Understand and Embrace LGBTQ+ Consumer Media Habits and Channels

Learn how LGBTQ+ American consumers engage with Media, including social media, movies, TV shows, music, reading, and podcasts. 

Reading Time: 4 minutes

October 17, 2022
Alonzo Bailey – Data Analyst


Media is a major aspect of consumers’ everyday lives. Americans spend a significant amount of their time and attention consuming social media, visual entertainment, and audio streaming content. For brands and advertisers across industries to succeed, they need to understand where people are going to consume media content, and why they’re going there.

Read on and fill out the form for an excerpt from our
LGBTQ+ Consumer Media Habits & Channels presentation.

Collage Group’s 2022 Media Habits and Channels Study provides insights on the specific platforms LGBTQ+ Americans go to, their media habits, and their preferences for media content. The data dives deep into content and platform drivers—spanning categories, passion points, and identity attributes.

Key Findings: Social Media

    • LGBTQ+ consumers are social media power users. For them, social media is one of the keys to discovery, self-expression, and community.
    • Their active social media use comes at a cost: LGBTQ+ social media users worry about the physical and emotional safety risks and the spread of anti-LGBTQ+ discourse on this digital channel.
    • Still, social media serves as connective tissue for their personal interests and passions: They seek inspiration, discover new media and entertainment content, and connect with other people who have similar interests and life experiences.
LGBTQ+ consumers use social media to self-identify and connect with others


LGBTQ+ consumers are, on average, younger than non-LGBTQ+ Americans, which partially explains the segment’s heightened engagement with social media. This segment’s Proud and Communal Group Traits offer another clue about their appreciation of this channel. Online, they can be themselves, proudly present their identity, and find, and band with like-minded users.

As more seasoned social media users, LGBTQ+ consumers are more likely to have experienced both the ups and downs of social media firsthand.

Action Steps:

    • To reach and engage with LGBTQ+ and younger audiences, build your brand social media presence on more “niche” platforms and look for opportunities for influencer collaborations.
    • Facilitate authentic peer-to-peer and consumer-to-brand interaction on your social media channels. Prioritize inclusive design to better engage with this audience.
    • Be an empathetic, encouraging, and responsible owner of your social media channels. Content moderation and safety guidelines are paramount.

Key Findings: Movies and Television

    • Streaming TV is LGBTQ+ viewers’ preferred way to watch television. Over-the-top streaming services offer on-demand access to the content they might not find elsewhere.
    • On-screen and behind-the-camera representation is extremely important to consumers in this segment. They seek authentic stories about people who share their life experiences, and they champion creatives from other underrepresented groups (e.g. women, people of color).
    • This segment is more likely to appreciate video content for its entertainment value. Genres like animation, horror, and reality TV offer LGBTQ+ viewers a temporary escape from reality. They also value movies and TV shows that drive interactions with others — online and off.
LGBTQ+ consumers support underrepresented groups on social media


LGBTQ+ viewers are drawn to streaming both by virtue of their digital nativity and thanks to the relative abundance of LGBTQ+-focused content released to or exclusively produced by streaming companies.

Movies and TV help partially fulfill their desire for social connection — both online and in real life — and their need to retreat from an antagonistic sociopolitical environment.

Action Step:

    • Prioritize streaming in your media budget.
    • Use this segment’s unique genre preferences to produce more resonant creative content.
    • Tap into social media groups and fandom to keep pace with what’s trending for this consumer group.

Key Findings: Music

    • LGBTQ+ consumers are music super fans. From soundtracking mundane daily tasks to spontaneous dance parties or organized music events and festivals — LGBTQ+ listeners are there for it all.
    • Streaming audio services and social media are the key sources of music discovery for LGBTQ+ consumers.
Over half of LGBTQ+ consumers find new music on streaming services


Social media, including YouTube and audio streaming services, provide easy (and often free) access to a vast variety of music to today’s consumers. LGBTQ+ listeners, who are generally younger than other Americans, are especially well-positioned to take advantage of everything that the musical world has to offer.

Action Step:

    • To better connect with LGBTQ+ consumers through music, find the synergy between their favorite music and video content genres and extend the reach through social media.

Key Findings: Reading

    • Reading may not be Americans’ favorite pastime, but more than a third of LGBTQ+ consumers read at least a few times a week. They are also more likely than their non-LGBTQ+ peers to listen to audiobooks.
    • LGBTQ+ readers pick up a book in search of relaxation, escape from reality, or a chance to use their imagination.
LGBTQ+ Americans use reading as an escape


LGBTQ+ consumers are partial to digital, on-demand content delivery systems, and this preference extends to books and other reading materials. But that doesn’t render print obsolete. Independently owned bookstores that serve the community as spaces for free-spirited living, connection, collaboration, and creativity continue to nurture these readers’ appreciation for physical books.

LGBTQ+ readers’ desire to shelter from reality with a book in hand is akin to their drive toward more escapist content in movies and TV. In the realm of books and graphic novels, this consumer segment can exercise their Proud Group Trait more freely and authentically.

Action Steps:

    • Examine your print ad placement and prioritize print publications specifically targeted at the LGBTQ+ community.
    • Find inspiration for your creative campaigns in popular, trending books as well as LGBTQ+ consumers’ preferred genres.
    • Leverage the power of smaller influencers and online book fandoms to better connect with this consumer group.

Other Recent LGBTQ+ Research Articles and Insights from Collage Group

Alonzo Bailey

Alonzo Bailey

Alonzo is an Analyst on Collage Group’s Product & Content team. He is a 2019 graduate of Morehouse College. His previous experience includes business and psychological research at Johns Hopkins University – Carey Business School, Columbia Business School, and the University of Maryland.

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