Wednesday, January 19, 2011


An interesting Tweet a couple of moments ago from @kerryabel:

Why does the NME assume all readers are men? RT @NMEmagazine A dating site based on music.
I had vague memories of the assumption being based on research, with figures, and for there is a media pack online:
The audience is made up of key demographic groups that can be difficult to target through other media: -

* 65% Male*
* 50% 16-24*
* 23% 25-34*
* 79% ABC1*
So, part of the answer to Kerry is "because that's what they're trying to sell to advertisers".

But more interesting is that little asterisk. What footnote does this lead us to?
*Source: Forrester 2002
2002? That's a survey that's getting on for a decade old. (The same site, to be fair, also claims Virgin Megastores and Telewest were advertisers on the site during the last twelve months, which suggests this page hasn't seen a brush round for a while - despite being linked to from the front page of as "advertising info".

The magazine media pack is up-to-date, and claims a 76-24 male-female split, based on much more recent data (the website uniques are on there, too, although it would appear - it's not clear - that the gender split refers to just the magazine readership.

(By the way, the circulation is given here, for Jul-Dec 09, as 38,486 and the readership as 388,000 - implying that the average copy of the NME is read by ten people, which is quite an astonishing achievement.)

(Also by the way, the media pack says this of readers:
They tend to buy a new DVD every monht
Nothing says 'advertise in a quality publication' like a screaming typo in the pack you hand out to advertisers.)

But that does wander away from the question Kerry was asking. This is what NME defines as its target market:
Men aged 17-30
So, in short: NME doesn't so much assume its readers are men, as hope they will be. To sell to advertisers.