How Does BBC World News Segment Its Audience?

BBC defined 6 audience types by demographic and behavioral characteristics. Take a closer look at them.

Continuing the audience segmentation topic, it would be suitable to see how BBC manages segregating their watchers into groups. BBC took into account attitudes to the world and current events, their relationships with society, and their media consumption level.

Audience segments

BBC defined 6 audience types by demographic and behavioral characteristics. Each percentage equals the global presence of a certain audience segment.

  1. 1. Worldly achievers - 28%

    Well Educated, they are moving up in the world and are career orientated. Motivated with a global outlook, they want to be informed and they care about their reputation.

    This audience segment is mostly present in emerging markets. Most in this customer segment create new mainstreams instead of following existing ones.

  2. 2. Culturally curious - 11%

    Established, thoughtful and outward-looking, they want to know more about the world and see more of it when possible.

    This group is present in already developed markets. They value stability and have a multifaceted approach to problems.

  3. 3. Aspirational providers - 14%

    It’s all about hard work, doing the best for their families and improving their lot in life. They are mainly found in Latin America and African countries (SAR), Spain, Italy and some parts of Asia.

  4. 4. Connected enthusiasts - 16%

    With their smartphones always close at hand, they are in constant touch with their friends. Social media is second nature to them. The BBC says this audience segment is similar to Worldly achievers, they are young, active, highly motivated, agile and ready for change, however, they are not as addicted to technology compared to others.

  5. 5. Active optimists - 15%

    Ambitious, young and fearless, they are tech-savvy. They are interested in what will touch their own lives. It’s an international segment with no obvious regional fluctuation.

  6. 6. Comfortable mainstreamers - 18%

    They have reason to feel happy at home and within their circle of friends and family. A better life for them is a more comfortable life. Similar to the previous group, representatives of this audience segment can be found throughout the world.

  7. Finally, BBC has chosen two audience segments to target: Worldly achievers and Culturally curious.

    Why? They are:

    • Affluent. Obviously, business wants solvent and payable clients. These categories’ income is higher than the average income of other segments.
    • Worldly. 84% of them are interested in global events, while just 67% of other segments watch global news.
    • Educated. This audience segment includes 64% of people with higher education compared to 51% for other segments.
    • High affinity with BBC. They rated the channel higher than other segments.
    • Frequent use of BBC. More than 60% of these two segments watch the BBC channel on a daily basis. For other groups, the figure appeared to be around 52%.

    This wasn’t the end for the BBC’s research. Their team decided to study these audience segments deeper. Besides geographical and demographic data, they explored their interests and behaviour.

    Vital characteristics of segments:

    1. 1. Worldly achievers don’t rely on ‘old’ media, preferring digital devices. They get actual information from the Internet and social media, still, they watch TV just for fun and inspiration.

      Categories read by this audience segment most frequently: News & current affairs, Cars and motoring, Sport, Travel, Science and technology, Business and finance.

    2. 2. The Culturally curious audience segment is more selective in the content they view. Technology is not their major interest. They usually access media through desktop devices.

      Their favourite categories: News & current affairs, Culture and arts, Travel, Documentaries and history, Wildlife and nature.

    What does the BBC’s experience show us?

    The purpose of audience segmentation should be clear. As you can see from this case, knowing the audience provides insights into improving certain categories.

    Keep in mind, every company may have its own unique audience segments, for example, Amazon also carried out research on this issue.