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Plus Report - By Thomas Baekdal - January 2015

The First Steps Towards Audience Development

One of the really big topics in the media industry is the whole concept around 'audience development'. This is what you do to grow your audience, and it is what enables you to transform your media business.

Of course, this is nothing new. Audience development has always been around but up until now, it has been a type of secondary activity (at least in the traditional media industry), and usually disconnected from the newsroom.

Even today, In many newspapers, audience development is merely a small group of people who are posting links on Twitter and Facebook. And they occasionally come up with some kind of low-impact gimmick that doesn't really change anything or make much of a difference.

However, this new type of audience development is different. The demands on the connected world with its infinite abundance of content is changing everything, and the media (new and old) are faced with the challenge to simply renew their very existence.

To do that, you need to develop a new audience, or at least renew and old audience around a new purpose.

This is hard... very hard. But it is also absolutely essential.

Audience development is something I plan to write about continuously in 2015 (by focusing on different aspects of it). In this article, however, were are going to define the new baseline. This article is all about how you should think about it.

The bar has been raised, as they say, and you need to get the right kind of mindset in order to ensure you're developing the right type of audience.

So, let's get started.

A loaf of bread

Whenever I try to explain the massive difference in market conditions brought on by the connected world, I usually think about it like this...

In the old world, we had this extreme case of scarcity. When I was young, for instance, my parents subscribed to only two newspapers (one morning national newspaper and one weekly local newspaper), about 2-3 monthly magazines, and we had two general purpose TV channels.

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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


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