Niche streaming services are in a unique position to capture the underrepresented groups in America by authentically shedding light on the stories of multiethnic people, of which mainstream media frequently misrepresents or skips over. Currently such relatable portrayals are sparse in mainstream outlets and thus difficult to drive widespread acceptance of authentic diversity as the norm. By 2044, multicultural people will make up more than 50% of the U.S population, and this rising majority craves and demands this cultural media shift. As a point of reference, State of Viewing & Streaming 2020, a recent study by leading cultural insights firm Horowitz Research found that 73% of Hispanic, 65%Asian, and 78% LGBTQ viewers feel the onus is on the media to help dispel misleading narratives about their communities and cultures. Tailored streaming services have a massive opportunity to capture this untapped demand and drive a media revolution from the bottom-up.
The time has never been better for niche streaming services to exist. Specialized streaming services often showcase stories that explore the cultural nuances and lived experiences of marginalized groups, not only here in America but also globally. It’s not just about the number of underrepresented characters on screen, but it’s also about how they are being portrayed. There are currently 120 million multicultural people living in America and they are dissatisfied with how they are being viewed in the media. How many times will we see African American thugs, Russian mobsters, and Hijab wearing terrorists on TV? This demographic of viewers expect more and want the streaming services they watch to represent diverse people and communities in ways that dispel stereotypes.
Imagine if we had more films and shows that showed marginalized groups in a more positive light. For instance, visualize a film about a young muslim woman who grows up to be a Venture Capitalist or picture a weekly series about a Dominican American that wins the American presidency. How can we expect the black and brown youth to be what they cannot see? That is why representation in the media matters. There is an enormous benefit to living in a society where the media enthusiastically embraces diversity.
People who grow up in an environment that supports different cultures are better at understanding the perspectives of others and developing empathy. We are so much more than what the media portrays and it is up to all of us to create narratives that are reflective of our experiences.We need more positive representation of multicultural people on TV and streaming services!