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Intro to Audience

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Intro to Audience Powered By Docstoc
					Audience
AS Media Studies
                Audience
• Why is the audience important?
• Each media text is produced with an
  audience in mind.
• The audience is the receiver of the text
  and interprets the message that’s
  conveyed.
• Without the audience, there is no
  meaning.
McDonalds want you to think....
You may agree

       Or.....

  You may disagree
      Or.....

You may think that big macs do taste good,
but I’ll only have them every now and again
So here we have three separate readings of
that one advert
                    In 1980 David Morley did a study
                       of audience responses when
                        watching the BBC TV show
                        Spotlight. As a result of his
                         research, he decided that
                     audiences tend to fall into three
                           groups based on their
                       interpretation of the text.....
Preferred Reading

              Negotiated Reading

                                 Oppositional Reading
  The preferred
  reading is the
  reading media
 producers hope
audiences will take
  from the text.
 Audience members from
outside the target audience
 may reject the preferred
          reading,
    receiving their own
   alternative message.
Negotiated reading is when
audiences acknowledge the
  preferred reading, but
        modify it to
 suit their own values and
          opinions.
What is the
PREFERRED
reading?
The
NEGOCIATED
reading?
The
OPPOSITIONAL
reading?
       Consumption Patterns
• We use different media at different times
  of the day.

• To what extent does the media organise
  your daily routine?

• Do you plan any activities around
  particular media output?
Look at the
TV
schedule
and identify
what
groups are
being
addressed
at particular
times.
          Audience Research
• Market research is a vital part of the process
  concerned with discovering audience thoughts,
  needs, feelings and aspirations.
• This gives them a detailed picture of what texts
  will appeal to different audiences.
• Then a text can be created/packaged in a way
  that will deliver it to the audience successfully.
• Research includes questionnaires, interviews
  and focus groups.
               Demographics
• Quantitative data about audiences are broken
  down by institutions into demographics.
• This includes age, social class, address and
  occupation.
Definitions of socio-economic groups
• AB – professional, business and white collar
• C1 – higher skilled manual
• C2 – lower skilled manual              How might you be
                                         pigeonholed as a
• DE – semi and unskilled manual         media consumer
                                           using demographic
                                           categories?
             Psychographics
• A system for measuring consumers’ beliefs,
  opinions and interests.
• Instead of counting age/gender/race it focuses
  on opinions on issues, religious beliefs, musical
  tastes, personality characteristics etc.
• These are also called IAO variables (Interests,
  Attitudes and Opinions)
• Research into audiences usually combines both
  demographics and psychographics.
     Youth Facts case study
• Page 62
Advertising companies claim they can segment audiences on
the basis of ‘socio-economic values’ such as:


• Survivors         Those who want security and like routine


• Social Climbers   Those who have a strong materialistic drive and
                    like status symbols


• Care Givers       Those who believe in ‘caring and sharing’


• Explorers         Those for whom personal growth and
                    influencing social change are important
These socio-economic groups are based on the work of the American
                Maslow and his idea of a
Psychologist Abraham
‘Hierarchy of Needs’ (1954)

• layers of needs
• satisfy one before moving on to the next
• we all start at the bottom of Maslow’s Hierarchy
• Maslow argues that many people stop at particular levels and never
reach the top – self-actualisation
• the unsatisfied needs are what motivate our behaviour
• Maslow stated that the hierarchy was dynamic and reversible; the
needs are not necessarily present in the same order in everyone
• the audience is ‘active’ rather than ‘passive’
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (1954)


    The need to succeed, to
    become what you wish
    to become


                                     Self esteem, status,
                                     respect and
                                     admiration of others
 The need to
 belong to a
 group

                                              Job security,
                                              friends
Which of
Maslow’s needs
do you think are
being fulfilled in
this
advertisement?
Hypodermic Needle Theory
      The Hypodermic Needle theory suggests that
      the media ‘inject’ ideas into a passive audience,
      like giving a patient a drug.

      • Earliest academic studies of media audiences
      appeared in the 1920s and 1930s
      • The audience was seen as a ‘mass’ audience all
      consuming the same product and receiving the
      same ‘mass’ message
      • Propaganda
      • View reinforced by Orson Welles’s The War of
      the Worlds’ broadcast on American radio in
      1938
      • Are we too sophisticated today? Ghostwatch –
      Halloween 1992
      • Advertisers took the ‘hard sell’ approach –
      repeating the message often and loudly
 Uses and Gratifications Theory
Research then led to a view that audiences weren’t passive and a ‘mass’
but were composed of different social groups.
The audience was now being seen as playing an active role in the
interpretation of the media of particular media texts.
Audience now considered to be active instead of passive
The audience has a set of needs (Blumler and Katz 1975)
•Diversion
•Integration & Social Interaction
•Personal identity
•Surveillance/Information
             Gratification
1) SURVEILLANCE/INFORMATION

• We want to find out about society and the
  world.
                Gratification
2) INTEGRATION & SOCIAL INTERACTION

• Companionship through identification with
  television characters

• We want to find out more about the
  circumstances of other people so we can
  empathise/sympathise with the lives of others.

• Sociability through discussion about television
  with other people.
               Gratification
3) PERSONAL IDENTITY

• Finding reinforcement for personal values.

• Identifying with a valued other in the
  media.

• Gaining insight into one’s self.
             Gratification
4) DIVERSION

• We use the media for enjoyment,
  relaxation or just to fill time.
        Audience Interaction
• Audiences are often given the opportunity
  to interact with media texts.
• Voting on a reality TV show
• Emailing an opinion
• Writing a letter to a local paper
• Taking part in a radio phone in
• Requesting a song
• Participating on makeover programmes
          Key Questions to ask...
• To whom is the text addressed? What is the target audience?
• What assumptions about the audience’s characteristics are implicit
  within the text?
• What assumptions about the audience are implicit in the text’s
  scheduling or positioning?
• In what conditions is the audience likely to receive the text? Does
  this impact upon the formal characteristics of the text?
• What do you know or can you assume about the likely size and
  constituency of the audience?
• What are the probable and possible audience readings of the text?
• How do you, as an audience member, read and evaluate the text?
  To what extent is your reading and evaluation influenced by your
  age/gender/background etc?
              **Key terms**
•   Uses and Gratifications Theory
•   Hypodermic Needle Theory
•   Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
•   Niche Audience
•   Demographics                Read pages
•   Psychographics              268 – 283.
                                Add to your
                                notes.
Working as a group…
Imagine that you have been asked by a film company to
  provide the outline for a new film aimed at audiences
  between 18 and 25. Draw up an outline that includes:
• The main situation/narrative of story and its dramatic
  potential
• Descriptions of the main characters
• Ideas for 2 or 3 settings, explaining their visual impact,
  the reasons for using them and any technical difficulties
  that they may present.
• The opening sequence of the film, explaining how it will
  attract the audience’s attention.
• Explain the ways in which the film will appeal to its target
  audience.
• Suggest ways in which the film could be marketed.

				
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posted:8/28/2012
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