A Sign of a Maturing Market

September 6, 2007

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The announcement last week that Nielsen is doing away with its Hispanic sample and will now measure Hispanic TV viewership from its general market People Meter sample is a sign of the maturation of not only the Hispanic market but also of Hispanic viewers. It used to be that we needed a separate measuring sample for Hispanic viewers and separate Hispanic marketing departments to address that audience to ensure that corporate interests were paying attention to the segment. As Hispanics have become a larger part of the population and second and third generation members grow in importance, Hispanics are exerting a greater influence in general market trends and it is becoming critical to consider them in a more integrated fashion as opposed to a completely independent segment.

Under that scenario it only makes sense for Nielsen to start looking at the Hispanics with the same measuring stick as everyone else. I would not be surprised if the new sample shows the Hispanic audience displaying a broader variety of viewing choices than we have come to expect from the Hispanic-only sample, although the Spanish-dominant group will likely continue to graviate to the traditional choices. If that were the case, it will only serve to show that we cannot treat all Hispanics alike.