Think You Know What Latinos Are Watching? Think Again.

Think You Know What Latinos Are Watching? Think Again.

Image via Unsplash/ Victória Kubiaki

By Bárbara Pérez

May 12, 2020

Negatively represented, curious Wikipedia readers, and avid YouTube watchers, Latinos want to be entertained when it comes to media consumption.

Latinos constitute diverse media audiences that cannot be reduced to a uniform consumer, according to a report by the firms Equis Labs, Harmony Labs, and PredictWise. Their study shows Latinos recur to media largely for entertainment purposes. Interestingly, they tend to browse Wikipedia more than non-Latinos.


While such online behavior is not considerably different from the way the rest of the U.S. population uses the internet, there is a slight but noticeable penchant toward entertainment among Latinos. Their web use is distinguished by greater consumption of videos, comprising 30% of their time online. 

The trend continues on social media. The most important platform for Latinos is YouTube. The study determined they “spend about twice as much time on YouTube as on Facebook.” There is, however, an important divide in terms of age, as older audiences tend to prefer Facebook over YouTube.

Overall, Latinos skew younger than the general U.S. population. In fact, they are the youngest ethnic group in the country. It shouldn’t be surprising then that they are active social media consumers. In general, Latinos prefer Instagram to Twitter and Facebook. 

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Entertainment in All Platforms 

Latino TV consumption is consistent with its web-behavior. The audience has a taste for entertainment. Largely, the youngest sphere of Latino TV viewers — who are normally English-native speakers — gravitates toward English-language drama shows, sitcoms, films, and sports, which capture the attention of 37% of those under 30. 

News According to Language 

While news shows are among the least-watched type of TV programming in general, Latino audiences are even less interested in what TV news has to offer — with a difference of 11% from non-Latino audiences. They tend to avoid conservative news networks particularly. 

Latinos consume English-spoken news content; they prefer mainstream news outlets both on TV and online such as CNN,, and MSNBC. 

Latino TV audiences, in general, are older than the non-Latino TV audiences, and when they do consume news they often prefer feeds in Spanish over English-language news sources, especially the programming produced by networks like Univision and Telemundo. 

The report found almost 60% of these users only speak Spanish at home, and around 33% of them do not have internet access in their household. 

Stereotypes Still Rule, Unfortunately 

Paradoxically, as different studies have found over the years, Latinos are generally underrepresented or negatively represented in stereotypical roles throughout mainstream media formats, notably in Hollywood films, TV shows, and news reporting.

The underrepresentation and negative coverage of Latino stories in the news and in fiction have been in the spotlight in recent years, with celebrated figures from Hollywood and television networks pushing for greater and better characterization of diverse Latino experiences. While some progress has been made as Latino representation has been on the rise, there is still a lot to be done in terms of how they are portrayed by the largest media industry, and thus seen by the world.

RELATED: Latinos Are Here to Stay. Luckily, Our News Knows No Borders


CATEGORIES: Latinos | Technology


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