Augmented reality. Skinny bundles. Virtual reality. Original series and films debuting on over the top (OTT) platforms. In 4k. Feature films shot on iPhones. YouTube stars.
If you pause to survey the filmmaking and distribution landscape and suddenly wonder when everything changed, you’re not alone. And barring an apocalypse, technology promises more change—and at a more rapid pace, to boot. The changes are not only technological, but they’re also demographic. The Millennial cohort is more mobile, technologically savvy and culturally diverse than its predecessors (just wait: the digital-native Generation Z right behind it is even more so across the board). Multicultural Millennials—and Hispanic Millennial viewers in particular—are challenging many of our long-held assumptions about how to tell a visual story (and the proof is in the ratings and ticket sales).
Hispanic Millennials are the single largest cohort in two of our most important media centers (Los Angeles and Miami). Filmmakers and brands alike covet this ascendant demographic, to varying degrees of success and frustration. So how can they be reached?
Mobile Entertainment Hispanic Millennial viewers consume the plurality of their video entertainment through smartphones—and as smartphone penetration and 4G carriage continues to expand, this proportion will only increase. Narrative formats that adapt to the reality that the mobile screen is the first screen will capture the Hispanic Millennial viewer’s interest. Shorter form content—film shorts, mini-episodes, vignettes, music videos—meet the mobility and attention span demands of a generation untethered from programmed and structured television.
Interestingly, this attention span extends even to mobile advertising, where, according to a 2015 study by the Hispanic Millennial Project, this cohort is more receptive to brand messages on mobile platforms than are other cohorts, a critical factor as distributors try to augment advertising revenue from thinning broadcast viewership.
It’s the What, Not the How or Where This is not to suggest mobile is the only platform for Hispanic Millennials—far from it. If the content they are looking for is not available on one platform (e.g., television or YouTube), Hispanic Millennials will seek out the niche services that can deliver it (subscription services, streaming/over-the-top apps).
Optimism and Identity Hispanic Millennial viewers are inherently optimistic about the future and their ability to impact it positively, even as they increasingly identify culturally with their ancestral country or region. This unique paradox—one foot seeking connection with the past while the other moves confidently toward the future—creates the backdrop for exploring complex narratives about self-identity, belonging and separateness.
The filmmaker or creative agency who is able to explore these narratives and convey them in a short format stands a good chance to recapture the viewership lost from more traditional media outlets. Incidentally, this paradox is playing out around the world, as technology brings us closer together, economic mobility is increasingly widespread and entertainment becomes more globally produced and consumed. So chances are, the narrative that captivates the imagination of the Hispanic Millennial in the U.S. will find captivated audiences elsewhere.
US cities are rapidly becoming more diverse, but that doesn’t mean they are more integrated. In fact, in many large metro areas, some minority groups are now more segregated from white populations than before, according to an analysis of new US Census data by the Brookings Institution.
Minorities are driving population growth in large metropolitan areas—they’ve accounted for 98% of it since 2000, per Brookings demographer William Frey, who crunched five-year estimates from the American Community Survey. That is quickly shifting the racial and ethnic makeup of US cities.
Yet, the growing proportion of minorities is not spreading evenly throughout cities. Neighborhoods where average White people live, for example, are in general much less diverse than the cities in which they sit.
As a result, despite their expanding numbers, minorities in many cities remain deeply isolated from white people.
Segregation of black and white people, for example, has only improved slightly since 2000 as measured by a dissimilarity index. The index’s average for the 49 metro areas Frey analyzed fell by 3 points to a reading of 60 for the 2011-2015 period. That means that 60% of black residents would have to move to be fully integrated with white residents. (In six cities, the black-white segregation index actually rose.)
Meanwhile, Hispanic communities in 22 out of 50 metro areas became more, not less, ghettoized as the share of white residents dropped. The all-metro average index for Hispanic-white segregation increased slightly, to 48 in 2011-2015 from 47 in 2000. But the jump was much higher in some places, such as the Cincinnati area, where the index increased the most out of all the metro areas Frey looked at.
To be sure, the Hispanic share of Cincinnati’s population is tiny, just 3%. But segregation also grew in places where Hispanics make up a much bigger proportion of residents. A few other examples of the 2011-2015 integration picture below:
Those statistics raise a troubling question about the prospects of patching up the deep racial divisions exposed by the 2016 presidential election: If even people living in the same city can’t commingle, how can we expect to bridge the divides between rural and urban, between coastal and Midwestern, and between Americans of different races and ethnic backgrounds?
Hispanics living in the U.S., particularly those who hail from other countries, are approaching retirement with less than a third of the savings of their white counterparts.
A new study from the Urban Institute, an economic policy think tank in Washington, found that the rapidly growing ethnic group is facing an uphill battle to accumulating sufficient funds for their later years.
Hispanics numbered 55.3 million in the U.S. in 2014 — 17 percent of the total U.S. population, according to Pew Research Center.
The Urban Institute's study, which used Census data, found a wide gap between Hispanics and whites when it comes to wealth at ages 65 and over.
In 2012, whites in that age group had median inflation-adjusted household wealth of $280,200, compared with $84,600 for U.S.-born Latinos and $30,900 for foreign-born Hispanics, according to the report. African-Americans fared better than Latinos from outside of the U.S., with a household wealth of $51,600.
Contributing to that result were earnings shortfalls and the lack of availability of retirement plans at the workplace. The effect is especially pronounced for Hispanics who are originally from outside the country.
"It's the case that when we have foreign-born populations, many of them came as adults and may not have spent the full 40 years working in the U.S.," said Stipica Mudrazija, a research associate at the Urban Institute and co-author of the report.
"They have less time to accumulate wealth," he said.
Lasting effects of inequity
The study found a sharp disparity in the incomes of Hispanics, African-Americans and whites. The difference is striking when accounting for foreign-born Hispanics. See the chart below.
Consider that in 1979, Latino men ages 25 to 64 and born outside the U.S. had median inflation-adjusted earnings of $35,900, according to the Urban Institute. That same year, white men in the same age group were making $58,700.
That gap remained in 2013, when Hispanic men had median inflation-adjusted earnings of $29,000, compared with white men's earnings of $54,500.
The differences were also stark when it came to which groups participated in a 401(k) plan.
Only 23 percent of foreign-born Hispanic men ages 25 to 64 were covered by a workplace plan in 2014, compared with more than half of white men.
"Ultimately, Hispanics — and foreign-born Hispanics in particular — are disproportionately concentrated in occupations that offer few work-related benefits," said Mudrazija.
"That's the main cause behind this difference," he said.
Gradual savings improvements
The institute is optimistic about the ability of Hispanics to save more over time, particularly as younger generations born in the U.S. age.
For instance, between 1979 and 2013, real median family income, adjusted for family size, grew 51 percent for Hispanics born in the U.S., according to the study.
The institute projects that this will lead to improved retirement income. Median family income at age 70 for U.S.-born Latinos will grow to $39,500 by 2040, compared with $26,900 for those who are currently in their 70s.
Improvements are also expected for older African-American households, whose median family income will reach $33,900 by 2040, up from $30,000 for those now in their 70s.
Hispanics who hail from outside the U.S. will also see a boost in their income as they age. (See below for details.)
Education is key to improving the outlook, as it opens doors to greater opportunities, including careers with stronger earnings prospects and retirement plan availability, Mudrazija said.
"Educational attainment is a major point of distinction, and over time we see that each successive generation is better educated," he said.
"We see that based on these strengths, minorities, including U.S. and foreign-born Hispanics, will experience an increase in income and wealth in the years to come."
Southeastern Grocers has re-launched five supermarkets in South Florida under a new banner, Fresco y Mas, in order to appeal to the region's large Hispanic community.
The first Fresco y Más store launched in June this year and due to popular demand another five Fresco y Más stores opened this month.
Southeastern Grocers says its expansion of Fresco y Más offers customers an authentic Hispanic grocery store that delivers improved product assortment, better value and an enhanced shopping experience, with hundreds of new Hispanic items. The stores have a strong Hispanic focus on produce, meat and bakery, as well as over 3,000 items lowered in price across the store.
Ian McLeod, president and CEO of Southeastern Grocers said, “The overwhelming positive response we received from our first Fresco y Más store in Hialeah gave us the motivation to open additional Fresco y Más stores to bring more savings to more communities. We have been listening to our Fresco y Más customers in Hialeah and have tailored additional stores to reflect our customer’s personality, while providing great value, great prices and great service. Each Fresco y Más store features a wider array of Hispanic items our customers told us is important to them - an expanded product assortment, great low prices and new features, including a full-service Latin Butcher shop and new Cocina."
The company says the stores are focused on delivering lower, everyday pricing as well as exciting special promotions on the items customers buy most, from fresh produce and high quality meats, to expanded local Hispanic products and new store features, allowing families to enjoy authentic, quality food for less on more than 3,000 products throughout the store.
Enhancements in the new Fresco y Más stores include:
An all-new, full-service Latin butcher shop (Carniceria) offering an expanded selection of fresh, custom cut meats to better serve our customers.
Refreshed produce department featuring a farmer’s market setting with a wider selection of tropical fruits.
A new “Cocina” (kitchen) offering daily specials of freshly prepared family favorites made from scratch.
New Dollar Zone within the store, where customers can get over 600 everyday essentials for just $1, from grocery and cleaning to health and beauty.
Renovated bakery department offering an expanded selection of Hispanic pastries and local baked goods, including flan, tres leches, croquettes, and custom tres leches cakes, made fresh daily, as well as a wider selection of local favorites.
An all-new café with expanded seating area serving authentic Hispanic breakfast, pastries, drinks and hot and cold sandwiches.
An additional Wall of Value section featuring weekly specials on popular items customers purchase most.
More than 500 new Hispanic items available across several departments.
A new custom façade and vibrant yellow colors with bi-lingual signage throughout the store.
The first Fresco y Más store concept was launched in Hialeah, Fla., in June. Fresco y Más now includes six locations throughout South Florida.
All law enforcement agencies should track data on Hispanic ethnicity because no one has any idea how many people ensnared by the criminal justice system in this country are Latino, according to a study released Thursday by the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan research organization.
Unveiling a new tool that shows the confused patchwork of different policies on collecting ethnicity data across the 50 states, several civil society organizations that participated in the study urged law enforcement agencies to pick one standard and follow it uniformly so the public and the FBI can see how the criminal justice system affects the country’s largest ethnic minority.
Some 40 states reported race in their arrest records, but only 15 reported ethnicity, the groups’ survey found. Some reported Hispanic or Latino identity as a race, rather than an ethnicity, contradicting the Census Bureau’s practice.
The data collection, however, shifted as people passed through the different phases of the justice system, with different standards for populations facing arrest, imprisonment, parole or probation.
The only state that routinely collected publicly available data on both ethnicity and race for people at all four stages of the system was Alaska. Seven percent of Alaska’s 738,000 population was Latino as of last year, according to Census figures.
“No one knows how many Latinos are arrested, how many in prison, how many are on probation or on parole,” Ryan King, a senior fellow with the Urban Institute Justice Policy Center, said on a call with reporters.
Government bureaucracies have historically struggled to collect accurate data about Hispanics who wind up in the criminal justice system. Law enforcement has long collected data on race, dividing people up as black, white, Asian or Native American.
But the terms “Latino” and “Hispanic” refer to a multiracial ethnicity based on country of birth or ancestry. It’s possible to be Latino and belong to any race.
That phenomenon has also led to confusion at the Census Bureau. The agency collects information on Hispanic ethnicity, but 36.7 percent of Hispanic respondents said they belonged to “some other race.” While no accurate racial statistics for American Hispanics exist, most Latin Americans are people of color and mixed race. The Census Bureau doesn’t make use of common Latin American terms used to refer to people mixed race, like “mestizo” (Indigenous and European) or “mulato” (African and European) or Afro-Latino.
In the absence of a universal standard, many law enforcement agencies simply lump Latinos along with whites for the purposes of racial statistics. A 1987 effort to track data about Latinos by the Federal Bureau of Investigations was quickly abandoned due to the lack of standards in place at the local level. It was only revived three years ago.
Juan Cartagena, the president and general counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDF, said conflating the two groups had the effect of masking the criminal justice system’s tendency to disproportionately ensnare people of color. It also makes it harder for reformers to deal with the problem.
“When you leave Latinos out of the count, you effectively are taking Latinos out of policymaking decisions,” Cartagena said.
Fixing the problem is as easy as asking whether people arrested, jailed or paroled identify as Hispanic, he added.
“These solutions are accessible both economically and bureaucratically,” Cartagena said. “It’s 2016. Latinos are the largest minority ethnic group. … To actually have states sit back and not be able to say honestly how many Latinos are in the criminal justice systems that they control and management is an outrageous affront. It’s time that this changes.”