Celebrating the Black Consumer

Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

February is Black History Month, also known as African American Month. It celebrates and recognizes the roles that African Americans have played in shaping U.S. history. Originally established as Black History Week by American historian Carter G. Woodson, it was expanded to a month-long celebration in 1976.

As consumers, African Americans have a buying power of $1.3 trillion and are 47.8 million strong. They are socially active – as end-users as well as influencers. They also spend more time with media across devices – specifically radio, than the U.S. population in general.

When it comes to media, no other medium connects and reaches more African Americans than radio. According to the latest RADAR data, radio reaches 90% of adults 18+. They tune in weekly for 13.1 hours – higher than the general population – even Hispanics – with greater listening from morning through evening drive.

With their incredible buying power, black consumers are an attractive and powerful target for brands to reach. Focused on food, fashion and family, radio serves as the perfect medium to engage with these consumers. Radio reaches:

  • 92% who have a household income of $100,000+
  • 94% whose household plans to pay $45,000+ on a new/leased vehicle
  • 94% who spend $500+ on fine jewelry
  • 93% who have a home mortgage
  • 91% who have any type of investment
  • 90% who spent over $200 on groceries in the past week
  • 90% who spend $500+ on men’s or women’s clothing
  • 89% who have a second home or real estate property

It is not just about buying power. With Election Day quickly approaching, candidates, PACs and political organizations will need to reach out to black voters. With the unique emotional connection within black communities, strengthened by the personal connection among the listeners and personalities on those stations, radio is a must for any political campaign. Radio reaches 90% of Blacks/African Americans who always vote in presidential, as well as statewide, elections.

While the focus on Blacks/African Americans rises during Black History Month, it is important to recognize and celebrate past and current-day contributions by this powerful consumer group throughout the year.


Sources: Nielsen, RADAR 143, December 2019, Blacks 18+; Scarborough USA+ 2019 Release 1 Total (Jan 2018-May 2019)


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