Why Binge TV Viewing Will Impact the Way You Advertise to Hispanic Consumers

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Mario Carrasco
Mario Carrasco



binge tv“Binge viewing” is defined simply as watching three or more episodes of the same television show in one sitting. While the concept isn’t new, it’s becoming increasing popular due to new technologies like streaming video, On-demand cable TV and DVRs.

And for advertisers hoping to get a client’s 30-second spot on during an episode of “Modern Family,” binge viewing presents a real challenge to traditional methods and may have a negative impact on advertising decisions made by the companies that have products to sell.

Why? Because the control over what the viewer watches and how they watch it is entirely in their hands.

Hispanic TV Binge Viewing Habits

Interestingly, the binge-viewing phenomenon is much more prevalent in the Hispanic community (58 percent say they binge) then among non-Hispanics (39 percent), as the results of our recent Hispanic Omnibus study shows:

Let’s start with the way that Hispanics differ from non-Hispanics in their binging modes:


The study also uncovered some interesting segmentations. Such as…

  • For binge viewing, Netflix is the preferred viewing method by 39% of 18 to 34 year old Hispanics, compared to 25% for the over-35 crowd. At the same time, Netflix is the preferred method for 44% of the English-dominant speakers versus 28% for Spanish speakers.
  • 40% of bi-lingual Hispanics prefer binge watching with someone else as opposed to just 25% of the Spanish-dominant.
  • Binge viewing recording on a DVR is preferred by 29% of the over-35 group, compared to 11% for the younger set. Is that because it’s the oldest of the “technologies?”
  • Perhaps the most interesting of the statistics revolved around YouTube for binge viewing, with 24% of Spanish-speakers naming it their preferred viewing method, compared to just 5% for bi-lingual and Spanish speakers.

Is Binge Viewing the New TV Marathon?

To an advertiser, while the idea of ‘binge viewing’ seems intimidating, it’s really not new. You can flip on TBS or any one of the other cable channels and catch a marathon of “Law & Order” right now.

What is new, however, is the level of control viewers now have over their TV viewing experience.

Think about it. When CBS’ popular show “Under the Dome” aired on Monday nights, for those who missed it or wanted to watch it again, commercial free, it was ready to stream that Friday via Amazon. And now the entire season is available – commercial free.

Something else to consider now, is the emergence of Hispanics as a driving force, especially among Millennial TV viewers. For example, 43 percent of Hispanics prefer to watch three to four consecutive episodes when they binge, compared to 42 percent of non-Hispanics who prefer just one to two episodes. Even more incredible, 19 percent of Hispanics will actually block off time to watch five or more episodes in a row! On a related note, 69 percent of binge viewers prefer to do their viewing alone.

One area where Hispanics and non-Hispanics are closely aligned is when wanting to watch an entire season of one show over a weekend: 63 percent of Hispanics have done it, compared to 57 percent of non-Hispanics. One of the interesting facets of this, however, is that the less-acculturated Hispanics are significantly more likely to do this than the highly acculturated: 64 versus 47 percent, respectively.

Hispanic TV Advertising Insights

So, what does this mean for you? For those companies and ad agencies that want to build relationships with Hispanics consumers, this study presents a couple key insights to keep in mind at your next strategy meeting.

  1. Your advertising mix for the Hispanic market has to change to include those technologies that support binge viewing. Look for ways to move some of your advertising online where your customers are anyway.
  2. Be sensitive to language and cultural issues. Create your ads with help from Hispanics. Don’t just create “American” ads and translate them.

It’s simple, really. Your “old” ways of engaging and selling to Hispanic consumers is going to have to change. Get creative. Think web. Think mobile. But always stay culturally relevant.

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