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While sitting on the couch or lying in bed, do you ever think to your self while watching television or a movie or reading a magazine or newspaper “Why did they choose that?” or “Why am I watching/reading this?

Don’t think that this is a coincidence. Producers/editors realize that each person is different and each person likes something else. They choose what they put on the TV or in the magazine for a specific reason. We are all part of a “Niche Audience”, or a fraction of a total market. The American viewing audience has highly specific needs. So whether you want to learn your ABC’s, watch a sporting event, like ice fishing or even learn how to bake a cake, television marketers are making sure that it is all right there for you. Each person’s interest is taken into consideration. People don’t think about this when they watch television or read a magazine. When watching television, one might say to them that this one show is about me. What you don’t realize is that it is not only about you but also about millions of other viewers saying the same thing.

I didn’t realize this until watching the video “Media History: The Story of Film, TV, & Media” in Intro to Mass Communications at Towson University. The television network grew from three networks, ABC, CBS, and NBC. Television was simple and life was simple. Now from three networks we have broadcasting as well as cable networks. The television industry/era skyrocketed. Today we have more than 100 channels with something different for each person to be interested in. The television industry has looked at all of the different “Niche Audiences” and addressed their interests by producing shows on more topics than I knew even existed.

I never thought about why this television program was so appealing or why I wanted to watch. What I didn’t realize is that I am interested because it is directed towards me. It was not by accident but it is on purpose that I enjoy this show. I can relate to it and I can put my self in their shoes.  I remember seeing an interview with Ray Romano. He was the writer, producer and star of “Everyone Loves Raymond”. He was asked why he thought his show was so successful. Ray believed it was because the story lines were taken from real people’s lives and people could relate to them.

Most people in America watch television. Typically we are usually watching a show for a reason. It’s not because it is just something to watch; but it is usually something that you personally enjoy and can relate to. You may learn something new, or just be entertained.  You may not think about it at the time but this television show was targeted just for you. The television market found “your niche”.

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