The world of entertainment is in the middle of a cultural and technological shift thanks to intensified focus on diversity, changes in the society, viewing habits and even unforeseen circumstances such as the global pandemic.
Groups once considered niche are emerging as highly coveted stakeholders and customers. Among them, the Latino population, which is a major demographic sector as far as media consumption and technology are concerned. According to Nielsen, four out of five Hispanics have access to streaming services at home.
There are about 61 million Latinos in the United States, about 15 million in California alone.
Recent Nielsen statistics show Latinos over-indexing on technology and streaming services are vying to get their share of the fast-growing market.
Comcast, meanwhile, is staying on top of the trends with renewed efforts to remain relevant and appealing to its multicultural consumers. That means having a deep understanding of the mindset of the communities and what they’re looking for and working with different departments within Comcast to deliver it through Xfinity On Demand, X1 bilingual voice remote, Xfinity Flex streaming device, Xfinity Mobile, which offers 5G cellular service, flexibility to switch any time between unlimited and by-the-gig data plans and more.
Xfinity Mobile earned one of the top rankings in American Customer Satisfaction Index for 2020-2021.
“We have a longstanding and deep commitment to our Hispanic consumers that exists on multiple fronts,” says Jose Velez-Silva, Vice President of Integrated Multicultural Brand Marketing for Comcast. “Our goal on the multicultural team is to build awareness and brand affinity for our products and services and drive trial and adoption among the increasingly influential Latino segment.”
To accomplish that, with the help of algorithms as well as a team of editors, the company created a curated Latino selection within Xfinity on Demand. It includes telenovelas, TV shows, movies and kids’ shows in Spanish and English to appeal to Spanish speakers as well as Hispanic and Latino viewers who speak primarily English.
“With today’s landscape, you need to have a system that works for everyone in the household,” Velez-Silva says.
Meanwhile, the X1 voice remote recognizes commands in both Spanish and English and the recently launched XFi allows Xfinity Internet customers to manage their Wi-Fi network and connected home devices in Spanish.
To make things even easier, Xfinity Flex 4K streaming device consolidates content from the most popular streaming platforms, including Peacock, Hulu, Disney+, Paramount+, Spotify, SlingTV, HBO Max and Discovery+ making it convenient and quick for viewers to access their favorite programming, all in one place.
“Latinos are pacesetters of cultural and technological change, and we’re continuing to innovate right alongside them,” Velez-Silva says. “We’re adapting to reflect the consumption habits of our audience and shape a new era in Hispanic media.”
Comcast’s current Xfinity Mobile advertising features California native Latin singer Becky G. The campaign targets the 200 percenters – bicultural Hispanics who consider themselves 100 percent Hispanic and 100 percent American. Naturally, California – and Northern California in particular –” is an indispensable market for Comcast,” Velez-Silva says.
“Becky G is the embodiment of the 200 percenters,” he adds, “and that will resonate with the Hispanic community in California and other regions across the U.S.”
Of course, you can’t have true diversity by focusing on only one group. In his role, Velez-Silva leads all the communications and marketing to ensure Comcast reaches not only Hispanic audiences, but also Black, Asian and other diverse groups.
“We continually update timely collections of content relevant to multicultural audiences including curated collections for Lunar New Year, Black History Month, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, Diwali and more,” he says.
“Black Voices. Black Stories” content hub reflects a range of experiences within the Black community. Black Experience on Xfinity Channel is endorsed by the African American Film Critics Association. “Echando Pa’lante Juntos” celebrates the spirit of Latinos forging a path for future generations. And the LGBTQ collection has content sections for different groups within that community.
“We don’t just show up for the heritage months but are committed to providing high quality content and great products and services year-round,” Velez-Silva says.
Even in the pandemic.
Comcast offered 60 days of free internet services to new Internet Essentials in March 2020, which was extended to June 2021. The company is also partnering with schools to help students continue advancing their education from home, helping provide free Wi-Fi at hundreds of community centers and offering grants and resources through Comcast RISE Initiative.
“It is the right thing to do,” Velez-Silva says. “We are a business, we need to look in terms of what is profitable, but you also have to look into what makes the right thing for the people that are within the footprint that you serve.”
Comcast’s earnings reports show it has significantly grown its internet services – “and we’ll continue that growth with the emphasis we’re placing on it.”
Needless to say, the pandemic and the launch of new streaming apps produced a boom in programming consumption and Comcast saw viewing gains on Xfinity platforms in 2020. Additionally, OTT viewing was up 73 percent year-over-year on X1 and Flex.
The industry is also experiencing continued adoption of OTT programming on X1, with 78 percent of customers accessing OTT apps on the platform monthly, up from 68 percent last year. And of those customers, nearly 80 percent are using two or more apps monthly, according to industry data.
The engagement comes from curated content and easily discoverable free programming. “We’re always looking for new ways and cutting-edge technologies to bring viewers and partners closer over the shared love of engaging content.”
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