From the Pacific Northwest to Arkansas and Tennessee and all states in between, there's no doubt that the fastest-growing population segment is Hispanic:
Need convincing? Some reading for you:
* Houston: Shades of gray in being black.
* Chicago: Only 13% of Hispanic population voted in '06
* Tennessee: Economic clout of Hispanics soars
* Minneapolis: Growth at the Fringe
* Arkansas: Study: State Hispanic market booms
* New Jersey: Latino buyers add vitality to market
Americans of Hispanic descent are a huge potential audience for country music -- but no one is yet certain how to tap this expanding market.
There were some other warning signs for country music: 41 percent of those polled said they believed country radio stations aren't interested in appealing to Hispanics. And most Hispanics -- 62 percent --didn't even know if there was a country music station in their area.
Turn up your computer speakers real loud and take a worthwhile hour to listen to the panel discussion. Kevin King of Cumulus/Nashville represented radio extremely well. Listen especially for his views on both the opportunities and likely problems this initiative may pose for country radio.
Notable for their absence in the audio discussion: reps from Sony-BMG and U-Music. And, I think I know why, don't you? If we were to ask today's country core if they would be open to country radio reaching out to immigrant minorities and welcoming them to their favorite station, they would not be positive on the idea. So, is it best to work around their prejudices? Or, try to change them? Can an attractive young female Hispanic star do it for us? Big thoughts and questions indeed!
If you don't currently subscribe to the CRB Exec Memo, here are the login codes: Name: crbem Password: podcast.
...But, please sign up for it now (you don't want to miss another one)!