Hispanic radio is a critically important element of radio listening throughout the United States. Gone are the days when Hispanic radio was heard only regionally. Today, Hispanic radio is a monumental part of our industry.
Here are some demographic facts: More than three-quarters of Hispanic Americans/Latinos live in the West (41 percent) and South (36 percent). In 2010, 37.6 million, or 75 percent, of Hispanics lived in the eight states with Hispanic populations of one million or more (California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, Arizona, New Jersey, and Colorado). Between 2000 and 2010,the Hispanic population grew by 43 percent, or more than four times the growth in the total population at 10 percent.
People of Mexican origin represent the largest group of Hispanic Americans/Latinos at 63.0 percent, followed by Puerto Ricans (9.2 percent), and Cuban Americans (3.5 percent). Hispanics were the majority of the population in 82 out of 3,143 counties, accounting for 16 percent of the total Hispanic population. 34.3 percent of Hispanics are less than 18 years of age. The median age for Hispanic Americans/Latinos is just under 28, which means that 75% of adult Hispanics are age 18-49, compared to 56% of non-Hispanics.
It used to be that Hispanic radio was a speciality, understood only by Hispanic broadcasters. More and more today, however, "general market" radio companies are recognizing the value of Hispanic programming, because reaching Hispanic consumers is important. Like non-Hispanic radio, there is a need for Hispanic programming in all demographics. As a result, multiple Hispanic formats continue to evolve. It is my belief that there is need for UNITY among Hispanic radio operators. The 2010 Census has sparked renewed interest, and it provides a wealth of information that needs to be spread to all corners of the advertising world. This industry-within-an-industry needs unity to strengthen its opportunity with advertisers. Though competition will always exist, everyone benefits if all radio ships rise with the tide of industry growth. By finding a unified way to build Hispanic radio and increase its tools, its opportunities, and its sophistication, we can grow as an industry.
If you are involved in Hispanic radio at any level of management, programming, ownership, marketing, sales, or advertising, I ask your support for this conference to ensure success and help us build a stronger, unified future together. There is strength in numbers. A giant piece of radio's future will be determined by Hispanic audiences. I guarantee that this will be a positive, enlightening experience. It will help you grow personally and help grow your business. If you're not in Hispanic radio but think it's in your future, we hope you, too, will consider attending. Sincerely,