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New Digital Platforms And Inclusive Content Enable Brands To Engage The $1.2 Trillion Asian-American Consumer Market Like Never Before

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Asian American-led television shows, social media and esports present new opportunities to reach the fastest growing consumer segment in the U.S.

As the United States begins a path towards economic recovery, the $1.2 trillion Asian-American consumer market will play a critical role in its revitalization. For forward-looking companies and brands, the opportunity to reach the country’s fastest growing and most affluent multicultural consumer group has never been more accessible, according to Nielsen’s newly published Diverse Intelligence Series consumer report, Engaging Asian-American Consumers at the Dawn of a New Decade. The emergence of streaming services, the growth of Asian American-led content and the exponential rise of esports have created all-new ways to cultivate affinity with this digitally-influential and tech-savvy community.

For years, the stats on Asian-American consumers have captivated marketers. With a buying power projected to reach $1.6 trillion by 2024, the average Asian-American household income ($94,889) is 41% higher than the national average. As a result, Asian-American households spend more annually in several key categories including: housing (+24%), food (+29%), education (+128%), apparel (+67%) and new cars (+$37%). Historically, the complex diversity of the community and the lack of wide-reaching pan-Asian media have created barriers for U.S. brands. However, the mass adoption of new digital platforms and the popularity of inclusive content have helped attract and galvanize a national Asian-American audience.

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Key insights featured in the report include:

  • Asian Americans are more likely to be cord-cutters
    • Asian Americans are cutting the cord at a rate that is almost twice that of the total population and are relying more on broadband-only
    • Accessing live television through internet-based services like Sling TV, Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV and AT&T TV Now
    • Engaging more on TV-connected devices that require internet connection (i.e. Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku) at 49% versus 44% of the total U.S. population
  • Asian Americans are finding more Asian American-led content on streaming platforms
    • 82% of Asian Americans subscribe to at least one streaming service compared to 72% of the total population
    • Popular Netflix content among Asian Americans include comedy specials featuring Ronny ChiengJo Koy and Ken Jeong, and series with Asian American leads including Ugly DeliciousWu Assassins and Patriot Act.
    • The top episodic Netflix series in 2019 among Asian Americans also reflect a diverse lead cast, such as V Wars, Lost in Space and I Am Not Okay With This.
  • Asian Americans are big players in the gaming industry
    • Asian Americans are 14% more likely to own a gaming console and 37% more likely to own Virtual Reality (VR) headsets that are mainly used for gaming
    • Asian American gamers are younger with 69% of Asian American gamers falling between ages 13-34 versus only 44% of U.S. gamers
    • Asian Americans are leading the shift to online and mobile gaming as they are 84% more likely to play multi-player online games
    • Among Asian-American gamers, over 1 in 4 say they watched an esports tournament livestream in the last three months, and 53% of Asian gamers say they have watched 3 hours or more of esports in a typical week
  • Asian Americans are going beyond live TV to get their news
    • During the first three weeks in March, time spent watching the news grew by 27% for Asian Americans versus 15% for Non-Hispanic Whites
    • Relying on digital platforms to access news content; over-indexing the total population for all types of news (i.e. political, sports, tech, business/financial)
    • 15% more likely to use social media for their news versus total population

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“The Asian American community is at an inflection point, which has created a ripe opportunity for marketers to drive business growth,” stated Mariko Carpenter, Nielsen’s Vice President of Strategic Community Alliances. “Brands hoping to engage with Asian Americans must understand the critical importance of inclusive media representation and the ways Asian Americans are integrating technology for media consumption. Understanding how these forces intersect and intermingle will be the key to unlocking the potential of this market.”

“This report encapsulates the incredible contributions of Asian Americans to our country’s economic and cultural landscape, which will be important for marketers to recognize” said Frank Washington, CEO and Owner, Crossings TV. “Given the stress COVID-19 has placed on the Asian community in particular, thoughtful outreach at this time is highly likely to result in a path to brand loyalty.”

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