AOL Latino has just announced the results of its second annual U.S. Hispanic Cyberstudy. No real surprises here, but the results are consistent with and support a lot of the research that we’ve seen and conducted over the last few years. Though I would have preferred to have seen more interviews with off-line Hispanics to get a better read on usage rates, the study is to be commended for using bilingual interviewers and avoiding a bias in favor of English speakers as some studies have done.
The most striking insight for me was the huge number of on-line interviewees that are recent Internet users – 20% connected their home computers to the Internet within the last six months. The number is 6% for the General Market. Perhaps we are seeing the Digital Divide beginning to close.
Some of the key findings:
- Hispanics are relatively new to the Internet
– 42% of Hispanic online consumers have had Internet access at home for less than two years vs. 15% of the general online population.
Discovering entertainment online
– More than half of online Hispanics (54%) regularly or occasionally listen to music online, compared with less than a third (30%) of the general online population.
– More than a third of online Hispanics regularly or occasionally download music files (39%), while 27% of the general online population says they use the Internet to do this.
– A third of online Hispanic consumers (34%) regularly or occasionally watch video clips online, while fewer than one in four (23%) of the general online population does so.
– Almost half (43%) say they go online and watch TV at the same time. More than a third (36%) view the Internet as an alternative to TV, reporting that they watch TV less since they’ve started going online.
Using the Internet to communicate
– Hispanic online consumers have embraced the Internet’s ability to keep them connected with their friends and family, and are using several advanced features far more than the general online population.
– For example, nearly two-thirds of online Hispanics (64%) regularly or occasionally use the Internet to instant message, compared with less than half of the general online population (48%).
Discovering and buying products and services online
– Nearly two-thirds (63%) consider the Internet the best information source to start learning about products and services they want to buy, and more than half (59%) say it’s the best place to learn about available brands.
– More than half (59%) now view the Internet as the best source for comparing prices (vs. 50% in 2002), and half (51%) say it’s the best place to get information for making a final brand decision (vs. 40% in 2002).
– Among online Hispanic households that bought a car in the past three years, nearly two in three (60%) researched different vehicle types online. Nearly six in ten (58%) compared new car prices.
– About half of offline Hispanics who speak at least some Spanish (49%) say there aren’t sites and things to do online that would be of interest to Hispanics.
– More than half of all offline Hispanics (56%) say that one reason they aren’t online is because they’ve heard there is too little Spanish content online.