TV Show Research: Dickinson

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Demographics - Dickinson

According to an article by Entertainment Weekly, producers of Dickinson wanted to undo the image of the actual character of Dickinson as an older writer, and hermit and introduce the viewers to something more relatable. While there is limited information on the actual demographics of the viewers of the show, statements made by the cast, producers, and TV critics show that the viewers often relate to the character of Dickinson and are likely to be female, who are teens or young adults (13-26), white, unmarried, and are college-educated.

AGE

  • According to a news article from France24, Dickinson's target audience is teens and young adults. Since young adults can be identified as people aged 18-26, the target demographic (including teens) of this TV show can be considered to be in the range of 13-26.
  • Anna Baryshnikov, who plays Dickinson's sister Lavinia had said that the show is "an incredibly contemporary story for young people because it's about a young queer poet wondering if there's space for her in the world."

GENDER

  • Hailee Steinfeld, an executive producer of Dickinson, has stated that while the show has something for everyone and appeals to all ages, she hopes that young women in particular will relate to the story.

EDUCATION

  • Official demographics on the education level of Dickinson viewers are not available. However, an article from Primetimer written by a TV critic made the following statement about the show: "If you’re a certain college major of a certain gender, it probably caught your eye, too." This indicates that the show appeals to college educated viewers.

MARITAL STATUS

  • While there is insufficient information available on the marital status of the show's audience, a review article states that Dickinson appeals to the modern viewer who "wants an education, doesn’t want to get married, and thus checks off all the boxes that make a period heroine a typical fan favorite," implying that the targeted viewer is unlikely to be married.

RACE

  • Racial demographics of Dickinson viewers are not available. However, a reviewer that writes for the Claremont Graduate University poetry blog has stated that "the show has costumed Emily Dickinson to be an icon of contemporary white, female liberation." This shows that the show is likely targeted at viewers from a similar racial background (i.e white).
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Psychographics - Dickinson

Introduction

The Apple TV+ show Dickinson launched in 2019, as part of Apple's strategy to drive viewership on the platform with original content. The show, which was recently renewed for a second season, is a historical drama featuring Emily Dickinson as a teen, explores topics around feminism, mortality, and sexuality, and was one of the top 10 in-demand original streaming shows, the only Apple TV+ show to earn a ranking.

While there was limited direct data on the psychographics of viewers of this show, based on the show's content, as well as secondary data and reviews, one can conclude that viewers of this show were most likely to have the following core characteristics; feminist, liberal, LGBT or LGBT friendly, millennial age, and as the show is on Apple+, also likely to reflect the psychographics of Apple device users, all of which we explore in further depth below.

Habits & Hobbies

  • Given the core focus of the shows content is around challenges of being a woman in the 1800s, one could hypothesize that the show appeals more to women and feminist male viewers.
  • Feminists are more likely to be activists who are highly involved in political activities.
  • The show also focuses on edgy, potentially controversial topics, such as death, morality, and sex, so one can theorize that viewers would be more liberal leaning (vs. conservative).
  • One study shows that liberal viewers tend to be more social as a whole than conservative viewers, and more likely to choose media and hobbies based on peer influence, with a tendency to "follow the wandering gaze of others more often".
  • The show also has a heavy focus on quality music production, so its likely that viewers are either musically inclined or highly value music selections.
  • Apple TV users tend to value advanced features and capabilities, so it's also likely viewers of the show are also similarly tech inclined and early adopters of new devices.

Spending

Values

  • Viewers are also likely to relate to feminist values of empowerment, cooperation, justice, and fairness.

Research Strategy

In order to determine the psychographics for the audience of the Apple+ show Dickinson, we examined industry reports, marketing data, Apple product research, and viewer reviews. We then triangulated this data with reports on the hobbies, general habits, values, and spending habits of those most likely to view the show, which we found via marketing reports, business publications, and consumer news reports.
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