A very important study for Hispanic Direct Marketing

July 18, 2005

AOL / Roper Hispanic Internet Survey 2005

Dulles, VA--(HISPANIC PR WIRE – BUSINESS WIRE)--July 18, 2005--U.S. Hispanics with Internet access at home are rapidly adopting broadband, with half of online Hispanics going online over high-speed connections at home, according to the third annual AOL/Roper U.S. Hispanic Cyberstudy. That's on par to the share of the general online population with broadband at home, and comes despite the fact that Hispanics are relatively newer to the Internet, the survey found.

In addition, the detailed survey found that Hispanic online consumers have quickly made the Internet part of their everyday lives. They go online at home an average of 9.2 hours a week, for example, compared with 8.5 hours for the general online population and they now heavily rely on the Internet to learn more about products, to share opinions, and to improve their lives. In fact, 70% now view the Internet as the best source for comparing prices, making it the most powerful information medium for influencing online Hispanics throughout the purchase decision process.

Online Hispanic consumers are younger and heavier users of the most cutting edge features of the Internet as compared to the general online population. 56% of Hispanics online are between the ages of 18 to 34 vs. 34% for the general online population. The survey found they use the Internet far more frequently than the general online population to listen to music (55% vs. 41%), download music files (37% vs. 25%), and for instant messaging (59% vs. 48%).

The survey also indicates that 47% of online Hispanics have children under the age of 18 at home vs. 37% for the general online population and that they are far more upbeat about the ability of the Internet to improve the lives of their children.

"This study clearly reveals that Hispanic families see the Internet as a valuable tool that empowers them to lead better lives," said Mark Lopez, Publisher of AOL Latino. "Hispanic families have quickly realized that the Internet is a unique medium that can give their children advantages in life, let them stay connected with friends and family, be educated consumers, and find the information they need to make informed purchasing decisions."

 Online Hispanics Want Language Options

The survey also found that language continues to be a barrier to greater Internet adoption. Online Hispanics say they'd spend even more time online if they were given more information of interest to their community, and many say they want more Spanish language content. Sixty-seven percent of online Hispanics feel it's important to have Spanish content online, and 30% of bilingual Hispanics in the 2004 Cyberstudy, those online Hispanic users who rate themselves equally in reading Spanish and English, said they "pay more attention to ads when they're in Spanish than when they're only in English."

"This year's study shows that there is an incredible opportunity for marketers to reach the estimated 14 million Hispanics who are online* - by providing them with the language options they desire," continued Lopez.

Topline Findings

-- 52% of online Hispanics now access the Internet on a broadband connection at home, compared with 50% of the general online population.

-- Fourteen percent of Hispanic online consumers connected their household to the Internet within the last six months vs. 7% of the general at home online population.

-- Online Hispanics look to the Internet as a primary source of information. Half agree (51%) that they "get more information about products and services from going online than they do from television or newspapers or magazines."

-- Online Hispanics use the Internet to get information about health-related issues more frequently than the online general population. Six in ten online Hispanics (61%) do so either "regularly" or "occasionally" (versus 55% of the online general population).

-- Online Hispanics are far more likely than the online general population to list among their major financial goals being able to send their children to college, buy a house or apartment, and own their own business.

Researching and Buying Products and Services Online

-- Nearly two-thirds (63%) of online Hispanics use the Internet for information for the final brand decision, more than any other source asked about, compared with about half (52%) of the online general population.

-- Seventy percent now view the Internet as the best source for comparing prices (vs. 59% in 2004).

-- Nearly two-thirds (63%) go online to get advice on brands to buy (vs. 56% in 2004).

-- Sixty-nine percent go online to learn about features and benefits of specific brands before making a purchase. This compares to 61% in 2004.

Finding Relevant Information Online

-- Sixty-four percent of online Hispanics (vs. 54% of the general population) get local entertainment information online.

-- Sixty-one percent of online Hispanics (vs. 55%) look for information about health-related issues.

-- Seventy-one percent of online Hispanics get driving directions and maps using sources such as the MapQuest(R) service.

-- Online Hispanics are about as likely (54%) as the general population (56%) to look for information about financial questions or needs.

Discovering Entertainment Online

-- Online Hispanic consumers have quickly embraced the music and entertainment features and tools available on the Internet, and are far more likely to use many of them than the general online population.

-- More than half of online Hispanics (55%) regularly or occasionally listen to music online, compared with 41% of the general online population.

-- More than a third of online Hispanics regularly or occasionally download music files (37%), while 25% of the general online population say they use the Internet to do this.

-- More than a third of online Hispanic consumers (38%) regularly or occasionally watch video clips online, on par with the general online population (33%).

-- More than two in five (42%) say they go online and watch TV at the same time. A third (30%) view the Internet as an alternative to TV, reporting that they watch TV less since they've started going online.

Using the Internet to Communicate

-- Sixty-two percent of online Hispanics under 35 regularly or occasionally use the Internet to instant message.

-- Seventy percent of online Hispanics who go to chat rooms see them as a way to share experiences and opinions with others vs. 60% of the general population who visit them.

-- Twenty percent who instant message do so mostly in Spanish, while 34% do so about equally in English and Spanish.

Financial Goals and Management a Priority

-- A vast majority of online Hispanics (81%) want to make sure their children go to college vs. 71% for the online general population.

-- Nearly three-quarters (72%) of online Hispanics want to be able to buy a house or apartment vs. 62% of the online general population.

-- Sixty-four percent of online Hispanics want to be able to afford to have children vs. 53% of the online general population.

-- Fifty-six percent of online Hispanics cite owning their own business as a goal compared with 36% of the online general population.

-- Online management of personal finances has grown substantially among online Hispanics since 2004. Forty-three percent use the Internet regularly or occasionally to open a bank account or do online banking, up from 34% in 2004.

Home Buying and Home Improvement

-- Almost one in four (23%) is planning on buying a new home in the next 12 months, which is significantly higher than among the online general population (16%).

-- As many online Hispanics as the online general population (43% each) have researched available houses (in the past three years) using the Internet.

-- Roughly the same (38% vs. 37% of the general online population) have used the Internet in the past three years to obtain information on mortgage rates.

-- Twenty-six percent of online Hispanics are planning a major renovation inside or outside their house in the next 12 months, compared with 24% of the general online population.

Time Spent Online

-- Online Hispanics spend about as much time online as their counterparts in the online general population. Hispanics spend an average of about 9.2 hours a week online at home vs. the online general population at 8.5 hours.

-- At work, Hispanics spend an average of about 11.5 hours online vs. 9.4 hours for the general population.

Methodology

The AOL/Roper Public Affairs Hispanic Cyberstudy 2005 was conducted via telephone among a random sample of 603 Hispanic home Internet/online subscribers, using a targeted Random Digit Dial (RDD) sampling method. The interviews were conducted from January 10, 2005 to February 14, 2005. The sampling error is +/- 4 percentage points for the total sample. For this targeted sampling method, we draw disproportionate samples from among 5 groups of American households, based on the density of Hispanics in those groups. We select larger proportions of our sample from the higher density areas than we would for a simple general public sample. The data are then weighted to adjust for this disproportional sampling. While the technique greatly increases the incidence of Hispanic households, the result after weighting is a sample that is representative of all American Hispanics. Samples drawn using this method are comparable to pure RDD methods. The 2004 study was conducted among 615 Hispanic home Internet online subscribers using the same targeted RDD method, from December 22, 2003 to January 19, 2004. The margin of error is +/- 4 percentage points for the total sample.

For comparative purposes, a sample of 301 home Internet users from the U.S. General Population was interviewed from January 10 to February 14, 2005. The sampling error is +/- 6 percentage points for the total sample. The 2004 study among this population was conducted among 300 home Internet users from December 18, 2003 to January 19, 2004. The sampling error is +/- 6 percentage points for the total sample.

All interviews with Hispanics were conducted by bilingual Spanish/English speaking interviewers.

About AOL(R) Latino

AOL Latino, the only bilingual Internet service provider for U.S. Hispanics, offers comprehensive Spanish product features such as toolbar, menus, Parental Controls, and Homework Help. AOL Latino also provides Spanish language content including U.S. and Latin American news, financial tools, the latest in music, entertainment, personal finance, sports, fashion and beauty, as well as access to all the existing content available on the English language AOL service for no extra cost.

*comScore Media Metrix, May 2005 Hispanic report

For the full study click here: AOL_Roper_Hispanic_Cyberstudy_2005.pdf