what does demographics mean?

As it relates to web monetization, this term is most relevant to display ad sales. Specifically, demographics or “demos” refers to statistics that can be used to convey the makeup of a site’s audience. Most commonly, demographic data will be included in a page or section of a site’s digital media kit.

Below is a page from the Entrepreneur.com digital media kit, which includes a section dedicated to the audience demos:

Example of Demographics in Media Kit

Commonly used demographic data includes:

  • Male / female split
  • Breakdown of age
  • Household income ranges / average
  • Breakdown of Professions
  • Level of education

In addition to these generic demographic categories, many sites will provide most customized demographic data to highlight unique aspects of their audience that may help to convince advertisers of the value available in a campaign. For example, a site focused on sports may collect data about the average number of hours visitors spend watching televised games or the number of live events they attend each year. These “custom demographics” could be useful in convincing a ticket broker or apparel retailer to run an advertising campaign.

Compiling Demographics

There are several potential sources of demographic information that can be used in a media kit:

  • ComScore: This is the gold standard in web demographic data; a ComScore subscription will allow you to accumulate very detailed data in a number of categories. Unfortunately, this data is very expensive to acquire; an annual membership can cost upwards of $30,000.
  • Quantcast: This service provides more basic demographic information such as age, gender, and household income breakdowns. It’s also free, which makes it a much better option for many publishers. Below is a screenshot of the Quantcast dashboard for Eonline.com:


  • Google Analytics: The information available here is fairly generic, but Analytics can provide breakdowns of where visitors are coming from, how long they stay, what type of devices they’re using, and which browsers are being used to view a site.
  • SurveyMonkey: For acquiring custom information about an audience, surveying platforms can be useful ways to gather information.