Beyond Streaming — How Black Millennials are Engaging their Favorite Streaming Content

  • Leah Zitter
  • October 1, 2019

Black millennials are the most technologically-engaged demographic, not only over-indexing with streaming but also using that technology to amplify their influence.

Reports show that in common with other millennials, African-American millennials mostly choose Facebook as their platform of choice for social postings. At the same time, Black millennials over-index on their use of Instagram, SnapChat, Pinterest and Twitter, compared to the population as a whole.

That said, the digital networks that millennials choose depend on their purpose. For engaging large groups, African-American millennials tend to use Twitter. If they want to share some particularly provocative content, they may put it up on Vine, Instagram, or Periscope. And if it’s to rapidly mobilize persons they know and they don’t want the whole world clued in, they may use SMS, WhatsApp or GroupMe.

Our Streamlytics research found that when it comes to socially engaging on streaming, Black millennials mostly join diverse communities on topics like streaming services, celebrity streamers, top-rated shows, and so forth, rather than segregate. Outliers either promote their offerings or have only a handful of members. 

Black Millennials on Streaming: Facebook

Most African-American millennials join racially diverse groups that pivot around popular streaming topics. The largest and most active of these communities discuss popular streaming services, e.g., TV and video sharing websites like Netflix; podcast sharing websites like Spotify; and music streaming platforms like Apple Music. Other large groups are on video game live streaming sites, like Twitch or Mixer; on celebrity streamers; top-rated shows; and on streaming-related subcategories like anime, gaming, or Esport. Then there are groups that help members achieve their aims, such as promoting their streamed music.


Facebook: Black-specific groups

The relatively few Facebook groups that are Black-specific and on streaming are best represented by the following:

Black Millennials on Streaming: Twitter

When tweeting on streaming-related topics, African-American millennials tend to gravitate to  generic issues as opposed to zooming in on ethnicity. Examples include the following:

  • On music/podcasts/movies/ TV shows e.g.:

Orange Is the New Black@OITNBEvery sentence has led to this. The final season of Orange is the New Black is now streaming. #OrangeForever

  • On distribution networks or current events e.g.

 Does BET Represent African American Culture? #TheStarReport

(Black Entertainment Television (BET Networks) targets African American audiences)


Restored Movies By African-American Filmmakers Find New Audiences #movies #streaming #tv

When African-Americans tweet on Black-specific streaming themes, it usually involves some sort of promotion. For instance:

Black Millennials on Streaming: Instagram

The Black streaming-related groups with the most followers are businesses that target African-American audiences.  These include:

Individuals who promote themselves, or who create “circles”on Black-streaming topics have far fewer followers. The most prominent is:

  • Black hip hop artist from San Diego; C_ho33es_museic (176 followers)

Black Millennials on Streaming: YouTube

African-Americans either form their own groups or join ethnically-diverse groups where they discuss their favorite streamed shows, music genres, celebrities/ performers and so forth

Most Black channels are business-oriented rather than ideological.


With the partial exception of YouTube, African-American millennials actively engage in social media posting on streaming-related activities in ethnically-diverse rather than segregated groups. 

About Leah Zitter

Dr. Leah Zitter has a Ph.D. in Psychology Research with a focus on Behavioral Neuroscience and over a decade of experience as an analyst, covering emerging technology, innovation, and media. She trained as an investigative journalist at the Center for Near East Policy Research, is a researcher at heart and enjoys exploring technology’s impact on culture and society.