A disproportionate share of YouTube’s top personalities are minorities, a striking contrast to the most popular shows on mainstream television, where the stars are largely white. These minority-produced, home-grown shows are drawing massive audiences — the top one has 5.2 million subscribers — enough to attract the attention of major advertisers.
“A lot of U.S. marketers are leaving minority audiences on the table,” said Seneca Mudd, the director of industry initiatives at the Interactive Advertising Bureau. “Advertisers would ignore that trend at their own peril.”
Among the 20 most-subscribed-to channels on YouTube, eight feature minorities. Most are Asian American. Many more black and Latino shows populate the top 50. These producers are also finding an audience that has been largely neglected by Hollywood. Nearly 80 percent of minorities regularly watch online videos, compared with less than 70 percent of whites, the Pew Internet & American Life Project says.
Analysts say the trend of minority content on YouTube makes sense. Networks feel pressure to appeal to a broader audience, but Internet video can thrive by just targeting niches because the cost of producing a show is so low, said David Bushman, television curator for the Paley Center for Media.
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