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Why SiriusXM may be making the worst mistake with Latino listeners

LatinaLista — We Latinos looove listening to radio — no matter from where.

Earlier this year, Nielsen reported that Latinos, specifically Spanish-dominant adult Latinos, ages 18-49, had the highest rates of listening to the radio of all adults in the U.S.

And it doesn’t stop there.

Just like with every other industry confronted with a digital challenge, the radio industry sees many of its listeners moving away from the “little box” to the smartphone, desktop or iPad when it comes to listening to their favorite music or programs. In this arena of ‘online radio,’ Latinos are found, yet again, to over-index in listening habits.

According to MarketingCharts, “Hispanics over-index in online radio listening to a greater degree than any other online medium, representing almost one-fifth of the total internet radio audience. Half of Hispanic digital audio listeners spend 2-3 hours listening per day, with the average time spent listening to online radio being 9 hours per week overall…Music is the most valued digital audio content, followed by the news and general interest programming.”

Given these facts, it is not surprising that the most successful satellite radio platform, SiriusXM, would do away with 8 out of 10 of their Latin music channels on their car radio platform and relegate them to “online-only broadcast.”

That decision is great for those Latinos who would much rather listen to SiriusXM radio via their mobile devices but what about those who would rather listen to their automobile‘s radio to get their fix of daily radio listening?

Where does this decision leave them? Not to mention, that the kind of technology adoption cited in the MarketingCharts study almost always refers to younger Latinos and Millennials.

There’s now a national outcry to get SiriusXM to reconsider their decision.

According to the campaign #MoreLatinMusicOnSiriusXM, SiriusXM terminated the Latin channels with “little notice to listeners, labels, or artists. One of the two remaining Latin stations dedicates significant airtime to non-Latin artists, and the severe programming changes on the platform have relegated entire genres, including Regional Mexican, Reggaeton, Latin Rock, Salsa, Latin Pop and Latin Jazz, to online-only broadcast–no longer available in cars.”

The campaign wants SiriusXM to recognize the significance of car radio listening for Latinos and to restore some of the Latin channels back on the car radio, as well as, improve the channel’s programming.

It’s great that companies recognize Latinos are being seen as early adopters of technology but it’s also important to realize that not every Latino uses technology in the same way, especially those with buying power.

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