Latin America has noticed the importance of diversity in TV content, not only for cultural representation but also for increasing the engagement and interest of audiences. To honor Pride month this June, we examined the top 50 most in-demand series among those that released new seasons from January to May 2020 in the region. Our goal was to uncover whether LGBTQIA+ content resonates with Latam audiences, if it ranges by specific countries, and finally, how inclusion affects overall demand.
Do Latam Audiences Resonate with LGBTQIA+ Content?
Simply put the answer is, yes.
1. Among the top 50 shows in Latam thus far in 2020, titles with LGBTQIA+ characters outperformed titles without representation from these groups by more than triple the demand.
2. These show are also more in-demand than they are supplied. While over two-thirds (68%) of shows with seasons released in the analyzed period included at least one LGBTQIA+ character, those shows comprised over three-quarters (76%) of the demand.
3. The shows with LGBTIQA+ characters are on average 48% more in-demand than shows without LGBTQIA+ characters.
Which Latam countries resonate most with LGBTQIA+ characters?
While the region in general resonates with LGBTQIA+ characters, we found that the level of resonance with LGBTQIA+ varies across the individual countries.
In Colombia, Brazil and Ecuador, shows with LGBTQIA+ characters were at least 70% more in-demand than the shows where these types of characters weren’t represented. They are the top countries where audiences resonate with content including LGBTQIA+ characters. In Chile and Argentina, these titles were at least 30% more in-demand. Despite ranking last amongst the region, audiences in Mexico still expressed 19% more demand for content with LGBTQIA+ characters than those without.
How Valuable is LGBTQIA+ Inclusivity in TV for Latam Audiences?
While the results thus far reflect Latin America’s demand for diversity in sexual and gender identification on-screen, these representations of diversity can vary widely. On camera, representation can vary in the relevance of importance of a particular character (i.e., main or secondary characters). The authenticity of the roles are also vital considerations, which is usually a reflection of the diversity behind the screen (i.e., writers, producers, and directors).
While increasing the overall representation of LGBTQIA+ characters is important, previous studies find that viewers are more likely to resonate to these characters when they have a greater role in the storyline, are not only present as the only token character, and are more accurate representation of experiences of LGBTQIA+ people. These elements together define inclusivity in TV: storytelling not only with LGBTQIA+ characters, but also with the voices and stories of LGBTQIA+ people.
Thus far in 2020, the evidence suggests that shows that combine all of these elements of diverse representations best resonate with audiences and thus are most in-demand. The chart below reveals content with true LGBTQIA+ inclusivity on average gain double the demand of titles without any diversity.
When looking at the average demand of these top 50 series, we get to see that indeed the average show with LGBTQIA+ leading role characters has 93% more demand than those with no representation at all. When this representation is supported by members of the LGBTQIA+ community behind the screen there is an additional increase of 14% in the demand. This could be linked with a better and more relatable representations in the plot. Finally, adding an LGBTQIA+ supporting role adds up a 24% increase in the demand. Making an average potential gain in demand of up to 132% when fully including this factors in comparison with shows with no representation at all.
Thus, while the majority of shows feature LGBTQIA + characters, there is still a lot of room for growth. The current analysis reveals that while increasing the number of LGBTQIA+ leads is most impactful, but that their impact is improved by 40% when they are featured with an LGBTQIA+ supporting character and writer, producer, or director.