The media research firm Nielsen recently released the report “Young, Connected and Black,” which highlights the growing social-media influence and tech-savviness of black millennials. The report follows up last year’s report on the growing power of African-American consumers.
According to Nielsen, African-Americans are adept at using and leveraging digital platforms to communicate within their own social circles and the world around them. This digital proficiency is led by the millennial generation which comprises 25% of the total Black population. Black millennials and older generations over-index in membership against their population counterparts on many social media networks.
Black millennials tell Nielsen they spend an hour or more daily on social networking sites. Millennials regard technology and social media are considered as extensions of their own identity—both individual and collective. Recent forms of online activism and movements such as #BlackLivesMatter, #BankBlack and #OscarsSoWhite are only a few viral examples of how millennial’s knack to navigate the social and digital space can focus the national attention on issues of civil and political importance.
Even though African-Americans only make up 14% of the total American population and black millennials only make up 14% of the total American millennial population, black millennials are major consumers of media compared to their market audience counterparts, according to Nielsen.
Media and other companies are beginning to take notice as diversely cast shows such as Scandal, and How To Get Away With Murder capture record numbers of black viewers—which of course means record spending to advertise to these audiences. As diversity increases across American media, the decision for advertisers to do the same won’t just be a moral decision, but also a financial one