Hispanics/Latinos Online

I’ve written before about the importance of to determine their attitudes and behavior before implementing any Internet marketing effort. Here’s an example of what you can pull together with data that’s freely available online:

Hispanic/Latino Americans Online Profile Summary

Hispanic Americans
are increasingly going online; one third of them are 35 years of age or
younger.  More than three-fourths of English speaking American
Hispanics are online while only a third of Spanish-dominated Hispanic
adults use the Internet. Only 43% of Hispanics born outside the US go
online. Most US Hispanic Internet users are using a broadband
connection. When they go online, they spend more time there than the
general population.

While Hispanic Americans prefer Web sites in
Spanish, it is essential for only a quarter of them. While most
American Hispanic youth would like to see more Hispanics represented in
the media, they are more likely to prefer English language media
messages that are targeted at them than messages in Spanish.

Most
US Hispanic Internet users believe the Internet is a great source for
researching commercial products and services. A majority of US Hispanic
video game enthusiasts (presumably preponderantly male) use the
Internet for e-mail, instant messaging, and blogging. Yet US Hispanics
in are less likely than the general population to use email.

American
Hispanics’ favorite Spanish-language portals are, in order, Yahoo
Telemundo, MSN Latino, and AOL Latino. American Hispanics are more
likely than the general population to visit music-related sites and
more likely to watch online video. Most Hispanic Americans use
Instant Messaging, share photos online, and read or post to blogs; more
than a third use social networking sites and use a phone that is
connected to the Internet.

Online Hispanic Americans are far more likely
to own a mobile phone, a digital camera, or a video game console than
the population in general. Online US Hispanics love to use their phones as communication devices beyond simple telephone calls. A majority of English-speaking American Hispanics use text-messaging and
take photos on their phone. American Hispanics in general are far more
likely than the general population to use text messaging and to take
photos with their phone. They are three times more likely than
non-Hispanic white to own a phone with a two-way "walkie talkie"
feature.

Hispanic/Latino Americans Online – Size & Demographics

There were 16.7 million Hispanic Internet users in the United States in
2006, according to Department of Commerce 2003 projections. The number
of users is expected to reach 20.9 million in 2010, approaching the
number of African Americans online. An estimated 43 percent of the
Hispanic population three years and older have access to the Internet
in 2007. These data include both English and Spanish speakers. About
one-third of American Hispanic Internet users are younger than 35 years
old. People 24 and under represent 35% of all Hispanic online users, according to eMarketer’s Hispanic Youth Online report.

According to a January 2006 comScore Media Metrix study, in 2005, there
were 2.5 million Hispanic American Internet users between the ages of
three and 17; there were three million Hispanic American Internet users between 18 and 24; and there were 3.6 million Hispanic American Internet users between 25 and 34 years of age.

According to a 2006 study by the , among English-dominant Hispanics,
78% use the Internet. Among bilingual Hispanics, 76% use the Internet.
Fewer than a third (32%) of Spanish-dominant Hispanic adults are
Internet users. Among adult US Hispanic Internet users:

  • 67% are 18-29 years old
  • 61% are 30-41 years old
  • 59% are 42-51 years old
  • 42% are 52-60 years old
  • 27% are 61-70 years old
  • 17% are 71 years old or older

The Pew study shows that US Hispanics who are born outside the 50
states are less likely to go online. 76% of US Hispanics use the
Internet compared with 43% of those who were born outside the US.
Foreign-born Hispanics tend to be Spanish-dominant, bolstering the idea
that language is a factor in Internet use.

Less than a third of anyone who did not graduate from high school use the Internet, regardless of ethnicity. Among Hispanics, 41% have not completed high school, according to the study. Hispanics from South America are most likely to be online (70%), while only 52% of Hispanics of Mexican descent use the Internet.

Among offline US Hispanics, the leading reasons for not using the Internet were:

  • 53% did not have access
  • 18% were not interested in Internet access
  • 10% found going online too difficult or frustrating
  • 6% said it was too expensive
  • 5% said they were too busy or didn’t have the time to go online

The "The AOL Latino 2006 Hispanic Cyberstudy" conducted by in September 2006 found that
there are more than 16 million Hispanic Americans online, 55% of the
total US Hispanic population. Of those online, 77% have broadband
access.

According to Millie Carrasquillo of Telemundo, 80% of online Hispanics use broadband.

According to the "Chronicle" report by , US Hispanic consumers have some of the largest disposable incomes of
any minority group. Hispanic American buying power will grow to a
projected $1.3 trillion in 2011, up from $838 billion in 2006.

Hispanic/Latino Americans’ Consumer Attitudes & Media Consumption

According to a 2005 New American Dimensions survey on the attitudes of
Hispanic American youths (14-29) toward the use of Spanish vs. English
in media and marketing:

  • 77% said that commercials needn’t be in Spanish to address them as Hispanics
  • 75% would like to see more Hispanic actors on English TV and in movies
  • 69% would like to see more English-language television that is geared toward Hispanics
  • 67% appreciate marketing that speaks to them as a bicultural Hispanic
  • 63% would like more English-language commercials targeted at Hispanics
  • 48% want more Spanish-language programming
  • 40% want more Spanish-language commercials

According to the September 2006 "The AOL Latino 2006 Hispanic Cyberstudy" conducted by :

  • 68% of Hispanic Internet users believe the Internet is the
    best source to make final purchase decisions on brands and products.
  • 77% of Hispanic Internet users use the Internet to learn about brands and products.
  • 72% use the Internet to compare product prices.

According to a July 2006 Roper Public Affairs study commissioned by
AOL, US Hispanic Internet users believe the Internet is the best source
of information for the following shopping activities:

  • 74% think the Internet is the best source for finding out where the product they want to buy is available
  • 69% think the Internet is the best source for learning about a product/service’s available features and benefits
  • 70% think the Internet is the best source for comparing prices
  • 64% think the Internet is the best source for learning about available brands
  • 63% think the Internet is the best source for advice on brands to buy

Hispanic Americans are more likely than Americans in general to say radio is
the “most essential” media–24% vs. 17%”– from
and Arbitron. They are also more likely than the general population to
consider newspapers the least essential among major media, 40% vs. 30%.
Hispanic Americans are more likely to consider the Internet the “most
cool and exciting” medium–41% for Hispanics compared to 34% for the
general population.

Hispanics are slightly more likely to tune
in to radio for breaking news (14% vs. 10%) than the general population
and they are more likely to listen to the radio while working: 52% vs.
44%.

Hispanic/Latino Americans’ Lifestyle

According to BIGresearch’s biannual survey, SIMM VII
(Simultaneous Media Survey), of December 2005, among Hispanic Americans
who chose video games as a leisure time activity they said they spend
their free time in the following ways:

  • 72.2% – Go to movies
  • 72.9% – Listen to music
  • 55.5% – Go shopping
  • 52.4% – E-mail/instant messaging/blogging
  • 42.1% – Play video games
  • 41.5% – Go to amusement parks
  • 25.7% – Camp/Fish/Hike/Hunt
  • 35.1% – Exercise/jogging, etc.
  • 32.3% – Go to bar/nightclub

Hispanic/Latino Americans’ Technology Use

According to a November/December, 2006 study by and ,
online Hispanic Americans are far more likely to own a mobile phone, a
digital camera, or a video game console than the population in general:

  • 90% own a mobile phone compared to 79% among the general population
  • 79% own a digital camera compared to 53% of the general population
  • 66% own a video game console compared to 52% of the general population

According to a survey conducted in the first quarter of 2006, Hispanics made up only 10% of total wireless subscribers but 23% of mobile TV subscribers.

According to a April 2006 survey:

  • 54% of English-speaking Hispanics send and receive text messages
  • 56% of English-speaking Hispanics take pictures with their phone
  • 40% of English-speaking Hispanics play games on their phone
  • 29% of English-speaking Hispanics use the Internet on their phone
  • 16% of English-speaking Hispanics play music on their phone

Hispanic Americans are are significantly more likely to own an iPod–24% vs. 18%–than Americans in general, from and Arbitron.

Hispanic/Latino Americans’ Online Behavior

Half of Hispanic adults said that they are online at least monthly, up from 45% 2006, according to ‘s "When to Build a Spanish-Language Web Site" report. A comScore Media Metrix study showed that Hispanics spent an average of 88.1 minutes online per day, while the general online population spent 81.7 minutes per day during December 2006.

According to a November/December, 2006 study by and Experian Simmons,
online Hispanic Americans are far more likely to take photos with their
mobile phone and use text messaging than the population in general:

  • 61% take photos with their mobile phone compared to 28% of the general population
  • 66% use text messaging compared to 38% of the general population

A March 2006 comScore Media Metrix study found that the top growing category during the past year among
Hispanics was Classifieds, which experienced a 51-percent jump in traffic to 3.1
million visitors. U.S. Hispanics also increased their visitation to
categories related to the immigration issue. Traffic to online radio sites–many of which
feature related news reports–saw a 40 percent increase to 3.5
million visitors in March. The Politics category also saw a
traffic surge, reaching 460,000 visitors (up 33 percent). U.S.
Hispanics showed greater interest in travel-related web
content–perhaps as they planned to travel to immigration protests and
rallies. Traffic to Hotels/Resorts sites jumped 32 percent to 2.5 million
visitors, while Map sites increased by the same percentage to 5.6
million visitors.

Top Growing Categories Among U.S. Hispanics – March 2006 vs. March 2005:

  • Classifieds – 54% growth
  • Multimedia – 44% growth
  • Radio – 40% growth
  • Religion – 39% growth
  • Online Trading – 36% growth
  • Politics – 33% growth
  • Hotels/Resorts – 32% growth
  • Maps – 32% growth
  • Pharmacy – 31% growth
  • Sports – 31% growth

According to a May/June
2005 study by Solutions Research Group, 28% of Hispanic Americans have
downloaded a ringtone to their phone; 52% of Hispanic Americans have
sent or received a text message in the past month.

According to a July 2005 Yankelovich Monitor
study, 16% of Hispanic Americans 16 or older own a cell phone with
Internet access while 15% said they planned to buy one in the next 12
months. Sprint is the most popular service provider among Hispanic mobile phone
subscribers, possibly due to the popularity of Nextel’s "walkie-talkie"
two-way radios among Hispanics. According to Yankelovich data from
September 2005, Hispanic phone buyers are three-times as likely as
non-Hispanic whites to own a two-way, and more than three times more
likely to intend to purchase one. Sprint acquired Nextel in early 2005.

According to a
study, Hispanic shoppers are more likely to look online for
music-enabled phones than other shoppers and Hispanic mobile phone
users are more likely to purchase downloadable content for their
phones, like ring- and ring-back and graphics.

BIGresearch’s December 2005 Simultaneous Media Survey (SIMM VII) reported that Yahoo () has greatest percentage of Hispanic users with 13.8 percent, followed by MSN () with 8.8 percent and AOL () with 7.8 percent.

A December 2005 study found that Hispanic Americans are twice as likely (41%) as the rest of the population (18%)
to visit online music sites. Hispanic American adults are also more
likely to watch video online (23%) than the general population (17%).

But the Forrester study also found that Hispanic Americans are less likely to use e-mail, with just 61% sending and receiving messages, compared with 97% of other Americans.

A slim majority of online Hispanic-Americans prefer to be offered Spanish-language Web sites, according to ‘s
"When to Build a Spanish-Language Web Site" report. A quarter of online
Hispanic-Americans said that Web sites they visit must be in Spanish.

A September 2005 study found:

  • 39% of Hispanic Americans research products online before
    buying, compared to 39% of African Americans who do and 48% of
    non-Hispanic whites who do.
  • 29% of Hispanic Americans purchase products or
    services online, compared to 32% of African Americans who do and 40% of
    non-Hispanic whites who do.
  • 26% of Hispanic Americans purchase airline tickets
    online, compared to 27% of African Americans who do and 33% of
    non-Hispanic whites who do.
  • 20% of Hispanic Americans bid on items at auction
    sites like eBay, compared to 18% of African Americans who do and 24% of
    non-Hispanic whites who do.
  • 9% of Hispanic Americans sell items at auction sites
    like eBay, compared to 12% of African Americans who do and 10% of
    non-Hispanic whites who do.

According to a September 2005 Feedback Research study, 54% of US
Spanish-speaking Internet users had purchased something online, while
45% said that their use of the Internet for shopping and/or purchasing
products or services would increase over the next year. American Spanish-speaking
online shoppers more likely to use portals (53% compared to 35%) and
69% favored Spanish language sites when shopping online; 49% said they
were more likely to buy a product from a Spanish language site.

According to the September 2006 "The AOL Latino 2006 Hispanic Cyberstudy" conducted by Synovate 48% of online Hispanic Americans visit news sites (music, weather, health and travel Web sites are also popular). Additionally:

  • 68% of online Hispanic Americans use instant messaging
  • 63% of online Hispanic Americans share photos online
  • 52% of online Hispanic Americans read or post to blogs
  • 43% of online Hispanic Americans visit social networking sites
  • 40% of online Hispanic Americans talk on a phone using the Internet

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About David Erickson

David Erickson is principal of e-Strategy Media, a digital marketing consultancy based in Minnesota. David has extensive experience in digital marketing and is often used as an expert source by media and asked to speak on the topic before organizations and to sit on panel discussions.

4 Comments

  1. Oscar Padilla on June 29, 2007 at 7:59 00 pm CDT

    Great research information. There are too many Hispanic marketers that don’t understand the importance of this type of research. There is one aspect of your feedback that you omitted that is probably even more important which is cultural traits or behaviors.

    I’m referring to familism, faith/religion, family, generational distance, etc. These behaviors are not easily quantifiable and it really requires emergence in the culture to understand them and drive them as emotional connectors to your clients’ communications objective. The Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA)is leading a strong awareness effort in the importance of reaching out to Latinos through through cultural/behavioral traits. I encourage you to take a look at their site as a resource.



  2. Oscar Padilla on June 29, 2007 at 12:59 07 pm CDT

    Great research information. There are too many Hispanic marketers that don’t understand the importance of this type of research. There is one aspect of your feedback that you omitted that is probably even more important which is cultural traits or behaviors.

    I’m referring to familism, faith/religion, family, generational distance, etc. These behaviors are not easily quantifiable and it really requires emergence in the culture to understand them and drive them as emotional connectors to your clients’ communications objective. The Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA)is leading a strong awareness effort in the importance of reaching out to Latinos through through cultural/behavioral traits. I encourage you to take a look at their site as a resource.



  3. Adrian Perez on August 9, 2007 at 8:28 00 pm CDT

    The growth of the bilingual Latino in the U.S. has also been significant, yet mainstream media ignores this group or believes this group would rather watch Spanish television programming. As a result, we established http://www.calmagazine.com, the first all Latino Internet TV. The programming is about American Latinos and how we now function in American society. It also serves as a history lesson for those who don’t know about Latinos in the U.S.

    Adrian



  4. Adrian Perez on August 9, 2007 at 1:28 27 pm CDT

    The growth of the bilingual Latino in the U.S. has also been significant, yet mainstream media ignores this group or believes this group would rather watch Spanish television programming. As a result, we established http://www.calmagazine.com, the first all Latino Internet TV. The programming is about American Latinos and how we now function in American society. It also serves as a history lesson for those who don’t know about Latinos in the U.S.

    Adrian