Commentary

Streaming Services Missing Out on Hispanic Market

The rapid growth of streaming video and OTT services led by Netflix, Hulu and Amazon’s Prime Video have changed the way we consume video. However, the industry is starting to get crowded, and subscriber growth is peaking on leading platforms like Netflix. 

The marketplace is only getting more congested as newer entrants like PlutoTV offer different business models and consumer value propositions, and major conglomerates like Disney launch their own services. Streaming / OTT is starting to fragment, and new customer growth is becoming harder to attain.

Interestingly, the Hispanic market has been targeted sparingly and with mixed results by streaming video and OTT players. 

As the market leader, Netflix has organically grown its Hispanic audience in the U.S. by providing Spanish-language content leveraging its worldwide content production heft. An estimated 41% of U.S. Hispanics used Netflix in the last 30 days, according to Simmons Connect. 

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Other platforms like Hulu have launched targeted efforts and service offerings to reach Latinos — Hulu Latino — with lackluster results. Only 9.7% of Hispanics used Hulu in the last 30 days. 

Hispanic-focused plays like Pongalo have had mixed results leveraging Latin American content. PlutoTV has made the most recent attempt to tap the Hispanic market with its PlutoTV Latino-branded channel.

The takeaway is the Hispanic streaming video audience has not been consistently, strategically or significantly targeted. Is that because there isn’t a separate and unique audience for streaming video within the 60 million+ U.S. Hispanic market? Let’s look at the data.

The first step is to identify a distinct Hispanic audience that speaks and consumes Spanish-language media. Understandably, this goes contrary to popular focus on the majority of the Hispanic population that is native-born and increasingly English-speaking and -preferring. This segment of Hispanics, while large, is very difficult to target with video content simply based on cultural differences. Spanish-language content preference and consumption provides the best basis for identifying a unique market opportunity for streaming video in the U.S. Hispanic market.

Looking at the most recent Simmons study on Hispanics, we see that there are over 8 million Spanish-speaking Hispanics consuming streaming video, and over 3 million not yet streaming. 

The market can be segmented into three distinct Spanish-consuming Hispanic audiences for streaming video and OTT services:

Older Spanish-preferring Hispanic Gen X and boomers

  • 6.4 million, 67.5% which already watch streaming video
  • This is the largest segment with the biggest market potential

Spanish-preferring Hispanic millennials

  • 3.6 million, 74% which already watch streaming video
  • This is the second largest segment that is already heavily using streaming

Bilingual Hispanic millennials

  • 1.2 million, 89% which already watch streaming video
  • This is the smallest and most saturated segment

Each of these three segments requires a different marketing approach and targeting model. While not a complete blue ocean opportunity, this relatively untapped market represents a significant opportunity for streaming video players ready to strategically grow their subscriber base and audience.

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