Issa Rae: “30 To 40 Percent Of Insecure’s Viewers Are Black”

30 to 40 percent of viewers who watch HBO’s hit show Insecure are black.

That may come as a surprise to some but for Issa Rae, it was and it wasn’t at the same time. In a recent interview with Billboard, Rae discussed how she understood that program accessibility is a major player in this statistic.

I think what most surprised me was that the audience wasn’t 90 percent black, she said. I think only 30 to 40 percent of the audience are black people. But I’m like, okay, HBO isn’t accessible to everyone. Like, I didn’t have HBO. I used my friend’s password until the show got picked up.

But, the great thing about TV programs in this time period is that success isn’t solely based on ratings anymore, cultural impact and discussions surrounding the shows are just as important thanks to social media.


We heard you wanna date? #InsecureHBO

The show got amazing reviews, both in the first season and the second season. And you can’t quantify it, necessarily, but there is buzz around her and the other actors on the show. So it is doing its job as far as I’m concerned, Casey Bloys, HBO’s head of programming said.

These reviews and buzz are essential for the growth of niche market content. HBO, Netflix, and even Hulu have effectively been able to fill cultural voids with their new programs. Whether it is for a black audience, Latino audience, LGBTQIA audience or even Sci-Fi fans, over time the niche markets have expanded beyond just ethnicities or even genres.

Such successes have become almost universal and seen across the board.

Even something like Girls, Rae says, by way of comparison, which I hate being compared to, but I thought it was a huge ratings hit because of the way people talked about it. Rae found out that Girls was watched by 800,000 to a million peopleabout the same number of people who watch Insecure. Even with that, people were talking about it. Whether you loved it or you hated it, you were talking about it.

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