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THE MEDIA AUDIENCE Are you being manipulated? Here is the news! Assessment focus • Description of the techniques used to identify and measure specific media audiences • Analysis of the relationship between the product (programmes) and the audience • Explanation of the techniques used by media to appeal to the specific audiences Appeal to the audience’s tastes What are Media Audiences? • The important factors in the commercial world of entertainment and information dissemination. Audiences Without an audience there isn’t much point in producing a text, so the audience is crucial. If the text appeals to the audience then it is a successful text. If the audience doesn’t respond, then the text has failed. Nobody makes any money and actors and media people are all thrown out into the snow to starve with their entire families, dogs, cats and Filofaxes. Studying audience theory is just that – studying theories or ideas about audiences. Who are they? Where are they? How old are they? What do they want? What should they want? How do we (the media producers) give them what they want so we can make lots of money? Part of the problem is that when we speak about media audiences, we're talking about something that isn't exactly real. The audience does not exist. This might sound like an intuitively wrong statement. When we turn on the TV at night and watch a popular show like Friends, we're aware of the fact that its a popular show and that lots of other people are watching it. How do we know its a popular show? Well, the TV Guide tells us so. How does the TV Guide know its a popular show? Because of a thing called the ratings which produce a kind of knowledge about an audience. Without ratings, we'd just be guessing. But what ratings do, what all kinds of knowledge about audiences do, is produce the thing they want to study. There is actually no such thing as the audience in general, there are only particular acts of viewing or listening or reading. Media companies must attract audiences to provide a base to: •Provide income from ticket sales •sell to advertisers who are looking for markets for their products. •To remain in business. Media behavior is tied to several demographic and psychographic factors. All of the major media studied - daily and Sunday papers, TV, and radio - achieve significant penetration in all key demographic segments. However, apart from the Internet, all of them have lower penetration among the younger age groups than they do among older groups, and TV does the best job of achieving uniform penetration across different socioeconomic segments. Demographics Weekday Patterns: Demographics The major demographic correlates of media usage are age, socioeconomic status and race/ethnicity. 0. Age Older people are more likely to be regular users of daily newspapers, local and world/national TV. Regular usage of the Internet for news is highest among adults under 50 years of age and regular use of radio news is highest among adults who are 35-64. Demographics Socioeconomic Status The two media whose usage most strongly correlates with socioeconomic status are daily newspapers and the Internet for news. The higher the income and the education, the greater the likelihood of regular use. For world/national news, regular usage is flat across socioeconomic strata and for local TV news, regular usage is high across all socioeconomic segments, but highest among those with middle and lower income and those with less than a college education. Demographics Race/ethnicity Regular readership of daily newspapers drops among members of minority groups in a community. Thus, among whites, 54% are regular readers, but the figure drops to just over one-third of minority group members. A similar pattern occurs for world/national TV news, although this drop isn't as pronounced as it is for daily newspapers. Local TV news, though, has pretty even penetration across racial/ethnic groups. Demographics The Importance of Community Ties for Newspapers. A sense of rootedness in one's area also promotes reading of weekday newspapers. Thus: Individuals who have lived in an area for more than ten years are nearly twice as likely as newcomers to be regular newspaper readers Similarly, individuals with a strong sense of local identification are much more likely to be regular daily newspaper readers. What does this mean for T.V. News? Media audiences are measured by: • Size • Context - where the audience may be • Time - when they may be viewing • Intention - whether they intend or not to view. There are, broadly speaking, three approaches to the creation of audiences, or three kinds of knowledge about audiences: 1. Ratings & Surveys (SENDER / RECEIVER) - Size & Context 2. Uses & Gratifications (ENCODER / DECODER) - Intention 3. Reception studies (ADDRESSER / ADDRESSEE) - Intention • Control - the choices the audience makes about viewing a programme (product). • Involvement - whether the audience is fully engaged in viewing or not. Why is the audience important? 1. Broadcasters/ publishers are dependent on advertising income for profit. 2. Unless the publication is funded by Government (public service broadcasting) the commercial imperative is paramount in the considerations made about programming and content. What does this mean to the publisher/ broadcaster? 1. There is intense competition for audience share. 2. Advertisers will place copy where the biggest audience is recorded. 3. Publishers become concerned about the demographics of their audience - I.e: knowing the age, sex, socio-economic and ethnic make up. 4 The demographics will create a target audience for the advertiser and the broadcaster. E.g. the target audience for Maori Television is Maori aged 5-49 in an urban environment. The target audience for TV1 is aged 5-55 across as wide a socio- economic spectrum as possible. TV2 aims for a target market of those aged 5 - 35+ with an emphasis on the adolescent market. 5: The size of the audience at particular times will affect the cost of the time slots sold around and during programmes. This means that “prime time” slots are more expensive than slots either earlier or later in the day. Scheduling for the Audience •The Broadcaster divides the day into 30 minute sections made up of a series of 30 second slots per advertisement. •Each programme will be either 30 or 60 minutes long including advertisements. E.g. a 30 minute programme may be only 23 minutes in actual time the remaining 7 minutes being advertisements. •The Broadcaster divides the day into zones defined by the target audience. E.g. • 6.00 - 8.30pm = Peak zone. •9.00pm - 12.00am = Alcohol / Adult Zone. (children are presumed not to be watching after 8,30pm.) •12.00pm - 3.00pm:Monday - Friday Household Shopper Zone •3.30pm-5.00pm: Monday - Friday Children’s Zone The need to recruit and maintain audience share dictates the types of programmes the Broadcaster will screen. Programme choice will be made determined by the demographic of the target audience the Broadcaster recruits and retains during the particular time slots. Effects of Audience Share • Programmes will be dropped or rescheduled if they do not hold audience share. The decision will have little to do with the perceived worth or quality of the programme. Identifying the Audience • Broadcasters spend time and money researching the potential audiences. • The data is based on: 1. Census information. 2. Interviewing done by ACNeilsen of 12000 people across New Zealand. 3. Focus Group interviews conducted by agencies within the Broadcasting company. Census data can identify age gender ethnicity education health housing income Marital Where Spending status people patterns live Of the country’s population. http://www.census.govt.nz Who is the audience? • Gender is important. Women are the purchasers for the household. • They are targeted as: homemakers, work outside the home, are pursuing a career and by their educational attainment. Spending as an audience factor • Income per household is an important consideration. • Audiences are defined by income and potential spending power. • Groups include: Professional - Business people • Wage earners • Beneficaries Families as an audience • The composition of families will also influence their audience value. • Questions asked include: How many people are living at an address as dependent children or as independent children living with parents. • People living alone. • Parents whose children have left home…. Audience Groupings • Research Organisations group potential audiences into types based on their attitudes, needs, wants, beliefs, values and other descriptors. • The Stanford Research Institute groups audiences as: 1. Thinkers 5. Believers 2. Innovators 6. Makers 3. Achievers 7. Survivors 4. Experiencers 8. Strivers Refer: http://www.sric-bi.com/VALS/ Other definitions • ACNeilsen groups N.Z. audiences aged 15+ into seven groups: 1. Liberal sophisticates 2. Young Hopefuls 3. Settled Seniors 4. Struggling Young families 5. Comfortable Full Nesters 6. Lonely and Dissatisfied 7. Affluent Acquirers. To check out the group profiles go to: http://www.acneilsen.co.nz Questions to consider Into which demographic do you fit? Write your details down under these headings. Gender: Age: Ethnicity: Religion: Education level: Family members living with you: Employment: Sports played: Hobbies: Transport used: Town/City: Income per week: Entertainment favoured: Holiday destinations: Clothing Brands favoured: Music: Takeaways eaten per week - which franchise used: Pets. Attracting the Target Audience • Broadcasters will present their medium in a specific way designed to attract the target audience. This will include the profiles of the newsreaders and presenters depending on the station’s identified audience. Rebranding as a means • TVNZ has, since 2003, rebranded its prime time news several times in an effort to attract and hold the commercially crucial 18-49 Auckland audience. •ONE News: Daily 6-7pmONE News is hosted by Simon Dallow and Wendy Petrie who are joined by Neil Waka reading sport andﾊ Karen Olsen and Brendan Horan anchoring the weather.Bernadine Oliver-Kerby will present weekend news with Tony Veitch reading sport while Wayne Hay will continue in his role as an additional sports anchor. Kate Hawkesby Wendy Dreaver Simon Dallow Wendy Petrie QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. • TV3 News presentation has, over the past three years, been making inroads into TV1 audience ratings - particularly in the important 18- 49 Auckland audience. Qu ickTime™ a nd a TIFF (Uncomp ressed) d ecompr esso r ar e nee ded to se e th is picture. Prime TV & Paul Holmes • Competition for the audience in 2005 saw Prime TV buy the contract for Paul Holmes from TVNZ in the belief that the audience would follow him. In the event it didn’t. • Holmes is now on a late-night chat show. The audience is a commodity • “Selling audiences to advertisers is all we ever do. We don’t sell programmes. We sell the audiences watching those programmes …. And targeting an audience is what the advertising world is all about today.” • Mike Latter TVNZ Ratings • To sell the audience Broadcasters rely on ratings - the measurement of the audience from a sample group representing the viewing population. • The information from the ratings will shape the product (programme and programming) in a way that will appeal to the target audience. Ratings • The influence of ratings can decide the type of programme purchased. • The format and structure of a programme - even if it was based on a formula that had proven success in another market. e.g. Survivor Treasure Island and its spin offs, • American Idol, UK Idol, N.Z. Idol, etc.. • The Office (U.K) gave birth to The Office (USA) Compare the different versions of The Office - The UK original & the US spin-off • The Office was a BBC comedy - a mockumentary of Office life in Slough. • The antics of its manager, David Brent, and his staff made the show a success. The American networks decided to adapt it for the US market. • They took the characters and situations and created a new show that would be more easily accessible to the American audience. Compare the characters BBC USA Compare the characters BBC USA How are Ratings measured? ACNeilsen is commissioned to collect data about TV viewing habits through several devices. The PeopleMeter panel system. Telephone Surveys Focus Groups How are Ratings measured? PeopleMeters are placed in 470 homes throughout N.Z. They provide a cross-section of N.Z. society The meters represent about 1200 people the data is then projected to cover all N.Z. households or 4 million people. The data is collected for 24 hours - seven days a week - 365 days of the year. The data comes from a monitor & handset in each household. A series of buttons on the handset identify who is watching a programme at any one time and records any channel switching that may occur. How are Ratings measured? The meter registers if the people logged in are watching or recording a programme to a DVD or VCR. If the household subscribes to Sky this data is recorded as well. Once the data is received and analysed at ACNielsen the Broadcasters and advertising agencies can access it to plan their programming, costings for advertising slots and placement of advertising during the crucial time slots for the target audiences. Problems with the PeopleMeter They don’t measure attention, concentration or enjoyment by the audience. The number of respondents might be too low to provide reliable information for some demographic groups such as new immigrants. The data is only relevant to that being screened it doesn’t reflect what people might want to watch. Any small glitch in the data gathering can cause a distortion of the results. This happened in 1998 when 1 household’s recorder was misaligned and reassigned the TV2 programmes to Channel 4. The 1 household represented 63000 viewers!! A huge distortion of viewing habits. Audience data As it turns out, a lot of people don't watch TV programs at all. They watch television by zipping from one program to another whenever they get bored, using the remote control. . One of the things the TV industry wasn't quite prepared for was the extent to which the remote and the VCR would radically change TV. Not only do people zip with the remote -- they zap. People mute the ads and talk among themselves. Or tape shows on the VCR and fast-forward through the ads. In short, these modifications to the vector -- remote and VCR, changed communication at the receiving end. Other forms of data gathering Inter-active websites that support a programme through competitions, offered downloads, programme information .. Can provide a measure of audience interest in a programme. e.g. Telephone voting with N.Z. Idol or Dancing with the Stars. Or interest in a programme like The Office. Check out the BBC Office website and the NBC Office website. Other forms of data gathering Telephone surveys conducted at selected times of the day to quiz people other than those linked into the PeopleMeter system. Monitoring telephone calls made to the Channels by audience members commenting or or complaining about programmes, MediaWatch wristwatch can measure media audiences Swiss invention aims at single-source passive measurement A wristwatch has been developed in Switzerland which is capable of measuring the audiences to television, radio, cinema, posters, magazines and newspapers. It is called the MediaWatch and was designed by Steinmann-Mediacontrol. It aims to measure audiences passively, or with minimum input from respondents, in order to bypass the memory and other problems associated with asking respondents about their media consumption. The idea is that a representative panel of people will wear the MediaWatch on their wrists for up to four weeks. For television and radio, MediaWatch records samples of sound from the programmes that are within the respondents’ range of hearing. RF transmitters can be specially placed in cinemas so that the MediaWatch can pick up signals from individual commercials. Outdoor billboards can have transmitters attached with strictly controlled angle and range of transmission, so their signal can be picked up by the MediaWatch of passers-by. The same could be done for other types of advertisement location, such as petrol stations or shopping centres. Magazines and newspapers are the medium where measurement is not passive. Unless and until publications embed transmitters in all copies of their publications (!), the respondent has to actively co-operate. This is done by scrolling through a list of up to 200 publications on the watch’s LCD display, and using buttons to indicate what has been read. The likelihood is that many reading occasions will not be recorded, especially the shorter sessions. Consequently this method will be controversial within readership research circles. Questions to consider What type of viewer are you? Write down the names of the programmes you watched during the week. How long did you watch each programme for? Questions to consider What is your preferred media product - radio, TV, newspaper, ipod, DVD-VHS…? Why? What is it that appeals to you about the T.V. programme and the media product you favour? Using Ratings to construct a programme To get funding for a New Zealand produced programme producers need to structure their proposed show to meet the requirements of the charter governing New Zealand on Air - a Government funded funding agency that supports New Zealand programme makers. New Zealand on Air funding To secure funding the producers will target the audience by: Defining the Audience by drawing data from: the census Ratings for similar shows Target group surveys Focus groups New Zealand on Air funding To secure funding the producers will target the audience by: Examining the content - this includes studying the content of different shows which are popular with the target audience. Ideas are taken from these. Surveys of individuals who may be part of the target audience help with identifying the shows watched and why. New Zealand on Air funding To secure funding the producers will target the audience by: Deciding on the pace of the show. This will determine the way in which the show is shot and the music to be used. Identifying the structure and interests of the target audience. The data gathered here will influence the use of technology and editing techniques within the show. New Zealand on Air funding To secure funding the producers will target the audience by: •Deliberate casting decisions: To secure N.Z. on Air funding the cast would reflect N.Z.’s multi-cultural society with Maori & Pakeha major characters appearing. New Zealand on Air funding To secure funding the producers will target the audience by: •Creating a N.Z. Family situation (given the target audience is a family / child one ). N.Z census data indicates that a typical N.Z. family would have divorced parents, reconstituted families with about two children per family unit. New Zealand on Air funding To secure funding the producers will target the audience by: •Focusing on an age group and providing ready identification markers throughout the programme. These could include age of the characters, the gender mix of the group and the language use - particularly the colloquial speech of the cast. New Zealand on Air funding To secure funding the producers will target the audience by: •Scheduling the programme for a time slot that is recognised as being popular with the target audience. •Providing inter-textual references to events, programmes, films or shows the audience awuld be expected to be familiar with. Questions to ask as you view a programme What is it about this programme that appeals to your demographic profile? List the behaviours, comments and situations in the programme that appeal to you. Questions to ask as you view a programme Are there any features of this programme that appear to appeal to a younger or older age group than the target audience? List them. Why might these features be included in the programme? Questions to ask as you view a programme What sort of advertisements are played during and around the programme? How are the advertisements structured to address the target audience? Time the programme time before an ad break. Time the ad break. What do you notice about the divisions of programme and advertising? Does the division alter as the schedule gets closer or further from prime time? Questions to ask as you view a programme Are you watching a programme you would really like to watch or simply viewing it because its scheduled? The end
"THE MEDIA AUDIENCE"