Quote ksupergirl: I'll tell you one reason, their inability to change. Many long time viewers seem to want everything and everyone to remain the same. There are two choices, change soaps and expand their audience or get cancelled. Industry insiders have predicted all soaps will be gone in 7 - 10 years, some will be gone before that. The soap formula that workded 20 or 30 years ago, will not keep them on the air now.
I don't know how any one could say that soaps lack the ability to change. Soaps have changed by leaps and bounds since the first one I ever watched which was in black and white and a mere 15 minutes long.
While their target audience may be 18 to 49, do they know if this age group is interested?
Perhaps Y&R did have 10 million viewers 14 years ago, and now that, according to what you are saying, is down by half, but there could be so many reasons for that, that have nothing to do with if the soap changed or not.
As inflation grows, households that were single or two incomes, have now changed to three and sometimes four incomes. It would not matter how or if they changed if there was no time to watch.
As far as appealing to a wider market, the wider your target market the more diluted your marketing becomes, hence the term "target market." Trying to market even to an audience of 18 to 49 is like comparing apples to oranges. Does anyone really think what appeals to an 18 year old is going to appeal to someone 49? If they do, they are living in a fantasy world for sure.
Granted there are younger ones watching, and there are young ones on this board, are you paying attention to what they are saying? What I see on Y&R board along with the other boards on this site is there a lack or romance and and stable couples with fairytale endings. It seems to me that what they are looking for is the format of the old soaps where families were the name of the game. So what this tells me is soaps did in fact change, and it was not a welcome change.