You're probably looking at the title of today's entry and wondering if it shouldn't read "Apples and Oranges." But while the Rock Radio community was running around trying to find that next big hit or figure out the "Cell Phone Only" problem, the "Hispanic problem" has become an issue in many markets.
Sure, if you're in San Antonio, San Diego, or Miami, you're knowingly smirking. But if you're in Raleigh, NC or Springfield, MA, you may be wondering what's going on with your Arbitron surveys. Changes in immigration and overall population are heavily figuring into Rock radio ratings, driven largely by an influx of young Hispanic males into many markets.
This is how a market like Atlanta with only 8.4% Hispanics can destabilize Rock shares. Nearly one-quarter of all 18-24 males are Hispanic, which tells an important tale. Thanks to Arbitron's Gary Marince, and researcher/strategist Ted Ruscitti, we have been working on demystifying this situation, and helping our clients see it for what it is.
Ralph Cipolla and I have put together a piece for Jacobs Media clients that makes the case for paying attention to the Hispanic audience composition in many markets, driven by the population changes that went into effect during this past Fall survey.
Rock and Alternative have been on unsteady paths for a number of years. A combination of the "Cell Phone Only" problem, a lack of great new music to play, and new technology has played a role in this decline. Now, many markets can add Hispanics to this list of threats - and opportunities.