The key demographic or target demographic is a term in commercial broadcasting that refers to the most desirable demographic group to a given advertiser. Key demographics vary by outlet, time of day, and programming type, but they are generally composed of individuals who are younger and more affluent than the general public: "Young adult viewers have been TV's target demographic for decades, because they're thought to have less brand loyalty and more disposable income."[1] In the case of television, most key demographic groups consist of adults who are somewhere in age between 18 and 54.[2][3][4] For example, the key demographic for reality television is women with disposable income aged 18 to 34[5] whereas for the WB Television Network it is "eighteen- to thirty-four-year-old, , viewers"[6] Television programming is tailored to members of its key demographics:[7][8][9][10] "Despite the increase in time-shifting to watch recorded television and shows on the Internet, the use of television as an advertising vehicle is still determined by demographic characteristics or who is watching at what time."[11] The subset of ratings that only includes the key demographic of 18- to 49-year-olds is often referred to as the "key demo".[12] Certain radio formats (especially those dubbed "classic") and television outlets may target persons 35 to 64, especially since the late 2000s recession wiped out many career opportunities for millennials, since the 35–64 demographic has much more disposable income.[13]

See also


  1. ^ Weinman, Jaime J. (2012). "Television's mid-life crisis". Maclean's. 125 (27): 72. 
  2. ^ Stabile, Carol A.; Harrison, Mark (2003). Prime Time Animation: Television Animation and American Culture. Psychology Press. p. 86. ISBN 978-0-415-28326-7. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  3. ^ Donald G. Godfrey; Frederic A. Leigh (1998). Historical Dictionary of American Radio. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 26. ISBN 978-0-313-29636-9. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  4. ^ Horace Newcomb (2004). Encyclopedia of television: A-C. CRC Press. p. 1892. ISBN 978-1-57958-411-5. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  5. ^ Verena Stickler (5 September 2011). The Music and Media Industry: The Television Industry UK - REALity TV. GRIN Verlag. p. 7. ISBN 978-3-640-99842-5. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  6. ^ David Lavery (15 January 2010). The Essential Cult Tv Reader. University Press of Kentucky. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-8131-2568-8. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  7. ^ Michael Hyman, PhD; Jeremy Sierra, PhD (5 March 2010). Marketing Research Kit For Dummies. John Wiley & Sons. p. 285. ISBN 978-0-470-63256-7. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  8. ^ Roy L. Moore; Michael D. Murray (2008). Media Law and Ethics. Taylor & Francis. p. 509. GGKEY:Z44Q63BL6EQ. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  9. ^ Steve Michael Barkin (2003). American Television News: The Media Marketplace and the Public Interest. M.E. Sharpe. pp. 164–. ISBN 978-0-7656-0923-6. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  10. ^ James L. Longworth (1 July 2002). TV Creators: Conversations With America's Top Producers of Television Drama. Syracuse University Press. p. 224. ISBN 978-0-8156-0702-1. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  11. ^ Victoria O'Donnell (9 February 2012). Television Criticism. SAGE. p. 35. ISBN 978-1-4129-9105-6. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  12. ^ "Thursday TV Show Ratings: X Factor, CMA Country Christmas, White House Christmas, Charlie Brown". TV Series Finale. 21 December 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  13. ^ Pergament, Alan (May 30, 2017). "Stephen Colbert's rise in WNY includes key demographic win in May sweeps". The Buffalo News. Retrieved 31 May 2017. More interestingly, Colbert's program (…)handily defeated Fallon in the age 35-64 demographic that Channel 4 (WIVB-TV) claims has the most money to spend.