Audience is changing

Interactive media communicators often refer to their target group as their audience. As the internet continues to change into a more interactive world, audience seems to be a little outdated.

Audience refers to a group that is simply viewing something, whether it be a Web site, a video or some other product. Today, online users don’t just view they interact and participate. Because of this change in how people engage online it is necessary to redefine audience just a little bit.

audienceI still like to refer to the target group as an audience, but it is much more than the standard definition of audience. I think engaged audience is a little better, obviously not as easy to say though.

An engaged audience, although maybe a different definition because it refers to being engaged and active online, still has the same meaning for the content creators. When we are referring to our audience, the meaning hasn’t changed as much because we are still aiming our content at them to view and use.

One thing that can change with audience is that it almost needs to be broken down into more categories. Our audience is no longer just one massive group, it is several smaller groups combined.

For example, content creators are now adding pieces to their Web site that are specific to different audiences. A Web site might add a teen section to entice younger middle school and high school age children to view the Web site. An obituary section on a news Web site would be targeted towards an older generation. The entire product or Web site is not specifically aimed at one large audience, but instead is broken up into sections of content that are then directed at specific engaged audience groups.

Audience still exists and always will, but the exact definition is changing with the increase in interactivity online. I think we will constantly be changing the definition and word “audience” to incorporate some of these modifications.


1 comment so far

  1. steveearley on

    You get at what’s important. It doesn’t matter what you call the audience as long as you know how to conceptualize it in a new media context. A big part of that is understanding that an audience is not a static, passive, monolithic element.

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