July 24, 2000 / Page 7 of 10

Using the Language

Arbitron, the radio audience measurement service, posts various generally useful data on its web site (www.arbitron.com). Among the more useful data for the Hispanic marketer is "the diary language report."

This radio diarykeeper classification is based on answers to three questions at the back of the radio diary:

1.What language do you speak most often at home?
2.What language do you speak most often away from home?
3.What language do you prefer to speak?

Diarykeepers are classified as Spanish Primary if two or more questions are answered "Spanish." Or English Primary if two or more questions are answered "English."


There are as many definitions of "Spanish dominant" in Hispanic marketing as there are research services. But generally, there is agreement among syndicated media measurements that about half of all Hispanics are Spanish dominant. (HMW 5/3/99). Nielsen's NHTI reflects this level, as does the average of the Arbitron table here.

This "half are Spanish dominant" fact has held for several years. But geographically, it varies considerably. The table lists metro markets controlled for Hispanic population in Arbitron's Winter reports. It shows Hispanics in Albuquerque are overwhelmingly English dominant (only 17% Spanish dominant), while other markets are much more than half Spanish dominant, like Miami at 66%.

This shows that, for marketers pursuing Hispanics with regional or local focus, it becomes important to recognize language preference in creative execution and media selection.