Nielsen Studies Diversity Across Platforms – Streamers Lead, Cable Lags; Women, Minorities Underrepresented On TV

A new report by Nielsen found that diverse identity groups appear more frequently on streaming shows than on broadcast or cable, a reason people may be migrating to the platforms.

Overall representation of diverse identity groups in on-screen programming is low across all media platforms, Nielsen noted in Being Seen on Screen: Diverse Representation and Inclusion on TV. Among the 300 most-viewed programs in 2019, 92% had some level of diversity in the cast (women, people of color, or LGBTQ+) but few had representation on screen that reflected the general population. “Presence is not the same as representation,” the report said.

Streaming fares better for inclusion, followed by broadcast, then cable. Subscription video on demand (SVOD) programming represents Blacks, Hispanics and Asians well, the report said, “helping us understand, in part, why more diverse audiences are subscribing to streaming services than the general population.”

“Viewing audiences are increasingly seeking content that tells their stories,” it said, noting programs that represent multiple identity groups evenly yield higher overall audience ratings for all viewers when compared to shows that have a significant over or under representation of any one identity group.

Nearly one-third of the content on cable doesn’t have parity representation of indigenous, people of color (Black, Native American, Asian & Pacific islander, Hispanic/Latinx, Middle eastern/ North African, Multiracial), women or LGBTQ talent

The study looks at scripted, reality, variety and news programming for the makeup of the top 10 recurring cast members in a program and how that compares with their representation in the general population and with the makeup of the audience.

The report is based on data from Gracenote Inclusion Analytics and Nielsen audience measurement. Nielsen said the findings aim to show media owners the degree to which their programming is inclusive and the diversity of the audience they draw. Brands and agencies can then measure their advertising investment and alignment to inclusive content.

Women are 52% of the U.S population and show up on screen only 38% of the time (48.9% on SVOD versus 37.8% in cable and 33% in broadcast). Women over 50 in particular are 60% less likely to see themselves in programming than in the general population. Specifically, women over 50 comprise 20% of the population and 20% of all TV viewers but have SOS of less than 8%. SOS refers to share of screen — composition of the top 10 recurring cast members in a program.

The study also uses and Inclusion Opportunity Index, which compares the SOS of an identity group to their representation in population estimates, and an Inclusion Audience Index that compares the SOS of a group to their representation in a program’s audience. It takes into consideration the viewing audience and viewing minute contribution.

The share of screen for white men is 88.7% on cable; 66.9% on broadcast and 64.9% on SVOD. African Americans share of SOS is 7.5% on cable, 24.7% on broadcast and 18.9% on SVOD.

The study also uses and Inclusion Opportunity Index, which compares the SOS of an identity group to their representation in population estimates, and an Inclusion Audience Index that compares the SOS of a group to their representation in a program’s audience. It takes into consideration the viewing audience and viewing minute contribution.

The LGBTQ community is represented above parity, the report said, with one of four top performing programs across cable, broadcast and streaming having strong relative representation of LGBTQ+ cast members (7%) in proportion to share of the population (4.5%).

Across all TV, Native Americans’ share of screen is less than one quarter of their presence in population estimates.

In a breakdown by genre, the report found women are not well represented in any genre but fare the best in science fiction, drama, comedy and horror and worst in news. Hispanic/Latinx women in particular are consistently and significantly less represented across all platforms and genres.

Representation of people of color is at parity in music and drama, followed by science fiction and action and adventure. They have the least representation in news.

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2020/12/nielsen-diversity-across-tv-platforms-genres-streamers-lead-but-women-minorities-underrepresented-on-tv-1234640087/