The FINANCIAL -- Over
the next five years, the U.S. local TV audience will be increasingly
multicultural and multi-screen. Trends highlight that local audiences
are changing rapidly as they seek information that connects both
culturally and digitally, according to the Nielsen Company.
By the year 2020, the multicultural segment (defined as Hispanic, black and Asian) will represent 40 percent of the U.S. population. By 2040, the multicultural segment will be equal in size to the white population, according to Nielsen.
In the top 10 states that will have the most growth in population in absolute terms over the next five years, over 98 percent of all the growth will come from the multicultural segment. Forecasts show the white population will be either relatively flat or, in the cases of California, Florida, New York and Georgia, it will decline slightly.
For local TV stations to keep pace with the changing demographics in their markets, they need to think through the implications of a growing multicultural segment, according to Nielsen. In many of the top designated market areas (DMAs), for a station to grow its overall audience, it will have to evolve hand-in-hand with its multicultural audience. Local TV audiences expect a familiarity with their local programming that local TV stations will have to continue to meet. Local TV stations are well positioned to take advantage of this growth opportunity. They have strong ties to the local community and advertisers and they can leverage their deep local knowledge to adjust for the unique changes of their market, according to Nielsen.
Recent Nielsen figures indicate that tablet penetration at the household level in the U.S. has already reached 28 percent. In some DMAs, such has New York, San Francisco, Boston and Washington, D.C., the penetration level is over 35 percent. This rapid adoption is likely to continue. In fact, the Consumer Electronics Association forecasts that tablets could have a 48 percent U.S. household penetration rate by the beginning of 2014.
In all instances, this digital landscape presents not just a challenge, but also an opportunity for local stations to develop of new ways to package their content to reach a desirable audience. A large piece of local advertising growth will be in the digital space, and local TV stations are the first to the scene, according to Nielsen.