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Hola! Latinos Embrace the Net

Adding much to the diversity of the Web audience, about 38 percent of Hispanics in the U.S. who are 16 and older are using the Internet on a regular basis, according to a new study from the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA).

The typical Hispanic Internet user, as defined by the study, is 28 years old, slightly more likely to be male, and unmarried. Roughly half are Spanish-language dominant (Speak Spanish at home more than English).

The study also revealed that Hispanics are online almost 5.5 hours per week and for 71 percent of these users, primary usage is from a computer at home. In addition to their time on the Net, typical Hispanic Internet users are watching 18 hours of television per week (approximately 50 percent of it in Spanish) and listening to 15 hours of radio (also half of it in Spanish) per week.

Commissioned by the association, the study was conducted by Roslow Research Group, a New York-based Hispanic research and consulting firm.

The intent of the survey was to provide a benchmark profile of the Hispanic Internet user, the association said. Interviewing was randomly assigned across six major Hispanic markets and included Hispanics 16 years or older who have used the Internet in the past 30 days.

More than three quarters of respondents are using the Internet for e-mail, 60 percent are using it to get news, 54 percent are using it to listen to music and 43 percent are using it to chat.

Almost one-third of these Hispanic Internet users have shopped online with CDs, electronics and airline tickets topping the list as the most-common items purchased.

"This new information is significant because it shows that Hispanics are viable online consumers," said AHAA President Daisy Exposito, who is also president and chief creative officer at The Bravo Group.

"Hispanics are a young, vibrant consumer audience that offers lots of opportunities to corporations," she said. "This research makes a clear business case that targeting Hispanics with multimedia campaigns makes sense."

The Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies is a national organization of firms that specialize in marketing to the nation's 32 million Hispanic consumers.