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How Asian-American Media Consumption Could Be a Glimpse Into The Future
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How Asian-American Media Consumption Could Be a Glimpse Into The Future

It’s no surprise that different “types” of people—be it age groups, gender, race/ethnicity or a combination of all of these and more—tend to have unique and equally diverse media palates. As different as DNA, so too are consumers’ media fingerprints, and marketers looking to connect with specific types of consumers need to understand the differences in media behaviors in order to do so.

In honor of Asian-American Heritage Month, Nielsen looked at how this group consumes media. After all, Asian-Americans are the fastest-growing population segment in the U.S. and represent about 20.5 million people, or roughly 6% of the U.S. population.

This group may have the numbers and be growing, but how are Asian-Americans actually consuming media?

An analysis of the fourth-quarter 2016 Nielsen Total Audience Report found that Asian-Americans are quickly becoming the earliest adopters of new ways of viewing content, outpacing the total population with regard to penetration across some of the newest technologies.

Overall, Asian-American households have higher penetration percentages than general U.S. TV households and other racial/ethnic groups for nearly every emerging, or emerged, technology.  Smartphones in particular are an Asian-American favorite, as 93% of households have one, compared to just 85% of general U.S. households.

A glimpse into the future becomes clearer when looking at the types of technologies captured within multimedia devices. Gadgets, such as Apple TV, Roku, Google Chromecast and smartphones connected to the TV, can be found in 51% of Asian-American homes. This represents the highest penetration percentage of all racial/ethnic groups by far, not to mention being 22 percentage points higher than overall U.S. TV households.

Asian-Americans have also adopted tablets at a higher rate than the overall U.S. population. Tablets are now in 73% of all Asian-American homes, compared with just 61% of composite households. High-definition TVs can be found in nearly every Asian-American home (98%), and enabled smart TVs can be found in 38% of Asian-American homes, and adoption continues to grow, with an increase of 11 percentage points since the comparable quarter the year prior.

When it comes to actually using these technologies, Asian-Americans most notably display the highest percentage of monthly users for multimedia devices. At 48%, they outperform Hispanics (35%), blacks (29%), and even the overall population (34%) in this category.

Usage on a smartphone tends to be highest among Asian-American adults 18+ as well, with the percentage of monthly users of an App or the Web on a smartphone at 16 percentage points more than the total U.S. population, 8 points more than blacks and 6 points more than Hispanics. When viewing videos on a smartphone, 80% of Asian-American adults are users—11 points higher than the general population and only 1 point less than Hispanic adults.

Looking at growth within the community itself, the percentage of Asian-American monthly users have increased in these newer technologies since the fourth quarter of 2015. This includes a 10-point increase in overall multimedia device users, a 9-point increase in adult users of app/web on a smartphone and a 16-point increase of video viewing on a smartphone.

Growth isn’t limited to the percent of users—Asian-Americans are also spending more time using newer devices as well.

Since fourth-quarter 2015, the monthly time spent among users of multimedia devices, apps/web or video on a smartphone, and even game consoles, displayed notable increases. In particular, multimedia device usage increased to over 27 hours per month among users, while app usage/web browsing on a smartphone grew to almost 70.5 hours per month.

Asian-American consumers between 25 and 34 are helping drive growth in the demographic’s adult smartphone usage, as this age group boasts the longest monthly time spent for measured media habits on a smartphone among users. While this age group contributes nearly 30.5 hours of monthly time spent among multimedia device users, it’s actually adult users aged 65 and up that use these devices the longest (over 43 hours per month).

Asian-Americans aren’t just helping shape the future of content consumption—they’re also becoming the content. Scores of celebrities with Asian backgrounds are being thrust into (and consequently dominating) the spotlight, opening up a bevy of opportunities for marketers and content creators to leverage their fame,growing fans bases, and the evolving Asian-American media appetites.