I struggled to decide an initial target audience for my project as the festival hosts a broad range of films for most ages. One of the first steps I took was to research film audiences in the UK, which allowed me to pin point a smaller age range. Figure 1 demonstrates the trends of cinema audiences from 1997-2012.
Figure 1 Age distribution of cinema audiences aged 15+, 1997-2012
Source : National Readership Survey (NRS), Cinema Advertising Association.
According to a report on film audiences (Cinema Advertising Association, 2013) cinema viewers aged 45+ have steadily increased over the last eleven years, particularly in 2011 where they represented the highest percentage (36%) of cinema viewers. Additionally the graph highlights that individuals aged 15-24 and 25-34 cinema viewing, has gradually decreased by 18% and 10% over the last fifteen years (British Film Institute, 2013). This underlined that an older target audience of 35+ would be more suitable for my project, with a more mature audience regularly going to the cinema and increasing each year.
I also created a survey that questioned individuals about their social media preferences and search tendencies. The questionnaire was posted in numerous film forums and on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter and obtained 100 respondents. When asked why individuals use mobile apps/ websites most (80.81%) respondents said for social reasons, with 69.7% stating for fun and 50.51% stating to gain information. This highlighted that users valued social interaction most, compared to all other activities. Additionally 41% respondents said they would use an interest based network on films, with 32% stating they might.
The survey proved extremely useful to the field of endeavour and provided me with enough information to prove that there was an audience for this project. It also underlined the original apps mistakes that my project should avoid, for example, rather than focusing on film content, ticket availability and venue location my project aims to focus on user interaction and the ability to connect with people who share one common interest, a passion for films. Lastly it confirmed the assumption that users predominantly search for films via genre and most highly rated, a factor I took into consideration when planning the navigational properties of the site.