The main point of a business to to make money, and even in the media and music industry this holds up true. However, to make the most money possible, you need to understand your audience well, and encode messages and meanings that the audience can decode, and agree with, messages that align with their personal beliefs and values. You need to know your genre and its fan base, and so here I have done research looking into the possible fans of Alt rock, and specifically Linkin park. We went and researched using ‘YouGov’ the typical fan of Linkin Park, and as the pictures below show, according to YouGov, it tends to be:
- Left leaning politically
- Young females
- Located in the North East of England
This makes sense, as Alt Rock was most popular in the early 2000’s, so these women were growing up with the genre. Don’t let the picture below fool you however, these are heavy and hard women that love partying and going wild! These women love all things alternative and heavy rock, from Green Day, to My Chemical Romance.
Knowing your audience is also important for other reasons other than just making money, those other reasons include:
- Making sure you know what to change about your music, and what to keep the same so that the audience don’t reject the text
- Knowing what new avenues might work, and what won’t
- Knowing where to tour, and what type of people would be most likely to go and see you
- Making sure that you don’t add any political messages into your work that the audience disagree with
- Having the ability to know that if your audience changes, so should you
At the end of the day, there needs to be a balance between the business side of the industry and the creative side. Cash grabs are often rejected by the audience just as much as abstract and completely changed. It is important to know what your audience is like, and what they want so that you can have a good mix, and create a piece that will be generally accepted by audiences. If you create a music video that has right wing messages, and targeted for old working class men, the left wing young women that make up the majority of your fanbase won’t be able to relate, and will subsequently reject this video.
Blumer and Katz theorized, that media is created, and can be perceived for one or more of these four reasons:
- Identity – For example reinforcing your left wing beliefs
- Educate – For example learning about mental health and illnesses
- Entertain – For example watching a story driven action music video that is exciting and thrilling to watch
- Social Interaction – For example talking to your best friends about ‘Linkin Parks’ newest music video
If you don’t hit any one of these four reasoning in your piece of media, it will be rejected. Therefore, it is important to not only know who your audience is, and what they want from you, but why they want to watch your video. A music video for example, is more likely to be used for social interaction or entertainment reasons, but can in certain circumstances be used to reinforce identity, or educate yourself on a topic. Therefore, it is evident that there is a lot to consider in terms of audience’s expectations, what they want and why when making a piece of media.