Reaching the LGBT “TVideo” Viewer

By Amy Hunt, VP, TVideo and Media Sales, GfK MRI

A core promise of OTT viewing and programmatic ad buying is the ability to target key audiences. With a deeper understanding of key consumer groups, advertisers have the ability to target potential customers with greater accuracy and effectiveness. Collectively, LGBT consumers in the US account for sizeable discretionary spending each year – much of it concentrated in urban areas. LGBT median household income ($55,000) is slightly less than average, but nearly 10% of LGBT households earn in excess of $200,000 annually. Can advertisers and media companies get smarter about reaching this important audience – beyond leveraging well-known niche platforms?

Recognizing that we are in the heart of Pride Month, GfK MRI decided to use its Cord Evolution research to explore LGBT consumers specifically in their TVideo viewing habits. Among the findings:

Half (51%) of LGBT people are between the ages of 18 and 34, with a median age of 35. And while the majority are white (72%), they also over index for being Hispanic (116) and African American (137).

While many LGBT consumers still use traditional TV access, they are less likely overall to have standard pay-TV packages. LGBT consumers are huge fans of streaming video and music, though, consuming much of the latter via smartphones. They are also big on binge viewing their favorite programs; two-thirds (68%) of LGBT consumers are regular binge viewers – compared to 62% of the general population.

One of the more significant insights into LGBT TVideo preferences is that they are 50% more likely than all adults to be cordless, with almost one-third (29%) having cut the pay-TV cord or reporting that they never had one.

A deep dive into streaming preferences shows that Netflix is far and away the top source of programming for LGBT viewers. They are 11% less likely than all adults to watch Amazon Prime – but they over-index for ad-supported platforms like Hulu (135) and YouTube (125).

So how can you make this key audience part of your TVideo advertising mix? Keep in mind their passions for streaming video, and binge viewing in particular; ads and promotions connected to these are likely to resonate with LGBT viewers. Also remember that the LGBT audience is very mobile-forward, so messaging and platforms that play to the unique wants of mobile viewers will always be a plus.

Another way to reach LGBT consumers is through ads connected to music on the radio or streaming music platforms – such as Google Play, iHeartRadio, Pandora, and Spotify.

LGBT consumers represent a powerful opportunity for programmers and advertisers – and in-depth consumer data like GfK MRI’s Cord Evolution points out a host of engaging, sometimes unexpected options for reaching this savvy target group.

Amy Hunt can be reached at [email protected].


The Cynsiders column is a platform for industry leaders to reach out to colleagues, followers, and the public at large. In their own words and in targeted Q&As, columnists address breaking news, issues of the day, and the larger changes going on in the ever-evolving world of television, video and digital. Cynsiders columns live on Cynopsis’ main page and are promoted across all daily newsletters. We welcome readers’ comments, queries, and column ideas at [email protected]


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