4 minutes

Using Proxy Audiences To Identify Unknown TV & Film Audiences

It should come as no surprise that we’re living in a world where consumer attention comes at a premium price. While we might be constantly tempted by the glut of content and choices around us, the fact of the matter is that we’ve only got so much time in a day. That means some things are going to be missed. That’s why experts in the media and entertainment space are saying we’re in a content arms race – everyone is vying for the same attention spans and dollars.

Around us we are starting to see the results of this increased competition as film budgets rise exponentially to satisfy consumer expectations, and streaming companies double-down on producing their own original content to guarantee they are the only source for consumption. But staying top of mind is more than just creating a great piece of content. It’s understanding that new, fresh material needs to be constantly shipped.

A speaker at the recent National Association of Broadcasting’s main show in Las Vegas, compared this constant release of content to always being on a moving walkway. But as a creator, how do you keep up and still create a quality product? It’s all about balance. Creators need to release content that is familiar with the audience, e.g. a spin-off or another season of a show, as well as content that is completely new, fresh, and different.

Launching content that falls into that first bucket can be done with ease. There is a familiarity around what the audience expects as well as what has worked/not worked in the past. But what about the content that is targeting unfamiliar audiences? How do you successfully launch and promote while still sprinting down the track of content creation?

This is where taking an audience-first approach comes in. By leveraging audience software such as Affinio, insights can quickly be derived about the interests and passions of a particular audience, creating a blueprint for what they care about most and the best ways to connect.

For an example of this let’s pretend you are a streaming company such as Netflix. Not only are you purchasing content licenses to satisfy the demands of your audience, but creating original material has become a key strategic decision as it provides you with full ownership and control over this unique content.

One of the new shows that you have scheduled to come out later in the year is a dark comedy starring Jonah Hill. Unfamiliar with the audience that would be most interested in this, you analyze a proxy audience of those recently attracted to other dark comedies.

Doing this you find 14 unique audience segments that were interested in the other dark comedies that you can use as your proxy audience:

From these unique audience segments you now need to determine which of these groups might be interested in your upcoming content. To identify this, you benchmark Jonah Hill as well as your Netflix audience against these unique interest segments. This quickly identifies that the audience segments named Character Comedy Fans and Millennial Male Sports Fans resonate the most with your star as well as your overall audience.

With this identified you now need to understand the audience a bit more to develop a plan for how to promote your show in the most meaningful way.

By clicking on the Interest tab you can  identify the top 1000 interests within this audience to help your promotional tactics. For starters, you uncover that Daniel Tosh and Stephen Colbert are the top rated celebrities for this audience. This information is passed along to make sure that Johan Hill is scheduled to appear on Tosh.O as well as The Late Show to promote this upcoming series. 


To help with the strategic promotion for this show you uncover and analyze the top media choices within this audience:


as well as some of the top brands to consider partnering with to help with strategic advertising to raise awareness around this campaign


Armed with all this audience data, not only do you have a much better understanding of the audiences that are interested in dark comedies but you now have a promotional strategy in place to promote your upcoming content to the audience segment that cares most about it.

Curious how this data can also be used to help predict box office success? Be sure to check out this other post titled Box Office or Bust? Using Affinio Insights to Predict Box Office Audiences.

Request DemoSubscribe here