Of course, for traditional media, demographics are extremely important. If you want to reach a particular kind of audience through TV ads, for example, you need to pick programs that are watched by a sufficiently large group of your audience of likely consumers (probably not advertising Flomax on the Cartoon Network, for instance.)
New media, particularly podcasts, blogs and vlogs, are different entirely. Here’s why:
Search. With over 80 percent of internet users using search engines (scores of millions of users, if not more than 100 million) to find what they need on the web, if your content is out there and searchable, many of your potential customers will find it, wherever you are housing the video or audio files.
In other words, it doesn’t matter if a particular niche within the web is mostly inhabited by people outside your target demographic. For example, if YouTube’s audience is mostly younger, and your target audience is mostly older, that doesn’t stop your audience from finding your content…particularly if you have included it within your own web site or blog.
You can take advantage of the free service to add your video clip to the 100 million or more in the YouTube inventory. The teenagers won’t be looking for it and won’t find it. But by embedding it in your web site or blog and tagging appropriately, people who are looking for your kind of product or service can find it. And since you paid nothing (beyond the time to upload the clip) to add it, your cost per thousand impressions is….? And how does that compare to the TV ad?
The audience may not be large enough to carry your business, and you may still need to use traditional media, too. But if you’re paying for TV, why would you not take advantage of distribution that is essentially free? Especially since those people who have searched for a term that leads them to your content are likely your best potential customers?
New Media Growth. With 67 million iPods sold to date (and likely another 20-25 million hard-drive based mp3 players of all other brands), the audience is getting sufficiently large that it can’t be just the teenagers anymore. And of course the files can be played or viewed on computers as well, which makes for an even broader audience.
For media that are walled off from the broader internet (e.g. cell phones and cable VOD), my first point above is less relevant. You still need to consider the audience for that channel and whether it is large enough and has enough of “your” kind of people to be viable.
I discussed the underlying concept of the Economics of Abundance and linked to some other relevant articles here.