While Black consumers have traditionally been loyal cable and satellite TV subscribers, these households are increasingly cutting the cord at a faster rate, according to a new study from market research firm Horowitz.
Black households had been shedding cable at a slower rate than the overall market, but Horowitz data shows that over the past four years pay-TV penetration among Black households has declined from 88% in 2017 to 61% in 2021. And at least half of all cord-cutter Black households in the U.S. have done so in the past three years. A Pew Research study released earlier this year found that in a cross-section of the general market, an average of 56% of all Americans still watch traditional linear TV.
Black audiences “should not be taken for granted,” said Adriana Waterston, Horowitz’s chief revenue officer and insights and strategy lead. “Many companies are late to the game, only now focusing on the Black audience in the context of BLM and new diversity mandates.”
One consideration that likely shapes how Black Americans watch content is the availability of culturally relevant programming, with 60% of Black consumers saying they watch content that’s specifically geared to Black audiences at least weekly.