The official nationwide celebration of black history turns 80 this month. "Black History Month" also offers a good opportunity to look at media trends specifically for the black community.
The recently announced merger of UPN and the WB into the new CW (which begins programming this Fall) presents the biggest new media event for black media users, as it blends two TV networks targeting younger viewers into one. UPN historically has offered the most substantial "black" programming among the top 6 networks. It will be interesting to see how much UPN and WB programming survives...and how that presents opportunities or challenges for other networks.
One of the breakout shows of this season is "Everybody Hates Chris", inspired and executive-produced by comedian Chris Rock. That show is a lock to continue and be renewed. The other black-targeted shows? No word yet...
For comedy specials, Chris Rock remains a huge HBO attraction while Dave Chappelle is just about to make a return to TV on Oprah's couch. Bernie Mac has lost a bit of heat but Cedric the Entertainer and Queen Latifah are on the rise. And many other new TV characters on network shows attracting buzz, especially on shows like "Lost", "Desperate Housewives" and "Grey's Anatomy" (among others).
Of course, Oprah is probably the most special entertainer of all. She makes dreams come true (or tries her best), even making Dave Letterman's dream come true with a ratings breaking December appearance. She sets the pace for millions of "water cooler" conversations everywhere. And she does good social works improving lives.
Hip Hop culture continues to be a major influence with popular music, media and fashion. It's not unusual to see to two or more Hip Hop flavored radio stations in major markets. In the 26 years since the mainstream success of "Rapper's Delight", hip hop is heard on Top 40 as much as (if not more than) Rock. Hip Hop really is a form of pop and, based on CD sales and radio ratings, it's a strong performer.
According to TargetMarketNews.com's newest edition of its annual “The Buying Power of Black America” report, as the American economy continues to move sluggishly, African-American households are spending more in home entertainment and consumer electronics.
Blacks make up 13.4 percent of the U.S. population, according to the U.S. Census, with an annual median income of $30,134. The collective household income of blacks was $561.1 billion in 2004, according to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington.
Products and services showing the greatest one-year increase were sound systems (+127%) and computer online services (+38%) -- showing growing importance in media concumption.
To view U.S. Census figures, click here
For highlights of "The Buying Power of Black America" report, go the TargetMarketNews website by clicking here
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Friday, February 03, 2006,