The Media, Entertainment And Technology World of Cross-cultural Millennials

Millennials are the most heavily researched and analyzed group in America. Yet, most of this research has failed to understand the roles ethnicity and culture play on this highly diverse generational cohort (43% of millennials are either Hispanic, African-American, Asian or of mixed race). This has been impetus behind the Hispanic Millennial Project initiative.

This fifth and final wave on media, technology and entertainment rounds out 18 months of research on cross-cultural millennials. The key question the research tried to answer is, are there ethnic differences among millennials that affect their media consumption, entertainment preferences and use of technology?

Shifting Millennial TV Viewing Habits

Across all millennial groups, on average, most TV watching takes place via either online streaming or is time-shifted (DVR or DVD).



In fact, Hispanic, Non-Hispanic White and African-American millennials are overwhelmingly binge viewers.

Hispanic Millennials Still Watch Live TV

Surprisingly, 55% of Hispanic millennials are watching at least some Spanish TV. Even among U.S.-born Hispanic millennials, almost half (47%) are consuming Spanish TV. The majority indicates they watch TV in Spanish and English equally.

One of the key reasons Hispanic millennials have not “cut the cord” to the same extent as other millennial groups is a desire to watch Spanish-language programming (23%).

White Millennials Are Avid Movie-goers and Mobile Gamers

While a lot has been written about the importance of Hispanic moviegoers, research indicates that non-Hispanic white millennials are still Hollywood’s most prolific demographic. White millennials are going to the movies almost once a month, with Hispanics tracking closely behind at once every month and a half.

And white millennials are driving the surge in mobile gaming, with 62% indicating they played a video game on a mobile device in the last 30 days and 56% indicating they play daily, far ahead of other millennial segments.

African-American Millennials are Heavy Gamers

While not typically associated with gaming, African-American millennials log heavy gaming hours, second only to white millennials.

Of African-American millennial gamers, 62% are “core,” “hardcore” or “pro” gamers, closely trailing white millennials.

As with the other waves of our millennial research, the research identified numerous cultural, behavioral and psychographic points of tension that characterize the media, entertainment and technology lives of cross-cultural millennials.

Hispanic Millennials Want to See Themselves in the Media without Seeing Themselves in the Media

One of the most interesting findings was a cultural point of tension for Hispanic millennials about how they are portrayed in the media. Hispanic millennials, much like all other millennials, indicated a strong correlation between their heritage and their entertainment choices.

Yet the ethnicity of actors and actresses is not as relevant to Hispanic Millennials. This is in sharp contrast to Asian and African-American millennials.

 Clear Dissonance between Asian and Western Cultural Beliefs 

One of the objectives of the research was to understand how certain “stories” or themes common in American culture resonate with cross-cultural millennials. For Hispanic, white and African-American Millennials, we found a consistent embrace of themes such as those tied to a belief in “happy endings” and “everything working out in the end.” Yet many Asian millennials rejected many themes commonly expressed in American pop culture. 

These cross-cultural findings have direct and actionable implications for content creators, the gaming industry, Pay TV providers, technology companies and all advertisers in general. 

  • Streaming services should add and create more Spanish and Asian language content.
  • Content should reflect unique life experiences of Hispanic millennials, not just their ethnic identity.
  • African American millennials are a core segment of gamers to be targeted for new games, genres, and platforms.
  • Spanish-language media is key to reaching Hispanic millennials
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