Black Households Use More Video Platforms Than Other Demos

Black households are subscribing and using more SVOD/FAST streaming services, cable TV channels, as well as over-the-air broadcast TV than other demographic groups.

New data from Hub Entertainment Research found that 78% of Black households watch free ad-supported streaming television FAST, compared with 60% among other demos. Another 72% subscribe to Netflix, while 68% non-Black households subscribe to streamer.

Separately, more Black households (27%) add and/or cancel (21%) pay-TV  services than other groups at 18% and 14%, respectively.

Black viewers are also more likely to belong to the group Hub dubs “swappers” — consumers who both add and subtract TV services in a typical month. And when they do make a change, they are more likely to add or drop multiple services.

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With the video marketplace reaching maturation, and subscriber growth hard to come by, Black viewers represent both opportunity and risk for streamers, according to Hub.

And what are Black viewers looking for when they add a service? “Always fresh” content is the main draw for those who sign up for a new subscription, according to the report. Once again for this group, behavior corresponds with attitudes — they say they keep track of new series and movies, and they follow through by joining up for services that have them.

Hub found that while Black talent was more visible on TV in 2023 than ever before, 66% of Black viewers say they are not adequately represented on TV. Another 66% of Black consumers believe when they are shown on TV, they are often misrepresented.

Black viewers are the most likely to say there are more good TV shows today than there used to be, to try the shows a streaming service suggests, and take note of upcoming series and movies. And for this audience, behavior follows from their positive attitudes — Black viewers are the most likely to watch 30 or more hours of TV per week.

“Continue to improve the representation of Black people both on screen and behind the camera, and tell stories that better represent their experiences,” read the report. “Ensure those endeavors are communicated directly to Black audiences. Sincere efforts to cultivate the loyalty of Black viewers can pay off in reduced subscriber churn.”