What have you learned from your audience
Audience feedback is vital when constructing any media product to ensure that it fulfils the
needs and requirements of the audience. Throughout the construction of my productions, I
have been careful to gain audience feedback at crucial points to get advice and opinions.
From this feedback, I’ve been able to adapt my work and make marginal changes that have
made it much more suitable for the audience.
Firstly however, I needed to understand who my
audience where, so I constructed an audience
profile-research-task-2.html). Essentially, this was
done by looking into the audience of Ben Howard
(another acoustic artist like Emily) and comparing
their characteristics to Emily’s audience. I found
that the majority of my audience would be females
(roughly 60%). So, although I needed to appeal to
both genders still, I knew that I would need to
create a narrative that gripped the attention of
females to ensure that I fulfilled their needs.
Furthermore, my study found that the majority of
his audience were 11-20 years old (around 70%).
This allowed me to acknowledge that I needed to
create a narrative that would relate to this age
group’s experiences. By appealing to specifically
females aged 11-20 years old I would be
overlooking the other part of Ben Howard’s
audience, therefore potentially losing audience
members when applying this audience profile to Emily’s audience.
In terms of the interests of the audience, I was able to find out many
activities that they enjoyed doing that I could apply to the narrative of my
music video. Music and travelling were the two prevailing interests that
the audience had. Due to the low budget for the music video and
technicalities with travelling, one decided to use the next highest
audience interest to incorporate into the music video. “Going out” is a
main theme of the song lyrics so it reflected the narrative and audience
profile perfectly. Reading was also highly rated on the list of interests,
therefore when considering the mis-en-scène of the music video I was
able to incorporate shots of book shelves to ensure that they could relate
to Heather’s character.
In terms of how Ben Howard’s audience
downloads their music, the majority
streamed it through online websites. As this
is already one of the ways that Emily allows
her audience to have access to her music, I
felt that the second most popular result –
“download via iTunes/Soundcloud” – would
prove useful. I was able to use this data to
decide how Emily’s music would be
distributed so I could put the link/logo on the
digipak and magazine advertisement.
Essentially, I was able to gain knowledge on
the most popular methods of accessing the
music, allowing me to choose the most suitable for Emily’s music. I decided to opt for iTunes
and Soundcloud for many reasons. Primarily, Emily already uses Soundcloud to share her
music; therefore I was able to provide the correct link and information. Also, iTunes is the
most popular music download site nowadays, so opting for this means that Emily’s music
could be heard by numerous people.
Finally, when creating my audience profile I was able to collect information on other artists
that the audience listened to in order to build a wider base of information. The artists that I
chose all had similar acoustic/indie genres, thus allowing me to gather more information on
their music videos, digipaks and magazine advertisements.
When considering the method I undertook to collect this information, I believe it was effective
for the information that I wanted to find out. Using SurveyMonkey to collect information meant
that I got multiple responses within a matter of days. What’s more, it allowed me to create
charts and tables easily with an overview of all my responses. This meant that I could spend
more time analysing the results as opposed to creating the data material. In terms of the
demographic, I was able to collect quite a wide range of results by posting it on the Ben
Howard Facebook and Twitter fan pages along with my own Facebook page. Conversely, the
only down side to this form of questionnaire was that people had the option not to take it. I
was only able to collect 21 responses in total, but had this figure been higher I may have been
able to have further depth in my findings, therefore gaining more accurate and reliable results.
Having said this, my results offered interesting and useful findings that I was able to take
through to my own work.
Focus Group: Music Video Draft 1
I decided to conduct a one-on-one focus group with a member of my target audience to gain
initial feedback for draft one of my music video (http://rcmedia2-
feedback.html). She enjoys music, going to festivals and
studies English Language, English Literature and History.
She suited the characteristics of the majority of people in
my audience profile; therefore getting feedback on my
music video from her would be reliable and tell me a lot
about how my audience would react. Initially, I was able to
watch her reaction to the music video to gauge whether
she enjoyed it, disliked it or had another response towards
it. I noted that at the outset of the video Lilly seemed to be
enjoying it and had a smile on her face. As the video
progressed I noticed how her expression changed as she
watched the narrative unravel. Her expression wasn’t
serious; instead it was sad, indicating to me that my
emotive narrative was effective in relating to the target
audience member. Upon questioning Lilly about her
feelings towards the narrative, I was able to learn a lot
about how it affected her.
Lilly was able to answer all of the questions that I asked,
giving an insight as to how the audience would view the
video. She gave me constructive criticism as well as
positive praise. The main point being, she would download
the song after watching the music video which is beneficial
because part of the purpose of the video is to encourage
the audience to download the song. In one response she
said: “obviously you want to reflect the meaning of the
song in the narrative and I think you’ve got the balance just
right”. This point was crucial for me to understand whether
the balance between narrative and performance was
correct. Moreover, when questioned on what parts she
liked as a member of my target audience she stated:
“I think the end especially, like little subtleties like the
candles, and the box of tablets at the end. You weren’t
extremely explicit as to what happens to Heather in the
end but it’s little nuances like that that help I think. So I
think it was really good […] but I like where you built it up
to where she was just about to go out but she came back in again because she couldn’t quite
do it and I think that really reflects the meaning of the song. For a young person like
ourselves, I think people can relate to that quite a lot because you don’t always feel great and
you don’t always want to go out but sometimes it’s really difficult to actually get there”.
From this, I was able to learn how the audience pick up on the smaller details which
contribute to the overall effectiveness of the music video.
I then asked her if there was anything she didn’t like, to which she relied: “I would say the only
think I didn’t like was the garage door, but apart from that, I really liked it”. Having the garage
door in the shot was a primary concern of mine as I felt that the audience would pick up on it
and they wouldn’t see it as a professional shoot. Therefore, the fact that Lilly established this
as a problem indicated to me that I needed to re-film and crop the shots to get rid of the
garage door. Details like this affect the style of the shot, so I was able to learn how the
audience would respond and act upon this response.
When thinking about my method of getting this response, I can identify how it was beneficial
in getting an instant reaction. Lilly had to think of responses straight after watching the video
which helped me to understand how a typical audience member would see the video if they
were to watch it via YouTube or another website. Without anonymity, Lilly had to speak
truthfully and openly which meant that I was able to get valid feedback on the questions I
asked. She suited the demographic of my audience perfectly, meaning I could carry her
feedback across to my entire product and relate her advice to all areas.
Screening Feedback: Music Video Draft 1
Following my focus group meeting, I noted how having a wider range of feedback would allow
me to get more opinions and widen my understanding of how the audience reacts to my
music video. The easiest way to do such a screening was through college, advertising it
during briefing and putting up flyers. This benefited me in particular because 11-20 was my
target age group and people at our college are aged 16-19. However, one problem with this
was that a lot of people had lessons during the screening periods so I couldn’t get a broad
range of responses. 85% of the screening audience were females, thus I was targeting the
correct audience but there was an imbalance of views.
The feedback that I gained from this screening was largely positive and assisted me in
addressing the answers to the questions that I had asked. Significantly though, when I asked
for feedback on what the audience liked and disliked, it was clear that the variation in
audience members caused there to be a lack of useful feedback sometimes. One response to
what the audience liked was: “the narrative and song”. However, I was looking for something
more structured so I could learn what specifically the audience liked to ensure that I had
enough of “it” in the video. Similarly, when asking what the audience disliked, I noted a lack of
specific constructive criticism; instead some people answered with statements such as
“nothing”. As much as this indicates that my video is appealing to the target audience, it’s
important that I alter my music video in any way possible to ensure that it suits the
requirements of the target audience.
The method I chose for this feedback would theoretically be effective if there is enough depth
within the audience. Ultimately, I think I was able to get the results I needed so clearly it was
effective enough in allowing me to do so. But, if I was to do another screening in future
projects I would ensure that I had more people in the audience and a wider variety of people
because the demographic was limited.
On a more specific level, one took note of the feedback that I was able to gain and made
relevant changes in order to improve my music video. The consensus for the question about
having the garage door in the shot stated that they thought it would be more effective without
it in the shot. Therefore, I re-filmed and re-edited the performance parts of the music video to
act upon this feedback. In my final product I felt that the absence of the garage worked much
better and made the production seem much more professional, suiting the mis-en-scene
Furthermore, 46% of people favoured the colour light leak as the background for the
performance aspects of the music video. This was equal to the amount of people who
favoured the blue-yellow overlay as the background. However, I knew from my studies of
acoustic music videos that there was often a notable difference in the colour between the
performance and narrative aspects of the video. Therefore, I used the audience feedback and
my own research to come to the conclusion that I should use a colour light leak effect to
differentiate between the performance and narrative aspects as the narrative parts were
These two specific changes had a knock-on effect on the rest of my products by making them
have a higher quality and appear more professional. They helped determine the colour
scheme and appearance of the digipak and magazine advertisement, as well as ensure that
the entire body of work had a better finish to it. Had I not responded to my audience feedback
in such a way, the products may have lacked the realistic appearance and caused the overall
body of work to be mismatching.
Audience Feedback: Digipak and Magazine Advertisement
In order to improve the overall design of both of these ancillary texts, I needed to gain
feedback on them to ensure that I could make justified decisions about the different
components that I used. Essentially, I was able to do this quite quickly after completing my
first draft because I utilised SurveyMonkey to create it and social media platforms (Facebook
and Twitter) to distribute. This meant that I was able to quickly gain large amounts of
feedback and make alterations to both products before the deadline. My results from this
survey were very varied and often didn’t have answers that I was expecting. Because of this, I
ended up making numerous changes that I had not intended to. One factor that could have
affected the results of the survey was the ability for anyone to participate in it, not just my
target audience. Therefore, the results could have been askew because I was too broad in
the range of people I surveyed (the opposite of before where I was too narrow).
Nevertheless, the results of my survey
assisted me in learning how I could
modify both of my texts to look more
aesthetically pleasing and have all of the
correct information on. The audience
largely felt that the design and layout
was good with 100% of people thinking
so. Conversely, around 15% of people
thought that not all of the text was clear
and easy to read (see above graph). Therefore, I was able to adjust the size and boldness of
all of the text in my products to ensure that people could clearly understand what it says.
Furthermore, when I asked if the audience
would purchase the digipak after seeing it,
roughly 43% of people said they wouldn’t.
Analysing the additional comments section
allowed me to learn why people wouldn’t. One
comment that I received was crucial in how I
changed my digipak as it suggested swapping
the front cover for one of the panels on the
inside as the outside panel would suit the
inside more as it was more personal. This
is something I hadn’t considered prior to
this; therefore I acted upon this advice and
swapped the panels around. I feel that this
improved my digipak as people would feel
more encouraged to look inside to find out
more due to the more serious expression on Sophie’s face. Below is the transition between
the first draft of my cover panel and the second draft.
The research method that I utilised for this feedback was quick and effective despite the fact
that it surveyed a wider range of participants. I was able to get a broader range of
perspectives and have a wider understanding of different interpretations of my productions. I
feel that this survey worked better than the survey that I conducted for the first screening of
my music video as people gave a lot more constructive criticism that I was able to work on.
Overall, when I objectively look back at all of my feedback I understand how valuable it was to
gauge what the audience thought of my work instead of just having my own input. I have
learnt that I may like how something looks or works but someone else may have a different
opinion or perspective that I need to consider. Essentially, the feedback that I have received
has been beneficial in helping me to alter my productions to suit the target audience more and
look better overall. I have been able to make specific changes to the way that my products
look in order to effect the overall scheme of the work, producing higher quality pieces of work.
Additionally, I have learned the best methods to conducting and collecting survey results to
gain the audience feedback. From experience, paper surveys don’t work as well because the
lack of anonymity causes people to be too generous. Online surveys are much quicker and
easier to collect the results for providing you target the right group of people for your
demographic. I can utilise all of this information in future projects as I will be able to take a
more systematic approach to conducting, collecting and analysing audience feedback in order
to improve my own work.