Nielsen: As Home Entertainment Options Grow, So Too Does Viewer Diversity

When combining linear television with growing subscription streaming video and free, ad-supported options, the choices in consuming video in the home have exploded. Now, new data from Nielsen contends that as distribution options proliferate, so too does the diversity among video consumers.

In June, Nielsen found that white audiences accounted for 66% of the minutes of linear TV programming viewed, a percentage that increased when including SVOD — driven by Hulu with 69% white viewership.

Among black streamers, 18% gravitate toward Amazon Prime Video, followed by Hulu and linear TV (17%), Netflix (15%) and Disney+ (10%). Latinos prefer Netflix (22%), followed by Disney+ (17%), linear TV (12%), Hulu and Prime Video (11%). Asians account for 4%-6% of streaming/linear TV viewers.

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Black audiences accounted for 24% of all minutes viewed across all AVOD services in June. Among AVOD platforms, Tubi, owned by Fox, attractted the largest share from black audiences: they watched 39% of the minutes viewed from this platform in June, significantly more than the 17% of the minutes they watched on linear TV. Pluto TV, owned by ViacomCBS, also attracts a sizable black audience, which accounted for 36% of the platform’s viewed minutes in June.

Hispanics account for 19% of the U.S. population, which is very close to their representation in the U.S. TV universe (18%). This community, however, spends notably less of its time with traditional TV than it does with streaming services, including AVOD platforms such as Pluto TV and Tubi. The real standout, however, is YouTube, which accounted for 21% of viewing minutes among Hispanics in June.

Nielsen said race and ethnicity aren’t the only demographics content publishers can hone in on. Disney+ attracts the biggest share of minutes viewed among minors, given its extensive catalog of animated classics as well as content from Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars.

Meanwhile, people 55 and older continue to dominate linear TV viewing, while also accounting for notable share of time with Prime Video, AVOD and online TV.

“No matter the platform, creating content that resonates with unique audiences, especially those that have been historically excluded from representation on TV, is a strategy that continues to win with viewers, advertisers and new entrants to the streaming wars,” wrote Nielsen.

Pressure Mounts on HFPA as NBC Refuses to Air 2022 Golden Globes; Actor Tom Cruise Returns His Three Statuettes

NBC May 10 announced it would not broadcast the 2022 Golden Globe Awards due to ongoing issues within the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, whose membership selects movie and TV show award nominees and winners.

“We continue to believe that the HFPA is committed to meaningful reform,” NBCUniversal said in a statement. “However, change of this magnitude takes time and work, and we feel strongly that the HFPA needs time to do it right. As such, NBC will not air the 2022 Golden Globes. Assuming the organization executes on its plan, we are hopeful we will be in a position to air the show in January 2023.”

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WarnerMedia May 10 also announced it was cutting ties with the HFPA, a decision preceded the previous week by Netflix and Amazon Studios. Then actor Tom Cruise May 10 reportedly returned his three Globes won for movies Born on the Fourth of July, Jerry Maguire and Magnolia.” Actress Scarlett Johansson May 8 cited the HFPA’s “sexist” culture and urged Hollywood to boycott.

The 78th Golden Globes, held on Feb. 28, saw TV ratings plummet 63% to 6.9 million viewers, from 18.4 million in 2020.

The move by NBC and others follows a growling avalanche of criticism toward the HFPA after the Los Angeles Times published a story citing allegations of a lack of diversity, including that the group has no blacks or other minorities among its 86 media members, among other issues. The organization has promised change, including upping and diversifying its membership 50% over the next 18 months.

That reportedly didn’t sit well with Netflix co-CEO and CCO Ted Sarnados, who, on May 7, fired off a letter to the HFPA criticizing what he considered pushback within the group toward change.

“Like many in our industry, we’ve been waiting for today’s announcement in the hope that you would acknowledge the breadth of issues facing the HFPA and provide a clear roadmap for change,” Sarandos wrote. “So we’re stopping any activities with your organization until more meaningful changes are made.”

Time’s Up president and chief executive Tina Tchen piled on, contending the HFPA has responded to the issues with little transformational change.

“Instead, these measures ensure that the current membership of the HFPA will remain in the majority and that the next Golden Globes will be decided with the same fundamental problems that have existed for years,” Tchen said in a statement.

CBS Inks Deal With NAACP to Create Content for Broadcast, Cable and Streaming

CBS Television Studios and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) July 15 announced an agreement to develop and produce scripted, unscripted and documentary content for linear television networks and streaming platforms.

As part of the agreement, CBS Television Studios will work with the civil rights organization to establish a team of executives and infrastructure to acquire, develop and produce programming. The partnership will focus on producing premium content that expands the number of diverse voices contributing to an ever-evolving society, and by telling inclusive stories that increase the visibility and impact of black artists in a growing media landscape.

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The CBS/NAACP partnership includes a commitment to develop content for the CBS Television Network as well as the ability to sell programming to third-party platforms across the media landscape.

“An important way to diversify and grow our storytelling is to expand our horizons beyond the traditional studio-producer system,” George Cheeks, CEO of the CBS Entertainment Group, said in a statement. “There is no better partner than the NAACP to help us find, develop and tell these inclusive stories.”

Derrick Johnson, CEO of the NAACP, said the current moment of “national awakening” on racism in America presents an opportune time to tell stories of the “African-American experience.”

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“Programming and content have the power to shape perspectives and drive conversations around critical issues,” Johnson said. “This partnership with CBS allows us to bring compelling and important content to a broad audience.”

Amazon Studios Partners with Howard University to Promote Racial Diversity in Hollywood

Amazon Studios and Howard University Oct. 10 announced a partnership designed to diversify the entertainment industry by creating a pipeline for African-American students and other marginalized groups to train and study alongside Hollywood executives.

The Howard Entertainment program is an immersive two semester class located in Los Angeles that offers Washington, D.C.-based Howard University students the opportunity to take academic courses during the spring semester and participate in a fellowship imbedded in the entertainment industry during the summer semester.

The coursework will be applied toward the student’s graduation requirements and the fellowship provides hands-on experience and an opportunity to make networking connections.

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The experience will offer students an interdisciplinary curriculum curated with Amazon’s industry partners. The program will begin in January 2020.

“Collaborating with Amazon Studios will enable us to marry academia and industry efforts to build a robust workforce of diverse entertainment industry leaders,” Howard president A. I. Frederick said in a statement.

Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, said the program underscores the studio’s commitment to create “new pathways into the industry” for talented students of all backgrounds.

“As we strive to delight our Prime Video customers, we’re ensuring there are diverse perspectives and experiences around the table to help us make the best decisions in all aspects of the business,” Salke said.

To qualify, students must be enrolled at Howard University, must be an upperclassman or graduate student and will have to complete an application and interview to be considered for the program.

Students will be taught by Howard faculty who will be supported by Amazon Studios employees and other industry professionals invited by Amazon.

“This program is all about … increasing and preparing the next generation of African American, Latinx and Native American storytellers, casts, crew, and executives working on these projects,” added Latasha Gillespie, Amazon Studio’s global head of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Students who wish to apply for admission into the program can contact HowardEntertainment@howard.edu.