By: Roberto Ruiz, Senior Vice President of Brand Solutions at Univision Communications Inc.
At E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, Univision announced that it will launch its UVideos digital network as an application on Xbox 360 Live Gold later this year. The UVideos application will allow audiences to discover, interact and watch the best programming from Univision’s portfolio of television networks. UVideos will be optimized for the Xbox 360 console, taking advantage of Kinect to give viewers an immersive experience and will feature social discovery, allowing users to see what their friends are watching or follow their favorite Univision personalities.
Although Univision is the first U.S. Hispanic company to offer content on Xbox, the news came as no surprise to many since Hispanics heavily over index in the use of digital and gaming devices. In fact, according to Simmons, Hispanics are 32 percent more likely than non-Hispanics to consider video games their main source of entertainment.
Hispanics are so eager for gaming offerings that they are also 54 percent more likely to buy a new video game the day it’s released than non-Hispanic gamers. Video games are the No. 1 games/toys purchased among Hispanics – 7.8 million Hispanics bought video games in the last 12 months. And in the next year, according to Scarborough, 1.6 million Hispanics are planning to buy a gaming console.
Deep diving into Hispanic gaming preferences indicates a higher affinity for action among different video game categories, with action/adventure games ranking highest among Hispanics gamers at 33 percent versus an estimated 24 percent of non-Hispanics. Sports-themed games come in second, with about 27 percent of Hispanics playing them versus an estimated 7 percent of non-Hispanics.
Whether they buy or rent video games, the truth is, Hispanics are playing – consistently and more often. And like their non-Hispanic counterparts, they are beyond the discovery stage and wholeheartedly interacting on consoles. For example, 29 percent of Hispanics prefer to own or play on Xbox 360 vs. 24 percent of non-Hispanics; 27 percent of Hispanics prefer to own or play on PlayStation 3 versus 22 percent of non-Hispanics; 26 percent of Hispanics prefer to own or play on Nintendo DS versus 19 percent of non-Hispanics and the same preferences continue with Game Boy Advance SP, Sony PSP and PlayStation.
Hispanics’ affinity toward gaming is already driving growth for brands. According to Simmons, from 2010 to 2011, Hispanics contributed 23 percent growth to Xbox while non-Hispanic gaming on Xbox grew 10 percent. With PlayStation, Hispanics contributed five percent growth while non-Hispanic gaming on the PlayStation console fell three percent.
With a population that is younger (62 percent of the Hispanic population versus 44 percent of non-Hispanics are under 35) and growing (Hispanics will account for 95 percent of the teen population growth in the United States through 2020), the opportunity to reach engaged, brand loyal gamers and grow your business lies with Hispanics.