Washington – Spanish-language media remain important to Latinos in the United States and suffered smaller declines than mainstream outlets in 2010, according to a study released by the Pew Research Center.
English-language dailies had a 5 percent drop in circulation between March and September 2010 compared with the same period the previous year.
Meanwhile Hispanic dailies actually increased their circulation by 1.9 percent and their finances "also appear to have improved after a rough 2009," the report said.
Television networks broadcasting in Spanish had an even more positive year. Univision's audience, for example, continued to grow, and on some occasions in 2010 "even surpassed one or more of the English-language networks."
Estimates indicate that Univision, much-smaller rival Telemundo and all their affiliates combined will end up generating $1.5 billion in advertising revenues during the 2010-2011 season.
As proof of just how strong the Hispanic market is, the study said that Univision plans to launch a 24-hour news network in 2012.
Magazines and Hispanic radio stations also showed growth. The number of Spanish-language radio stations grew by 8 percent, from 1,224 in 2008 to 1,323 in 2009, the most recent year for which figures are available.
And while Hispanics do not have the same volume of Internet access as other groups in the U.S., growth was also seen in that area.
In the use of digital media, bilingual Latinos and those who chiefly speak English are more connected than those who only speak Spanish, according to the study.
Similarly, Latinos who only speak Spanish are less likely that those who speak English to use the Internet, have an Internet connection at home, or have access to broadband services and cell phones.
Nonetheless, Internet use among Latinos who only speak Spanish increased from 36 percent in 2009 to 47 percent last year.
The analysis found that the digital divide between Latinos and whites continued in 2010. Last year, 65 percent of Latinos and 66 percent of African Americans had Internet access compared with 77 percent of whites.
Only 45 percent of Latinos had access to broadband services at home, compared with 52 percent of blacks and 65 percent of whites.