Media Village

If broadcasters don’t have Hispanics in their audio media plan, they are missing out on U.S. Hispanics’ abundant appetite for media and strong buying power. That’s the bottom line in a column from Alli Romano in Media Village, “Evolving World of Hispanic Audio.” She says: “For brands that are upping investment in radio and podcasting, now is the time to put that money in Hispanic audio.”

The big picture, Romano begins: Hispanics represent 17% of the U.S. population and by 2060 will comprise 28%, according to U.S. Census estimates. Radio reaches 96% of Hispanics in the U.S. weekly, more than any other demographic group, per Nielsen. Hispanics spend nearly 13 hours a week listening to radio, and eight in 10 say they use radio to discover new music, iHeartMedia reports. In addition, on digital platforms, Hispanics account for 11% of monthly podcast listeners, according to Edison Research; 45% listen to digital streaming audio, and 21% own smart speakers.

That about covers it, right? “With so many audio touchpoints, Hispanic podcasts offer particularly fertile ground,” offers Romano, who has also written for Inside Radio. For one, Univision’s Radio President Jesus Lara tells her that Hispanics over-index against the overall U.S. population on radio listening, smartphone usage, digital audio streaming and social media usage – “all the right ingredients for a podcasting boom,” she says.

For the last two years, Univision has been building an expanding number of original podcasts, many featuring its radio and TV talent, and also partners with podcast production company, Revolver. “We’ll have success when a talent who is very passionate about a topic can go deep with a podcast and build a community around that content vertical,” Lara says in Romano’s column.

iHeartMedia also says its Hispanic podcast listening is growing, making up 12% of its podcast audience. And NPR offers Spanish-language podcast “Radio Ambulente,” which Anya Grundmann, NPR's VP for Programming and Audience Development, noted gives NPR, which mostly has English-language radio stations, a chance to connect with Spanish-speaking listeners. ESPN’s Spanish-language arm, ESPN Deportes, has a robust slate of podcasts, as do Spanish Broadcasting System and Entravision.

Horacio Ontiveros, co-producer and co-host of the podcast Enigmas sin Resolver, has surpassed 30,000 monthly downloads in January and February for his show, which delves into paranormal themes, mysteries and UFOs, and is part of Univision’s podcast network. He says Hispanic listeners are very loyal to their favorite radio stations—and that podcasting could increase Hispanic audio consumption, as listeners seek out niche podcasts on their favorite topics.

As this marketplace continues to grow, Spanish-language broadcasters and podcasters agree they still have serious work to do, according to Romano. As Univision’s Lara told her: “If you’re not in front of them, it is out of sight, out of mind. Marketers spend money on TV and digital and forget that radio delivers reach and can drive home their messages.”