Define Your Audience Niche

Lesson Details

Subject: Business

Title: Define Your Audience Niche


The first step in creating your channel is to find and define your audience. Gone are the days of appealing to as many people as possible, rather find your niche and build an audience around it.


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What is a sphere?

Instead of thinking of your online channel as a channel, which has an 8:00, 9:00, 10:00 programming and so on and watched in a linear way, it's much better to think of it as kinda a sphere of interest.

Now, what do I mean by that?

I mean that you're going to build a self-contained affinity group, online, of people who all have the same interest. 

Let me explain this. 

When broadcast television first started and there were only three networks, each network felt it was incumbent upon them to offer all things to all people, because they made their money by attracting the largest possible audience. So CBS Sports, CBS News, CBS Movie of the Week, CBS sitcoms, CBS game shows, and so on. They did everything for everyone all the time, of course, in different time slots. That's because there were only three networks and they had a hundred million viewers of whom they wanted to extract the greatest number possible. 

When cable first came along in the 1980s, cable actually, and naturally, mimicked what they had seen in broadcast. So the very first cable channels, like USA network, also showed everything to all people.

When I was much younger, much younger, I used to work for the Christian Science Monitor, and Monitor launched a TV news show, called Monitor, which was on every night on the Discovery Channel of all places. Every night from 8:00 - 9:00 it was Monitor News, because even discovery in its early days, felt they should have a news show. Of course, today they would never have a news show because as cable matured, cable began to understand that their interest was in narrowing down and grabbing a certain part of the viewership. 

So you have HGTV, which deals with homes, you have Travel, which deals with travel, and you have the Food Channel, which deals with food, and things like that. 

They began to narrow down the scope and focus on a specific group, but even in doing that, it was still extremely broad. 

As we reach the world of digital online channels, we should learn this lesson and the secret here is to condense even further. 

So instead of a food channel per say, you could create a Japanese food channel, which I prefer to call a Japanese food sphere.

Now, what would this mean?

This would mean that all the people who are interested in Japanese cooking or Japanese food, would come to your channel. If you're interested in Japanese food, you really not going to go to the food channel anymore because it doesn't show Japanese food except hardly ever. So you'll come to the place that you have a particular interest in. 

Model railways can create a sphere. 

Dollhouse can create a sphere. 

Fly fishing can create a sphere.

Ok, now, if you want proof that this works, you only have to look at the world of print. The world of print is a fantastic roadmap for what we can do in terms of television. 

If you go into a magazine store, if you're in an airport or something like that, and you go into a magazine store often times you can see a thousand different magazines on a thousand different topics, but you know what, they're all profitable, they're all profitable businesses and why are they profitable? Because the magazines also control a niche. 

There's fly fishing; there's cruising world; there's sail magazine, there's guns and ammo, there's motor racing, there 5 or 6 airplane ones, there are 20 different magazines about interior design, bathrooms, kitchens, old, new, architectural digest.

The magazine business discovered a long time ago since print was relatively inexpensive, that the best way that they could attract advertisers, was to own a niche. 

The same thing is going to happen in the world of television. Because the technology now takes us from 500 channels to infinite channels, the same way in the world of print, we have infinite number of magazines that could be made (that doesn't mean there are going to be infinite channels but it does mean the opportunities are much broader.

If you could make a channel around a specific nice that you can own, and it better be something you have a personal passion for because you'll have to live with this for the rest of your life, you can then attract people who are also interested in that specific niche. 

This is extremely important, because, at the end of the day, it's all about revenue.

We're going to talk about revenue in a minute. 

If you don't make revenue, there's no point in doing this. but if you can create a niche of a very specific group of people interested in only one thing, and you can go to advertisers who have an interest in reaching those specific people, then you have a product and a space that you can sell that will generate revenue.

Now, what do I mean by that?

Let's go back to our example of Japanese food channel, which doesn't exist yet, but certainly will one day. Japanese restaurants, people who own Japanese food stores, people who sell trips to Japan, would be far more interested in advertising with you because there's almost a 1 to 1 ratio. In other words, everyone who is on your channel is interested in Japan in some way, and that's what advertisers want to reach. 

Given the choice between advertising with you and reaching 100 out of 100 people who have a passion for Japan, or advertising on the Travel Channel and reaching perhaps one out of ten thousand people, who have an interest in Japan, they're going to advertise with you. 

The future of online digital video broadcasting is not in creating very very broad emorphus things that have a lot of content in it, it's in focusing on a niche and we know this because we know it worked in print.