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  1. 1. Elliot Jones [DOCUMENT TITLE] Research isn’t so scary! Here is an easy guide to howto get the most from it. The two main reasons Audience Research is done is to show the estimated size of your audience, and also what the audience would like to see. Researching into your chosen audience is critical to the Video Game industry (for example) as without an idea of where your selling point is, then you will not know how to market your product correctly and if the research was done in the first place you could be advertising directly to the defined audience rather than having a guess as to who may buy it. Another reason audience research is vital is you could spend as much money as you like for e.g. selling your 18 rated game to primary school kids, but it won’t get your anyway because these aren’t the age range who will be buying it. So no matter how much you spent it will be a complete waste. Below I will be looking into different media producers in the video game industry and how they define their audiences.
  2. 2. Vibe Productions Page 1 - Types of research: Quantitive and qualitative Page 2 - Primary methods of research: interview techniques, observations, questionnaires, surveys, types of questions, focus groups, audience panels, participation in internet forums. Page 2 - Secondary sources of research: Books journals, reference-based books and directories, periodicals, newspapers, film archives, photo libraries, worldwide web, searching internet forums, CD Rom databases, audio material, ratings, circulation figures, government statistics Introduction - Purposes of Research: Audience, Market and Production research Page 3 - The Role of the Research
  3. 3. Vibe Productions Quantitative research “Quantitative research refers to the systematic empirical investigation of social phenomena via statistical, mathematical or computational techniques” –Wikipedia This is data that is represented as statistics or numbers for example viewing records. Barb: Barb, standing for Broadcasters Audience Research Board Is a website that provides all of the official viewing figures for the UK. It uses companies who specialise in research such as Ipsos MORI, Kantar Media and RSMB to collect the data that it provides. Data sites such as this are great for companies to use to determine what people are watching. For video game companies sites like this that are able to determine what people are playing and also details on the background of the audiences. I’ve found a great PDF that gives statistics on all sorts of information that will give companies the edge on who they should be focusing their advertising on. This contains information such as the average age of gamers, what games are played most often, top selling games and lots of other useful information. This is the overall statistics for 2012, which could be a downside to information that doesn’t come out as often as some companies may like. For e.g. this document 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 would market their product in 2013 only to males. Information can change like this at any time, especially over a year. Examples like this are where more up to date information would be useful. Qualitative Research This is research from sources such as questionnaires, focus groups and face to face interviews. Research such as this can be done primary (when the company does the research themselves) or secondary research where another company will do
  4. 4. Vibe Productions the research and then post it somewhere where other companies can source the information and use it. Benefits of primary research is you are able to write the questions yourself, this can then get you the information you are looking for and this is where secondary research can lack. Getting the information secondarily (what you can find of it) online from different sources won’t always be exactly what you’re looking for. Primary content research Primary content research is research done yourself without aid of books or the internet etc. It is going out and finding the information you seek out for yourself. Interviews: An interview is one way of finding out this information. Setting up an interview with someone in the field of your interest is a great way to ask the questions you’re looking for an answer too. In the subject field of video games I could organise an interview with a ‘Youtuber’. Someone who posts content on YouTube as their profession. They could tell me the type of audiences they say and techniques they use. Another great interview would be with a game developer. Someone who works with games for a living. They will know the most important aspects of the game inside and out. A reason Primary research such as interviews is good is because you get to write the questions yourself instead of searching through the internet for that one other person who has the information online. Questionnaires and surveys can be used as a feedback device. Being able to write these yourself again means you can find out the information you need. These can also be mass-produced to the number of responses you desire. Handed out or posted online. Because you can choose who you send these questionnaires too you can also only aim for your market, which is really important when creating product. If you are stuck own or peer observation can be great help. Own observation can be used to have someone watch you and help out with what you’re doing, this is helpful when you know what you’re doing but may need some help in creating it. Peer observation is useful for coming up with ideas but keeping in mind that you cannot copy word for word. It is more to get your started. Secondary content research
  5. 5. Vibe Productions Secondary research consists of finding information that other people have done form such sources as newspapers, books the internet etc. Magazines: Magazines will have useful information written by professionals. They can also contain outside information from other sources and interviews. Using video games as an example again, magazines I could use for secondary research are; PC Gamer, Xbox World and Official UK PlayStation Magazines. These will cover the 3 main consoles. You can look back through old copies and find when the games or consoles were featured and find out information on it. Books are another great source of secondary research when it comes to a lot of things. Going into a library there will be something there to help you and get the information you need. If not, then the internet is always there for you. The internet is endless with research that other people have posted. But always be careful. Because mostly everything is posted by someone else, it can’t always be trusted sources. So do research on your research! The Role of Research The Role of Research within the video game industry is important when looking into the audience of the game and also the genre. Games such as MMOs (Mass Multiplayer Online) for example. World of Warcraft, Guild Wars and Diablo 3 have a completely different audience to such genres as Action games like Call of Duty. MMO’s are for more ‘hardcore’ gamers as they require time and patience. While Call of Duty you could play for 10 minutes and hop straight off, which suits casual gamers much better. When looking into the audience for the video game a company is producing, age will be top priority. A bigger market may be in younger audience but the game may have over 18 content. This is where companies have to decide which route they’re going down. Research outside of the game side of things would include consoles. For example, the Nintendo Wii has a varied audience, but mainly families and Youngers kids because the games are easier to understand and pick up. This also has an entirely different concept to it, using your body as the controller, dancing, jumping, running, it uses your energy to play rather than it being for relax time. Hardcore gamers also do not jump on the Wii because none of its games are suited towards them. Nothing you can really grip your teeth into. But all consoles, because of research have done well distinguishing their audiences and being able to market to all. They understand where each other come from.