Pop Programming, YLAs and the American Lifestyle

Telemundo_JacquelineHern__ndez.jpgEntertainment programming – TV, movies and music – is affected by changes in population demographics. So the results of a national “Generation YLA” study released by Telemundo Communications Group, Inc. & Subsidiaries – a division of NBCUniversal that leads the industry in the production and distribution of high-quality Spanish-language content to U.S. Hispanics and audiences around the world – provide a hint of how programming choices for young adults (ages 18-34) will play out in the near future. And, by extension, how the trickle-down effect may evolve in such culturally aware productions as Dora the Explorer.

Young Latino Americans in the 18-34 age range constitute one of the fastest-growing segments of the United States population, predicted to be the greatest single demographics group of population growth nationally in the next 40 years. However, in spite of an increasing awareness of their ethnic heritage, more than one-third (37 percent) of the survey participants embrace a cross-cultural identity. And nearly half (48 percent) describe their BFFs as an equal mix of Latinos and Americans.

Language – the ever-evolving slang vernacular – may take on Latino notes due to the popular use of “Spanglish” among these culturally mixed groups of friends. The impact on language in pop culture may also be heightened by YLAs’ immersion in mobile technology. Not only is mobile usage reported among 87 percent of survey respondents, but multi-tasking in today’s wired environment is also strong. Overall, language was shown to break boundaries rather than cement them, with approximately 50 percent of YLAs preferring to speak Spanish with their families but three-quarters preferring to communicate in English at work and at school.

Jacqueline Hernandez (pictured), Telemundo’s chief operating officer, made the results public last week at a presentation held at the Paley Center for Media in New York at which she and Raul E. Cisneros, chief of media relations for the U.S. Census Bureau, spoke.

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