08. Methods & Acknowledgements
One-of-a-kind data infrastructure and rigorous research
To measure the audience values for this research, we use surveys that explore attitudes on race, gender, place, and class, along with core values. Using these results, we develop a suite of predictive models that help us assign audience scores to our nationally representative, opt-in media consumption panels, based on demography, geography, and lifestyle features (e.g., age, gender, race, zip code).
In other words, we don’t survey people about their media habits; we survey them about what they believe, and then we use rich clickstream and watching behavior data to find out what media they engage with. Media consumption panels give us visibility into the minute-by-minute media behaviors of over 300,000 people in the U.S., who opted in and are compensated for their participation, across desktop, mobile, tablet, and TV.
We found the media and climate content that was most popular and distinctive to each audience using models of audience reach. We primarily used websites visited, digital news consumption, and YouTube consumption, between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022.
Popular vs. Distinctive
One feature of our analytic approach is our focus on audience distinctiveness in selecting media. We are often asked why we don’t simply use popularity. The reason is that the big stuff in media is so much bigger than everything else that it tends to reach most everyone, creating a less informative map of audiences, and leading to less efficient strategies for reaching audiences.
By way of illustration, during our study period, the highest reach YouTube creator for most of the audience map was Markiplier. So, if a partner does a collaboration with Markiplier, they will reach lots of folks in their target audience, and lots of other people, too. This would be inefficient.
Weighting popularity and audience distinctiveness together, however, reveals how high-reach creators like CoryXKenshin, for instance, more precisely reach If You Say So.