Using Ad-Supported, Premium OTT to Connect With Latinx Audiences

By Paramount InSites Archives
Cover image for  article: Using Ad-Supported, Premium OTT to Connect With Latinx Audiences

According to the ViacomCBS Global Insights study, "From Hispanic to Latinx," Latinx consumers feel under- and poorly represented in American media and entertainment.

Eighty percent think American movies and TV shows only feature Hispanics "who fit a certain look," while 74 percent said that Latinx actors are usually cast in stereotypical roles. The same percentage believes that Latinx talent is rarely given leading roles.

Furthermore, 71 percent of respondents to the U.S.-based online survey, which was taken by 1,000 Hispanics between the ages of 13 and 49, think TV shows and movies for mainstream U.S. audiences rarely feature "families like mine."

These issues exist, even though, by all measures, Hispanics remain a rising force in the United States. Aside from their $1.7 trillion spending power and unmeasurable influence on culture, Latinx viewers represent nearly 20 percent of movie-going audiences; yet, only 4.5 percent of characters are Latinx — down from 6.2 percent the prior year.

Hence, there's a historic opportunity for brands to connect with this increasingly critical, yet neglected demographic. But how?

Latinx consumers want better representation in media, which means content with more character diversity that depicts a spectrum of experiences. They also wish for more in-depth stories that put complex Hispanic characters at the forefront and avoid "token" roles.

Viacom Velocity director of activation Tanya Ortiz put it best when she referenced the 61st GRAMMYs, where Cuban-American singer Camila Cabello performed her smashing hit "Havana," along with Ricky Martin, Arturo Sandoval, and J Balvin. "I felt seen as a Latina," she shared.

There's a reason the content Ortiz described resonated with her. Cabello's ensemble of multi-genre and multi-generational performers speaks to 53 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds born in and out of the United States who prefer to communicate in English.

It also includes 60 percent of 35+-year-olds who are Spanish-dominant and 7 percent who use Spanish and English equally. Throw in the 40 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds who live in multi-generational homes and it becomes a familia affair.

Most recently, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez made history by becoming the first Latinas to headline a Super Bowl Half Time Show. The energetic and bilingual performance broke records by garnering more than 100 million YouTube views in less than 48 hours. It also generated millions of social media posts, where fans re-created the choreography, proving that Latinx talent is, indeed, hugely influential.

But, in an increasingly fragmented and mobile media landscape, brands need to go beyond linear television, especially when it comes to reaching and engaging these types of emerging audiences. And premium, ad-supported, multi-genre TV services such as ViacomCBS's Pluto TV Latino can be part of the answer.

Pluto TV now streams over four thousand hours of Spanish- and Portuguese-language programming, including two thousand new hours and 11 all-new channels for U.S. Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking audiences. With hit movies and TV shows across genres, including animals, food, horror, kids, reality, and spies, there's more room for holistic representations of Hispanic culture.

"With Pluto TV Latino, we've witnessed the rapid adoption of OTT throughout the U.S. Hispanic market," said Amy Kuessner, senior vice president, content strategy and global partnerships, at Pluto TV. "[We] saw an opportunity to do what few others can do: super-serve [Latinx audiences] with premium content they know and love, in the language they speak."

The rise of OTT among Hispanic audiences presents a two-fold opportunity for audiences and brands to connect around shared values and passion points by co-creating content that accurately portrays this rising demographic, while also allowing brands to thrive as they do the right thing.

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