February 17, 2016

Audience of One

Media are often discussed, written about, and shared as if we're in a big room together akin to a Super Bowl party all consuming the same message and nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, that party where you spent more time eating the nachos and ribs than watching the game is probably one of the few times each year you consume any media with others in the room.

Media consumption is a personal experience. We listen to music alone in the car or do email alone in our office or post to Facebook and Instagram alone on our mobile devices. Yet there has always been a fascination with the mysterious group called 'them'. I lived that life when I programmed radio stations and we would try and attract a particular demographic as if it's a bunch of clones all doing the same things.

Alone Together

You're probably reading this post by yourself. You may share it, disagree with it, forget it minutes after you're finished, or tell someone about it. But at the genesis of consumption, you're doing it alone. You are the audience of one. The shared experience happens seconds, minutes, hours, days later.

We may use market research and analysis to determine tastes and preferences of a certain age group, but that means nothing to you or me. What matters to you is what's important to you. But if someone you trust shared something, the credibility of the content increases once they share their audience of one experience.

One's and Two's

The stats say North Americans check their mobile device an average of 110 times every day. We aren't sharing our screen with others; we are checking email, social streams, news feeds, and websites alone on our phone.

Now imagine if we took the audience of one concept into the workplace and busted down the walls of departments and silos and watched what happens. What if we allow everyone to have a voice and an opinion? We might unearth an idea from one of our team members that could change the course of the company.

But that's just the view from this audience of one.
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