BBC Worldwide wanted to understand the structure and the needs of the global fandom for Dr Who. The research study we undertook enabled us to identify the opportunities to increase fans' affinity, engagement and monetisation.
We initially had to understand who were the fans in these territories — how old were they, what gender did they skew (if at all) and were children and families a key part of the audience, and if not was there a potential for them to be? For some territories we knew it was just not a show that resonated with children but we needed to build up exactly who the audience was and how we can best cater to their needs, both through global activations and local content.
This study included both quantitative and qualitative research. We used two quant surveys, the first to get a feel for the market and understand who we were talking to and a second to get those broader findings: understanding what elements resonated, what touchpoints worked the best and how did fans (in varying levels of fandom, from potential to core) ‘feel’ about the show. The qual allowed us to dig a little deeper to better comprehend the who, what, why and how of the broader opinions the quant uncovered.
Across territories we found five key audience groups for the franchise – this was determined by our fandom model supplemented with local social networks, cultural norms and the existing fandom hubs within each territory. We were able to go into detail in understanding favourite devices and media platforms and how they express fandom, right down to their favourite characters and elements of the existing franchise. We built specific recommendations on how to cater to each audience type, where and how to reach them and what is it about Doctor Who that they resonate with the most. We found in many cases, it’s not the territory that sets them apart but age and interest playing a bigger factor.
These findings and profiles set the foundation for BBC Studios next steps when it comes to building the fandom of Doctor Who across the world.