Study on Blacks and Tech Reveals Digital Users Becoming Owners

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By Lauren Victoria Burke, NNPA Newswire Contributor

No one doubts that Black Twitter has had an impact on real world and policy change. But now, according to a new study by Nielsen, African American consumers, influencers and digital entrepreneurs are leveraging digital power to not only influence events but to own content.

The new study entitled “From Consumers to Creators: The Digital Lives of Black Consumers” concluded the following:

  • Sixty-one percent of African Americans agree that they enjoy learning about technology or electronics products from others, which is 14% higher than for non-Hispanic whites.
  • African Americans are one of the most active Twitter segments with 19 million users, 28 percent of the popular platform’s 67 million users.
  • African Americans 18+ are increasingly tuning in to podcasts, with 70% growth in engagement from 2014 to 2017 (from 2.12 million to 3.6 million). African Americans make up a significant portion of U.S. gamers as seventy-three percent of African Americans 13 and older identify as gamers compared to 66% of the total population.

Because new technology has allowed many people to access digital power and reach thousands in a way that was impossible decades ago, some consumers have quickly flipped the game around into being the operators of content platforms such as blogs, podcasts and even broadcast shows on YouTube.

“African Americans are leveraging innovations in technology and social platforms to level the playing field and get ahead in a marketplace unencumbered by corporate barriers to entry,” said Cheryl Grace, senior vice president of U.S. Strategic Community Alliances and Consumer Engagement at Nielsen.

Barriers to entry such as licensing, start-up costs, regulatory barriers and fees for entry have historically been problematic for entrepreneurs to navigate. Minority entrepreneurs face an even larger set of challenges since their ability to attract angel investors and institutional startup money has always been more of a challenge.

Another noteworthy find by the global analytics and data company is that black gamers are the second largest group after Asians. The report also highlights that African Americans are still spending money faster than any other group of people, with a current buying power of $1.3 trillion. This number is expected to increase to $1.54 trillion by 2022 based on gains in population, income, and education.

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