Univision and Telemundo maybe be the top two networks among first-generation Latinos, however third-generation U.S. Latinos are far more likely to prefer English-language media.

A new study co-authored by MAGNA GLOBAL and the Center for Multicultural Science challenges the notion that the most effective ways to reach U.S. Latino audiences is through Spanish-language programs. Published in the Journal of Cultural Marketing Strategy on Oct. 19, the report is the first to examine media behaviors across three generations of U.S. Latinos.

Companies and marketers have been actively assessing how to effectively target the U.S. Latino population, and the report gave answers to questions, finding that influence requires more than language. Instead, it demands cultural understanding and acknowledging the nuances of the population. According to the report, Univision and Telemundo are the top two most watched television networks by first-generation Latinos. However, Univision has been ranked #5 among second-generation U.S. Latinos, and the top five most watched networks among third-generation are all English-language networks.

"The results of this study are paradigm shifting and will have big implications for how marketers effectively reach Latinos on television," Dr. Jake Beniflah, Executive Director, the Center for Multicultural Science, said according to a press release. "Because the Latino population is changing, we need to adopt new TV audience measures. Our research showed that using generational level is an effective predictor of what TV programs U.S. Latinos are watching."

The research openly shows that the longer Latinos reside in the U.S., the more likely they are to consume English-language media. After years in the U.S., first-generation Latinos are more 20-30 percent more likely to watch English-language television, according to the report. With that knowledge, firms and marketers should consider generational levels and years-in-country when attempting to pinpoint which type of media to reach the U.S. Latino population most effectively. Also, they firms should consider national origin.   

The Journal of Cultural Marketing Strategy publishes a broad range of methodological and empirical articles, including information about cultural marketing strategy, which incorporates multicultural and cross-cultural marketing. The information presented in the journal bridges the gap between practice and theory.