Millennials More Likely Than Other Generations to Think We Need More Latino Representation in Pop

Lead Photo: Art by Alan Lopez for Remezcla
Art by Alan Lopez for Remezcla
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A recent online study of 1,213 members of a polling site called YouGov explored the ways that US residents are consuming and regarding the future of media in other languages, as well as media featuring Latinos. In a year in which Latino artists have been topping music charts, perhaps it is not surprising that the poll’s results pointed to a nation with developing views towards Latinos in mass culture. Its most salient point? This is a country that is far from monolingual in its TV and music consumption.

The data the poll gathered points to a country full of media consumers who are happy to go beyond English language programming for entertainment, and it put hard numbers on the amount of us who are tuning into TV shows and music listening sessions in other languages — as well as quantifying what languages people are most likely to seek media in.

What does this mean for Spanish language artists? It could point to expanded market opportunities, and even to the potential for grabbing new fans who are willing to step outside their linguistic comfort zone for a good beat.

Check out the study’s complete findings here, and read on for our quick summary.

*Editor’s Note: While Remezcla prefers the terminology “Latino” for our community, in this article we have utilized the term “Hispanic” to reflect its usage througout the YouGov study. 

About half of US residents listen to music in another language

Forty-nine percent of the country bops to tunes that are not in English. Though 52 percent of those who go outside the English language for their music are listening in Spanish, 14 percent are into Italian language tracks. Interestingly, Italian singers like Laura Pausini and Andrea Bocelli are indeed tracked in Latin music chart categories. Seven percent of respondents listen to music in a language that is not English on a daily basis.

We also watch a lot of non-English language television

The survey found that 36 percent of US residents are tuning into TV programs in languages besides English, and seven percent of us watch something in another language on a daily basis. Of those, 47 percent are watching Spanish language programming, with French language shows a distant second at 16 percent.

Almost half of US residents think Latin music is “fun”

In response to perhaps the most eyebrow-raisingly oblique poll question, 46 percent of respondents said they think Latin music is “fun,” numbering slightly more than this who think Latin culture has had a positive impact on US pop music. Not surprisingly, Hispanics agreed at higher rates than the overall population — 69 percent of Hispanic respondents found it “fun” and 65 percent feel that positive impact.

Millennials are more interested in Hispanic culture overall

When asked whether they thought there should be more Hispanic representation in pop culture, millennials answered in the affirmative far more frequently than other age group. 36 percent believe there should be more Hispanics in pop music, compared to 27 percent of the total population. 42 percent believe there should be more Hispanics on popular US TV shows, compared to 32 percent of the total population. They also were more likely to say they consider Latin culture to be “fun” — 57 percent to the general population’s 48 percent.

Men are more likely to disagree with the need for more Hispanic representation in pop

Gender disparity reared its head when the online poll asked respondents whether they thought there should be more Hispanics in pop music. 17 percent of men said they “strongly disagree” with the statement, while only 10 percent of women felt their feelings fell into this category.

A lot of us are feeling the vibe even when we don’t speak the language

Almost a quarter — 24 percent — of respondents strongly agreed with the statement that they can “enjoy a song sung in a language I don’t speak/understand,” with an additional 26 percent saying they somewhat agree. Only 17 percent strongly disagreed with the statement. For some, the answer lies in the beat. 35 percent said they somewhat or strongly agreed with the statement that “Rhythm is more important than lyrics in a song.” That’s good news for those looking to hear from their favorite Spanish language artist, on ever bigger stages.