The Changing Media Landscape and Role of Asian Media – 2019 3AF Asian American Media Consumption Study

June 1, 2019
3AF members have free access to the full report. If you are already a member or have previously purchased access to this page, you can log in here, or Become a 3AF member today!

Alternatively, you can also purchase access to the full report for $1,499 here.

The data tabs for this study are also available for purchase for $500 here.

A nationwide survey commissioned by the 3AF on Asian American consumers’ media consumption behaviors which covers both traditional and digital media, in English and in native language, with a breakdown on major Asian sub-segments (Chinese, Asian Indian, Filipino, Korean, Vietnamese).

About the research

To help marketers and media understand the U.S. Asian consumer opportunity, the Asian American Advertising Federation has been studying the growth of the U.S. Asian population for nearly two decades. We created the first Asian American Media Consumption Study in 2016 and are excited to release a study for 2019. Asians are recognized as the fastest-growing multicultural segment in America, driven largely by new immigration. In fact, the Pew Research Center projects that the U.S. Asian population will grow to be 14% of the total population by 2065, based on U.S. Census data.

While the majority of growth in the U.S. is coming from new immigration, the buying power of U.S.-born Asians is simultaneously on the rise. This is significant and worth exploring. First-generation Asians represent new potential and can be reached by specialized media, while broader media mix can reach later generations. So, how does our fast-changing media landscape – with the proliferation of media channels and technologies that deliver ever-more-personalized content – contribute to these consumption decisions? 

To understand how to address these opportunities that are changing, the 3AF commissioned the 2nd Asian American media consumption study. We want to help marketers understand how cultural and linguistic factors of Asian Americans drive their media consumption choices. We believe that the market needs a continuous, in-depth analysis of the diverse and sub-segmented Asian society—instead of seeing Asian Americans as a single monolithic group.

By breaking down the demographics, we begin to understand the influence of language and culture, subsequently filling critical information gaps and trends. This improves how advertisers reach different Asian American consumer groups and motivates them to action.

Ultimately, our goal at 3AF is to provide powerful and insightful Asian American consumer knowledge to assist your marketing planning process year after year. We encourage you to also consider the expertise of our members for additional support and best practices.

Key Themes

The media landscape is continuing to shift for U.S. Asians—as the migration from traditional mediums continues to lose ground to growing online platforms such as online TV, online radio, online press and social media.

Despite the increasingly shifting media landscape, U.S. Asians continue to be hybrid media consumers of both in-language/in-culture sources, as well as mainstream English-language sources. However, Asian Media suffers from some lower levels of trust and advertising recall compared to mainstream English-language media.

Some form of television (traditional vs online, TV screens vs. mobile/computer devices) continues to be the most utilized form of video content among U.S. Asians.  While the device/screen may be shifting, the programming continues to be the same (drama, movies, news, etc.).

Although in-language communications continue to be viable approach for reaching U.S. Asians, cultural-relevance and representation matters for a large segment of the audience as well.

Topics Covered

  • General media consumption
    • Usage of traditional and digital media
    • Proportion of English vs. in-language/in-culture media consumption
    • Activities on digital devices
  • Social media
    • Social media apps
    • Language used for social media
  • Video and audio streaming
  • Asian media
    • Preference for Asian media vs. mainstream English media
    • Trust and ad recall in Asian vs. mainstream English media
    • Source of Asian media
    • Genres of Asian media
  • Attitudes towards advertising approach
  • English vs. in-language Asian consumers


1394 interviews were conducted in early 2019, among them, 1181 were conducted among Asian Americans (Asian Indian 200, Chinese 232, Filipino 224, Korean 198, Vietnamese 171, other Asian 154), 213 were conducted among Caucasian, Hispanic and African American consumers. 884 interviews were sourced online while 510 interviews were conducted via intercepts in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York. 

Data is weighted based on 2017 American Community Survey U.S. and foreign born ratio for Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Korean and Vietnamese (Asian only). Report contains analysis of Asians and non-Asians, comparison between Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Korean and Vietnamese and U.S. born vs. foreign born where appropriate. 

Data tabs contains break-downs by ethnicity, Asian nationality, gender, age, nativity, ethnicity + nativity, Asian nationality + nativity, market/geography, marital status, education, household income, nativity + length of U.S. residency, and interview language.


Media Consumption