3 minute read | Oct 13, 2022

Beyond on-screen: Off-camera diversity attracts new audiences

Content Development

While most conversations on representation in media are centered around what audiences see on screen, of growing importance to viewers—and growing influence in attracting new audiences—is diversity and inclusion behind the cameras.

Diverse talent in roles such as producers, directors and writers shape media content that is more nuanced, accurate and inclusive. But the lack of Black and Hispanic off-camera representation is glaring. According to the Writers Guild of America, in 2020 Black writers made up only 15.5% of TV series writers, 9.7% of plot writers and 7% of screenwriters. And a recent Nielsen study in collaboration with the Latino Donor Collaborative found that just 8% of the 530 most-popular streaming programs have behind-the-camera Hispanic representation.

Audiences looking for representation on both sides of the camera are increasingly turning to diverse-owned media outlets. These broadcasters, networks and publishers deliver an impressive reach across the U.S., but that’s not where their influence ends. While diverse-owned networks are more likely to attract Black and Hispanic viewers, advertising on diverse-owned media can also extend reach to other audiences, especially if those audiences crave inclusive content. And they do.

This year, 53% of overall viewers are more likely to watch inclusive content, up 13% from 20211. And these viewers are also spending more time with diverse-owned networks. On national television, for instance, all viewers watched more than 140 million hours of content from Black-owned networks in March 2022―double what Black audiences alone watched2.

With a reach of more than 48 million viewers in March 2022, brands and advertisers not investing in Black-owned outlets are missing out on both the opportunity to reach more of their target audience, and to market to new audiences interested in diverse content.

For viewers of Latino-led content, off-camera representation translates to increased bingeability and new audience retention. Our collaboration with Latino Donor Collaborative evaluated the relationship between behind-the-camera representation and Nielsen Gracenote’s new bingeability scores among the most-streamed content of the past year. 

We found that Hispanic talent contribution to bingeable content is significant. Out of the top streaming programs in 2021, 134 had bingeability scores of 3 or higher, or highly bingeable. Of the top bingeable content, Hispanic talent has a significant contribution to the production of a show, as 56 of these 134 programs feature Hispanic representation on at least one side of the camera.

Hispanic representation drives bingeability

Also of note, our analysis found that Latino-led content amplifies the value of streaming platforms because, while audiences came for inclusive content, they stayed to watch more than their original program choice. This signals an opportunity for advertisers to draw in new audiences—and keep them longer—by centering diverse talent both on- and off-camera.

Despite the exceptional performance of content that features Black and Hispanic talent behind-the-scenes, representation across the industry remains low. Brands and advertisers can change these disparities by proactively seeking out partnerships with diverse-owned media outlets and investing with content and platforms that center diversity at every stage of production. These partnerships offer a way for brands to be a champion for cultural equity while expanding their reach to new audiences and becoming a name consumers associate with inclusion.

For more insights, download Amplifying Black voices in media: Creating informed, thoughtful and authentic experiences and Latino-led content and viewers: The building blocks for streaming’s success.


  1. Attitudes on Representation on TV Study, April 2022
  2. Nielsen Diverse-Owned Media report, February 2022

*This article originally appeared on www.nielsen.com.

Inclusivity has increased in new TV content, but ad spend has yet to catch up

Despite increasing diversity in popular TV programming, brands’ investment in inclusive content hasn’t kept pace.

Jul 3, 2024
Diverse by design

This report highlights holistic strategies for investing in diverse-owned media and in content that authentically represents diverse perspectives and characters.

Jun 13, 2024
Metadata matters: Powering future FAST channel success

This guide will help FAST channels prepare for future search and discovery journeys in next-gen FAST experiences.

Apr 3, 2024

Get in touch

Fill out the form to contact us!

    255 of 255 Character(s) left

    By sharing your contact information with us, you acknowledge that you have read our Privacy Statement and that you consent to receiving communications about Gracenote's business, products/services, and events that may be of interest to you. However, if you ever change your mind, you can unsubscribe from our communications by following the instructions within the email that you receive from us.

    Thank you for reaching out to us!

    Your inquiry has been received, and our team is eager to assist you. We will review your message promptly and respond to you as soon as possible.