Exploring Black America’s Media Engagement: Over 81 Hours a Week, Says Nielsen

Exploring Black America’s Media Engagement: Over 81 Hours a Week, Says Nielsen

Introduction to Black America’s Media Engagement

According to a recent Nielsen report titled “The Global Black Audience: Shaping the Future of Media,” Black American audiences are setting records in media engagement. With over 81 hours spent on media weekly, which is 31.8% more than the general population, the demand for more diverse and representative media content is growing.


This demand spans across television, streaming services, and advertising, highlighting the need for better representation of Black identities in the U.S. and abroad.

Television and Streaming Services Engagement

Black adults watch TV 31.8% more than the general population, showing a significant disparity in media consumption habits. The desire for representation is evident as 43% of Black respondents from five countries express a need for more content that reflects their identity.

Furthermore, 73% of Black American audiences subscribe to three or more streaming services, indicating their quest for representative content. Despite this, there remains a gap in advertising, with 67% of Black audiences in the United States wishing for more representation of their identity group on TV.

Representation in Advertising

Representation issues extend into advertising, where 35% of Black Americans feel that brands often uniformly portray Black people.

The report indicates a strong willingness among Black consumers to sever ties with brands that do not value their community, with 66% stating they would cut off brands that devalue their community. This underscores the importance of building trust and acknowledging the vastness of Black culture in marketing strategies.

Insights from Nielsen’s Diverse Intelligence Series Report

The Nielsen report delves into the influence and untapped potential of Black audiences in the media landscape. Covering countries like the U.S., Brazil, Nigeria, the U.K., and South Africa, it highlights how the African and Caribbean-born Black population growth in the United States is making Black media experiences more globalized.

Charlene Polite Corley, Vice President of Diverse Insights & Partnerships at Nielsen, emphasizes the diversity within Black culture and the importance of considering the global exchange of influence when engaging with Black audiences.

The Changing Landscape of News Consumption and Cable-Free Viewing

Black Millennials are leading a shift in how news is consumed, relying heavily on social media, YouTube, and cable TV for news content. This demographic’s skepticism toward the reliability of local TV news underscores the need for differentiation in journalism.

Moreover, the rise of broadband-only (BBO) TV homes and the popularity of free, ad-supported television (FAST) services among Black viewers indicate a significant trend toward cable-free content viewing.


The Nielsen report sheds light on the growing demand for more diverse and inclusive media content to engage Black America.

With the increasing influence of Black-created and Black-inclusive content, brands and programmers face the challenge of authentically representing the spectrum of African American traditions and perspectives. For more insights, the full report can be downloaded here. Join the conversation on LinkedIn, Facebook (Nielsen Diversity, Equity and Inclusion), and X (@Nielsen_DEI).

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