Learning Objective One: How media producers define their targetAudienceThe two main reasons Audience Research is done is to show the estimatedsize of your audience, and also what the audience would like to see.Researching into your chosen audience is critical to the Video Game industryas without an idea of where your selling point is, then you will not know howto market your product correctly and if the research was done in the firstplace you could be advertising directly to the defined audience rather thanhaving a guess as to who may buy it. Another reason audience research isvital is you could spend as much money as you like for e.g. selling your 18rated game to primary school kids, but it won’t get your anyway becausethese aren’t the age range who will be buying it. So no matter how much youspent it will be a complete waste. Below I will be looking into different mediaproducers in the video game industry and how they define their audiences.Quantitative research“Quantitative research refers to the systematic empirical investigation of social phenomenavia statistical, mathematical or computational techniques” –WikipediaThis is data that is represented as statistics or numbers for example viewing records.Barb: Barb, standing for Broadcasters Audience Research Board Is a websitethat provides all of the official viewing figures for the UK. It uses companieswho specialise in research such as Ipsos MORI, Kantar Media and RSMB tocollect the data that it provides. Data sites such as this are great forcompanies to use to determine what people are watching. For video gamecompanies sites like this that are able to determine what people are playingand also details on the background of the audiences. I’ve found a great PDFthat gives statistics on all sorts of information that will give companies theedge on who they should be focusing their advertising on. This containsinformation such as the average age of gamers, what games are played most
often, top selling games and lots of other useful information. This is theoverall statistics for 2012, which could be a downside to information thatdoesn’t come out as often as some companies may like. For e.g. thisdocument states that 53% of gamers in 2012 are males and 47% are female.Though they are not far apart, a company could decide that they wouldmarket their product in 2013 only to males. Information can change like thisat any time, especially over a year. Examples like this are where more up todate information would be useful.Qualitative ResearchThis is research from sources such as questionnaires, focus groups and faceto face interviews.Research such as this can be done primary (when the company does theresearch themselves) or secondary research where another company will dothe research and then post it somewhere where other companies can sourcethe information and use it. Benefits of primary research is you are able towrite the questions yourself, this can then get you the information you arelooking for and this is where secondary research can lack. Getting theinformation secondarily (what you can find of it) online from differentsources won’t always be exactly what you’re looking for.Socio-economic statusThis is research done into different economic groups such as Upper, Middleand Working class individuals. This then determines what each household iswatching, giving the company then a start to what area they should markettheir game too. Whether to pick up the budget, because they know they cansell for higher to a Upper Class group or whether to stick with what they’re
doing and bring it out to all markets. Below is a graph that shows whatinformation is checked in this research and what is taken into account.PsychographicsPsychographics is a research toolwhere they analysis the audienceslifestyle and try to create a detailedprofile for that customer. They dothis y asking their customers toagree or disagree with statements.They put them into such lifestylegroups in terms of their activates,interests, pinions, emotions, values,motivations and lifestyle. The aim ofpsychographics is to uncover theirinner self that such consumergroups, rather than merely the surface characteristics.Geo-Demographics
This is research further into a country, when they look further in whichdifferent parts of the U.K for example want and play what. These are splitinto their regional identities (e.g. Cockney, Georgie, and Irish). This can thengive you where to market that game. Such as a new game called ‘Sim City 5’is coming out, they can check where the previous Sim City games have soldwell such as London and down south and know that is where they should befocussing on advertising their game rather then up in Scotland where theyreally do not have a market for it.
DemographicsThis is researchfurther into each individual rather than certain areas of acountry. This has to do with age, gender, sexual orientation etc. From thisthey can gather whether males or females are playing games more just likeearlier in the PDF found here. Information will also tell how to decide whichage range your game is for, because if you use swearing or violence but only10% of 18+ year olds are buying video games you may choose to removesome of this so that so the 50% of gamer’s aged12+ gamers can playbringing in a bigger market.Size
Size e.g. the mainstream, alternative and niche market will decide on howyou decide to take a risk on your idea. You can concentrate on themainstream market such as Call of Duty but this is then something whichcan be hated by the alternative or niche market and so will bring in peoplethat are not happy about what is being produced. Focusing on the niche andalternative market will be greatly smaller than the mainstream market andwill generally find it passing over their heads but you will generally findthese smaller markets to be more passionate about the project. Mainstreammarkets you need to have a higher concern for piracy (piracy is a concern forall markets, but the more people the more piracy).