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Nielsen’s Gracenote and Media Advocacy Groups Partner For Equitable Representation

Gaby M. Rojas

Gracenote, the content metadata business unit of Nielsen, is joining forces with leading advocates for equitable representation in media on a new Studio System feature, Diversity Spotlight. The enhancement leverages insights from IllumiNative, Gold House, RespectAbility, National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) and CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) to highlight people and projects that meet a range of diversity-specific criteria and open new casting, funding and collaboration opportunities.

By raising the visibility of diverse talent and representative projects among Studio System’s broad industry user base, Gracenote and its advocacy group partners are accelerating efforts to bring more equitable representation and authentic content to viewers. A recent Attitudes on Representation Study conducted by Nielsen found that a majority of U.S. audiences wanted to see more of their identity group in programming, underscoring the demand and highlighting the opportunity.

Despite the industry’s pledges to improve diversity, equity and inclusion, people of color, people with disabilities as well as members of the LGBTQIA community still remain underrepresented in TV content compared to their respective population estimates. For example, Latinx representation in programming is only 5.7 percent although the group makes up 20 percent of the U.S. population according to Gracenote Inclusion Analytics data. Similarly, representation of disabled people is only 6.6 percent despite the fact that one in four Americans has a disability.

“In conversations with the industry, we’ve heard repeatedly that difficulty finding diverse creators to work with and inclusive projects to bring to screens is slowing the transformation everyone agrees is needed,” says Trent Wheeler, chief product officer, Gracenote. “The expertise of our advocacy group partners combined with the unmatched scale of Gracenote data and the reach of Studio System hold the promise to accelerate representative content creation and bring real change to Hollywood.”

“As we are working to drive representation of Native talent and projects in entertainment, a solution like Gracenote Diversity Spotlight takes our work to the next level — where Native creatives can be discovered with a tool that is already a trusted source for the decision makers in the industry,” says Crystal Echo Hawk, CEO and founder of IllumiNative.

“Gold House is excited to partner with Gracenote to launch Diversity Spotlight during Sundance,” says Bing Chen, CEO and co-founder of Gold House. “The discovery of diverse talent is critical for impactful Asian Pacific representation on screen, and resources, such as Diversity Spotlight, are important for casting agents, producers, and executives to connect the right talent with the right story.”

The Latinx House and IllumiNative will host Nielsen to celebrate the new Diversity Spotlight at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. Nielsen will also share fresh insights on diverse representation in content at Sunrise Collective and Indigenous House.

Gracenote is the content data business unit of Nielsen providing entertainment metadata, connected IDs and related offerings to the world’s leading creators, distributors, and platforms. Gracenote enables advanced content navigation and discovery capabilities helping individuals easily connect to the TV shows, movies, music, podcasts and sports they love while delivering powerful content analytics making complex business decisions simpler.

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