- You need to listen to your audience

Published 12.03.2019
- If you don’t know who these influencers are, and who the popular youtubers are, you need to educate yourself. Otherwise you will not stay on top, and you will not succeed in connecting with the youth audience.

That was the unmistakable advice from Natasha Sayer, NRK Super producer in charge of setting up new services to connect with the younger audiences. 80 people turned up in the Media Lab on Monday to learn more about the influencer industry. Through different examples Sayer showed how public broadcasted NRK had succeeded, and also sometimes failed, in creating services and content for this target demographic. She also strongly urged everyone to listen to, and pay attention to, the young audience.
- For instance in commentary fields and through other feedback you will often find the tools and information you need to tweak your content and offering to match your target group, Sayer said.

While Natasha Sayer gave an insiders’ perspective to how NRK works with the younger audiences, Dr. Crystal Abidin, a digital anthropologist and ethnographer of vernacular Internet cultures, gave a general overview of influencer cultures across different social media and geographical regions. Abidin, an expert in this field, has conducted significant research on Internet Fame, Instagram Cultures, Influencer Cultures, and the Blogshop industry. She is also listed on Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia (2018) and Pacific Standard 30 Top Thinkers Under 30 (2016).

Abidin showed the audience how these phenomena have grown tremendously over the last years, and how they influence the youth culture and next generations.
- It is very demanding to keep up as new memes and new ways of communication keep evolving, she said, and demonstrated examples on how this comes into play in different forms and in different cultures. A lot of what’s going on is also highly stressful and destructive for the ones involved.
- It is impossible to retract once it is out there, she continued, so these Internet universes can be quite chaotic.

NRK has been delivering several very successful concepts and series for young people, including the international hit SKAM. All the characters in the show has their own real-life social media accounts.
The show has a huge fan base in many countries, including the US where an American version is also produced. At the same time, it is challenging to keep the audience, once the offering is not there anymore.
- But we are still lacking a social channel and a platform for our young audience to discuss and connect, Natasha Sayer said.