This is a subject which I have experienced from both sides. Although I was never famous, I used to have a large 'audience' in the sense that up until I wrote regularly for The Times (of London), New Scientist and appeared on BBC TV; as well as writing for and/or being written about in the major Medical and Scientific journals (Lancet, BMJ, Science). This in addition to having the outlet of 'my own' international biomedical journal, which I edited.
In stages over the past 20 years I did less and less of this; and for the past decade have been mostly blogging (and writing a few small books for a small publisher with small sales). My 'audience' is thus a tiny fraction of what it was. My attempts to 'communicate' have, apparently, all-but collapsed...
Part of this was economic (major journals stopped using freelance writers from the middle 1990s), part of it was chronic illness (migraines - making travelling difficult), part of it was being sacked from my editing job and then stopping participating in all forms of peer review; part of it was becoming a Christian and thereby, incrementally, developing socio-political views putting me into an unmeasurably small minority.
While I was wrong about most important things, and while I stayed on at least the edge of the mainstream, plenty of people were 'interested' in my communications; but the closer I got to truth, honesty, and doing what I really ought to be doing with my life, the smaller the audience.
But what about this 'audience'? It is clear that - even at peak exposure - in retrospect nobody was taking any notice of what I said and it made no difference to anything. I could write for The Times, and I got no response (except a decent sized cheque); I could appear on national TV and the results were imperceptible. All the bad things I was working to reverse instead gathered strength; all the good I was defending either disappeared or became corrupted and inverted.
And this is intrinsic to what gets called 'communication' - communication is reliably only a one-way process.
In sending out a communication, I know what I am trying to say, but I have no idea whether anybody reads it, whether they pay attention, whether they understand, or remember, and whether it makes any difference in the direction I intended. In some instances, things I wrote and said were noticed, but understood in the opposite to my intended sense and influenced policy in reverse; or led to a backlash that encouraged my enemies.
Eventually I concluded that if communication was all that existed - then there was no point in communicating. We might as well, all of us, shut-up and block our ears - or jump off a cliff - for all the positive good it does.
In fact, the whole question of 'an audience' prejudges the whole issue in a way that makes nonsense of human culture as a whole. If an audience was necessary - then it would not be worth having.
Unless there is a universally accessible reality in which Men can participate directly; then there is no real-communication but only the kind of fake noise that is represented by the mass media with its mass audiences accessible-to/ controlled-by a Global Cabal of servants to evil.
But if there is a universal reality that we can all, each and individually, potentially know and creatively contribute to; and if that universal reality is eternal... well then the matter of 'audeince' becomes strictly irrelevant.
Communication conceptualised as a system within which we seek an 'audience is revealed as a materialist, dishonest, non-existent parody of the reality of divine creation. Our proper aspiration is to become able to know divine creation and harmoniously to join with God as sub-creators.
And this happens (when it happens) in a mode (that I have termed Primary Thinking) that has absolutely nothing to do with the mass-perceptible public realm of communication and audiences.