Thursday, September 21, 2006

U.S. Latino Internet Usage Tops 55%

The AOL Latino 2006 Hispanic Cyberstudy Breaks New Ground by Analyzing Internet Usage across Acculturation Segments

New Study Demonstrates That the Hispanic Internet Landscape Is BiculturalInternet Continues to Be the Best Source to Make Final Brand Decisions for Most Online Hispanics

September 18, 2006--Currently there are more than 16 million Hispanics online or 55% of the total U.S. Hispanic population(*).

Of those 16 million, 77% have access to broadband. While online penetration among Hispanics has grown rapidly over the last several years, a new survey, "The AOL Latino 2006 Hispanic Cyberstudy" conducted by Synovate's Diversity Group, finds that habit and cultural relevancy define Internet usage for Hispanics. The study defines online Hispanics by their level of acculturation - mostly acculturated, partially acculturated and relatively unacculturated - and proves that they consume the Internet in different ways offering new options to marketers wanting to reach the Hispanic market.

According to the study, 81% of Hispanics online are mostly acculturated or partially acculturated, while only 19% is relatively unacculturated. While acculturated online Hispanics tend to prefer online content in English, nearly 40% of them still find Spanish content appealing; of the unacculturated segment 37% prefer both languages. Of the total Hispanic online population, only 15% prefer Spanish only.

Additionally, the study shows that more than two-thirds (68%) of online Hispanics consider the Internet to be the best source in making final brand decisions making it the most relevant medium for marketers.

"The AOL Latino 2006 Hispanic Cyberstudy reveals new data on online Hispanics, analyzing how this market prefers to consume the Internet across acculturation segments," said Mark Lopez, Publisher, AOL Latino. "With this new data, marketers will be able to better understand how to reach the rapidly growing online Hispanic market. This study also helps to understand the complexities of U.S. Hispanics, and that marketers seeking to connect with the online Hispanic population must address cultural needs, which differ depending on levels of acculturation."

As an example, AOL Latino often features special bilingual programming including Festival de Cine Corto (the first online short film festival for Hispanics), Hispanic Heritage Month, Latinos in Hollywood, Latin Emmys, ALMA awards, Countdown to Miss Universe and more allowing marketers ways to reach Hispanics across all segments in both languages.

The study also finds that online Hispanics enjoy social networking online: 68% use instant messaging; 63% share photos online; 52% read or post blogs; 43% visit social networking sites; and 40% talk on a phone using the Internet. Additionally, the study proves that online Hispanics prefer websites that focus on news (48%) as well as websites that provide mapping capabilities (43%). Music, weather, health and travel websites also rank among the more popular sites for online Hispanics.

Online Hispanics and Internet Purchasing Decisions
-- The Internet continues to be the best source to make a final brand decision for most online Hispanics (68% in 2006 vs. 51% in 2004).
-- More than three quarters of the online Hispanic population (77%) use the Internet to learn about brands of products (vs. 59% in 2004).
-- Seventy-five percent (75%) of online Hispanics use the Internet to learn about brand features or benefits (vs. 61% in 2004).
-- Seventy-two percent (72%) of online Hispanics use the Internet to compare prices of products (vs. 59% in 2004).

The Hispanic Online Market & Acculturation There is a clear distinction in the Internet behavior between mostly acculturated and less acculturated Hispanics.
-- Mostly acculturated Hispanics are more likely to visit websites that focus on topics such as Finance, Entertainment and Nutrition.
-- Unacculturated Hispanics are more likely to visit websites that provide news from Latin America, as well as Sports websites that focus on Soccer.

Hispanics: Going Online vs. Watching Television
-- Nearly half (47% of mostly acculturated online Hispanics and 45% of partially acculturated online Hispanics) are getting online and watching TV at the same time. A third of unacculturated Hispanics are also online and watching TV simultaneously.
-- The bicultural nature of the Hispanic market is also evident across other mediums. In an average week, online Hispanics spend 12.4 hours watching English-language TV and 7.7 hours watching Spanish-language TV.

Methodology The AOL Latino 2006 Hispanic Cyberstudy was conducted by Synovate's Diversity Group and reflects changes in methodology from earlier Hispanic studies commissioned by AOL. In 2006, a single study of Hispanics online was conducted whereas in 2005 a two-sample approach was used, which included a study of Hispanics online and a study of the general population online. Both the 2006 and 2005 studies were completed using phone interviews.

The 2006 study was completed by interviewing 502 participants in English or Spanish by Synovate bi-lingual interviewers. Respondents were 18+ year old Hispanics who accessed the Internet from any location in the past month. Interviews ere conducted between July 6, 2006 and July 19, 2006 using a surname listed sample. Respondents were further qualified as Hispanic during the telephone interview.

As defined by the study and by Synovate Diversity Group's market research: Mostly acculturated Hispanics are those that have been online for an average of 3 or more years. They tend to be U.S. born and to have lived in the U.S. for more than twenty years. However, they still speak Spanish and consume Spanish media.

Partially acculturated Hispanics are those that have been online for an average of 2.8 years. Tend to have lived in the U.S. for several years. Fifty percent (50%) are Spanish-dominant and nearly one-third of this group is bilingual or speaks more English than Spanish. This continues to be the largest Hispanic segment. Unacculturated Hispanics are those that have been online an average of 2.3 years. They are born outside of the U.S. Hispanics in this segment tend to have lived in the U.S. the shortest amount of time. They are 90% Spanish dominant.

About Synovate's Diversity Group Synovate's Diversity Group, a trusted source of diversity market intelligence for over 35 years, is especially well-known for its Hispanic acculturation model and the group's U.S. Diversity Markets Report ("Blue Book") released every two years. The Diversity group offers research expertise in a wide array of markets including the Hispanic, African-American, Asian-American, Seniors, and Gay and Lesbian markets. For more information on Synovate visit http://www.synovate.com/. About AOL(R) Latino AOL(R) Latino, a leading bilingual service for U.S. Hispanics, provides comprehensive Spanish language content including U.S. and Latin American news, financial tools, the latest in music, entertainment, personal finance, sports, fashion and beauty, as well as access to all the existing content available on the AOL.com. (*) Synovate's 2006 U.S. Diversity Markets Report

Source: Hispanic PR Wire (HISPANIC PR WIRE – BUSINESS WIRE)

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