A Sign of a Maturing Market

September 6, 2007


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.