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  • May 22, 2019
  • 4 minute read

Now Playing: The Power of the Asian American Audience

It may be Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, but for us, it’s not about just one month of recognition. Asian Americans are making their mark on the U.S. mainstream year-round. From the box-office success of “Crazy Rich Asians,” to flourishing K-pop music trends, this group is stealing the spotlight and demanding attention from advertisers.

According to Nielsen, Asian Americans control a whopping $1 trillion in spending power.1 They spend 22% more on online purchases than their general market counterparts,2 so it’s no surprise that they are also 38% more likely than other consumers to rely on online ads for information. Both powerful reasons why you need to start engaging your Asian American audience now.

To help you get started, we curated a list of the top things you need to know about Asian American consumers.

Five things you need to know about your
Asian American audience

1. Growing and Diverse: Asian Americans are the fastest growing ethnic segment in the U.S., growing at a rate of 72% between 2000 and 2015 and reaching over 20 million people. This group is predicted to become the largest immigrant group by 2055,2 with immigration and representation from more than 19 groups of origin. Nearly half (46%) of U.S. Asians live in the West, with about one-third (31%) in California alone.3 California is also the state with the highest Asian American buying power where they control over $340 billion.4

2. Culturally Connected: Asian Americans are connected to their culture with 72% saying that their ethnicity is important to defining who they are.5 While there is much debate about the existence of a collective Asian American identity, this group shares common values and beliefs. On Pandora, Asian Americans rank food, traditions, family values, language, and music as their top cultural connectors as they provide a direct link to their heritage.

3. Language Agnostic: While 56% feel that language is another important way to connect with their culture,4 this group is highly proficient in English. In fact, 95% of Asian Americans under the age of 35 speak English well, very well, or exclusively, and even those over 35 years old speak English at a rate of 80%.1

4. Highly Educated & Affluent: Asian Americans differ in their levels of income and education attainment, but as a collective, this segment is highly educated and affluent. With a college enrollment rate of 94%, their level of education exceeds that of any other multicultural segment.1 Over half (52%) of those age 25+ have a bachelor’s degree or higher level of education, compared to just 31% of all Americans 25+.1 Higher education leads to a higher mean individual income- $42K vs. $33k for the total U.S.1 And on Pandora, this segment is 71% more likely than other listeners to make over $100K.6

5. Connected & In Control: Asian Americans are the most digitally connected. In fact, 99% of Asian American households have internet access, compared to 93% of the total population.1 This audience has a strong appetite and appreciation for the latest in tech, with 61% saying they prefer products that offer the latest in new technology.1

The zeitgeist shift in society with digital and technology is here, and brands are already reflecting this in the advertising world—digital advertising is predicted to reach $129 billion by 2021, accounting for the majority (51%) of total U.S ad spending.7 And it is because of this that brands need to be connecting with the most digitally enabled consumers – Asian Americans.

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Now, make an impact

Because of their growing population and income power, this digitally fluent and tech-adopting audience is essential to reach for any brand’s growth strategy. When advertising to this audience:

  • Look to represent the many facets of the community and show the diverse faces of Asian Americans in the U.S.
  • Invest in research to understand this audience without stopping at one country of origin or generation. Understand their history and experiences in the U.S. and the role your brand plays in their lives.
  • Tap into this segment’s shared cultural connection, but leverage advanced targeting approaches to communicate in a more nuanced and relevant way.
  • Don’t let language nuances keep you from speaking to this audience. English is the shared language among Asian American consumers and can be an effective way to connect with them.
  • Shift your strategy to be digitally-focused. Because of their propensity to shop online, your brand can make a huge impact by pushing your message digitally.

Reach Asian Americans On Pandora

Pandora is the effortless source of personalized music enjoyment and discovery for close to 5 million Asian American listeners across the U.S. This audience spends an average of 16 hours a month on the platform, thumbing over 24 million songs and creating 2.5 million stations every month.6

Their engagement on Pandora allows us to identify listeners like them. We leverage data and insights from high-density Asian American zip-codes, coupled with engagement with Asian artists and genres to identify Asian American listeners on the platform.

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Are you currently building your Multicultural strategy?

#YourAudienceIsListening. Learn more about our audience solutions, or reach out to us here.

And if you want to hear the sound of Asian American culture, check out this genre-spanning playlist of Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders artists.


1 Nielsen, The Asian American Consumer Journey, 2019
2 Nielsen, Asian Americans: Digital Lives & Growing Influence, May 2018
3 Pew Research Center, Key facts about Asian Americans, September 2017
4 Nielsen, The Asian American Consumer Journey, 2019
5 Pandora Soundboard, Culture Survey, January 2015
6 Pandora Internal Data
7 eMarketer: The Digital Advertising Stats You Need 2018

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