The Viewer Files: The documentary viewer

The documentary viewer
November 1, 2006

The documentary viewer
Age range: 54% are 35 to 64, although there is appeal to the 25 to 34 (16.2%)and 65-plus (15.4%) age ranges.
Average age: 43
Sex: 49% male, 50% female
Marital status: 59% are married.
Kids: 36% have under-18s, 32% are empty nesters.
Education: 43% have a college diploma, bachelor’s degree or graduate degree.
Typical job: 23% are managers/owners/professionals, while 39% are retired.
Income: US$29,948 (theirs); $60,648 (household)
Viewing habits: They are medium-heavy to heavy TV viewers, although some in this group can also be described as light viewers. They tend to watch during primetime (91%), but there’s also a trend toward overnight viewing (24%).
Major purchases: 34% have bought a mutual fund, 33% have redecorated, and 27% spend $500-plus on their credit card each month.
Other media consumption: They are medium-heavy to heavy radio listeners and tune into classic rock (42%), oldies (33%) and all-news (28%).
Surprisingly, they too either read daily newspapers or they don’t. (Split evenly at 35% apiece.) When they do read, they check out the general news section (60%), as well as entertainment (40%) and editorials (32%). They are medium-heavy to heavy magazine readers, and prefer newsmagazines, including National Geographic.
They venture into cyberspace an average of 9.2 hours per week, where they email (58%), browse for info (45%), entertainment (30%) and travel (15%).
Favorite shows: Obviously news (49%), as well as info shows like 20/20 (32%). They also like CSI (37%) and Law & Order (34%).

Whether it’s news or investigative programs, the documentary viewer likes to think. Interestingly though, she might actually sit through reality or lifestyle programming, if she’s young enough. If she’s pushing 50, forget it – she’ll change the dial if she sees emaciated, bikini-clad babes competing to win a million dollars or Clinton and Stacy’s smug mugs on the dial.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.