Asian Americans are the leading consumer segment in the United States in favor of digital devices and streaming platforms as alternatives to traditional television consumption, according to a new report released by Nielsen this week.
The report entitled, “Engaging Asian American Consumers at the Dawn of a New Decade,” found that Asian Americans are spending the most time on digital devices like computers, smartphones and tablets (66%) compared to the total U.S. population.
These findings come as streaming services and digital platforms continue to battle for audiences across the country.
Nielsen said the data findings are an opportunity for marketers to step away from the excuses previously used to ignore the multicultural group in the past, such as “too many diverse subcultures” to “too many different languages” to “the general market advertising will reach them.”
Through these digital services are the main ways to capture Asian Americans as they are now the fastest-growing multicultural group in the U.S. with a buying power of $1.2 trillion, and are plugged in more than the general population and prefer culturally-relevant content.
Despite the report not disaggregating data from the specific Asian American or Pacific Islander groups, Mariko Carpenter, vice president of strategic community alliances at Nielsen, argued it shows that later generations have found commonalities with one another and there is a more unified force in the community.
“That is almost just as important as the heritage they present as. The Asian American story is the story of being part of an immigrant family, being bicultural, being misunderstood,” Carpenter told the Asian Journal. “All of that bonds us and it really speaks to the respect we have for each other’s heritage and [readiness] to support one another for the better of the community. It’s shifting from the self-interest to the Asian American interest.”
The segment — which refers to those who identify as Asian, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander — engages more on TV-connected devices requiring internet connection, such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku at 49% compared to 44% of the total population.
As Asian American households tend to be multigenerational, older family members are “more likely to use the technology shared by others,” the marketing research firm said.
Asian Americans also lead in cord cutting as they seek new virtual multichannel video programming distributors. Among them are Sling TV, Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV and AT&T TV Now to access live TV.
“For marketers and content creators alike, understanding the shift
towards these new services to access TV programming is important to fully understand how and where to reach Asian Americans,” the report said.
In terms of actual content viewed, the community has “shown strong support of culturally-relevant content on streaming platforms,” such as Netflix and Hulu, which have comedy specials for Asian American comedians like Jo Koy and Ronny Chieng and other scripted series featuring Asian American leads.
“On the streaming side, how we’re getting into content and what we are choosing is influencing how content creators are strategizing and how marketers are going to reach out to us,” Carpenter said. “Asian Americans are shifting the overall trend in this country, which is really exciting for us to see.”
With the success of Asian-led projects — “Parasite,” “Crazy Rich Asians,” “Always Be My Maybe,” and “The Farewell,” to name a few — reflect a change in representation and “the Asian-American community voting with their wallet for more authentic stories.”
Another area where Asian Americans are big players is in the gaming industry as the country experienced a 45% increase in time spent playing video games in late March as stay-at-home orders were implemented.
A majority of Asian American households own more video game-related products than the general population. Asian American gamers are younger with 69% between ages 13-34 compared to 44% of U.S. gamers. Top types of games include action-adventure (Assassin’s Creed, GTA), puzzle (Candy Crush, Cut the Rope), and fighting related (Street Fighter, Super Smash Bros.).
“At the dawn of a new decade, Asian Americans will continue on their trajectory of growth in population size, cultural influence and consumer power. This is a group that will lead brand conversations online, seeking and supporting businesses that will invest in meeting their needs. As the bridge between the East and West, Asian Americans will be introducing new trends to U.S. pop culture; no doubt, there will be many more new crazes that will make their way to us from Asia, just like bubble tea, k-beauty, and Bollywood did,” the report concluded.