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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
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.

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
        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
        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.
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
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
• Involvement -
  whether the audience
  is fully engaged in
  viewing or not.
     Why is the audience

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
 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
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.
• 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
 Programme choice will be made
determined by the demographic of the
target audience the Broadcaster recruits
and retains during the particular time
    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
• The data is based on:
1. Census information.
2. Interviewing done by
   ACNeilsen of 12000
   people across New
3. Focus Group interviews
   conducted by agencies
   within the Broadcasting
      Census data can identify
age         gender ethnicity education health

housing income Marital            Where      Spending
               status             people     patterns

              Of the country’s population.
          Who is the audience?
• Gender is important.
  Women are the
  purchasers for the
• They are targeted as:
  homemakers, work
  outside the home, are
  pursuing a career and
  by their educational
     Spending as an audience factor
• Income per household
  is an important
• Audiences are defined
  by income and
  potential spending
• 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

                   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:
       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
 •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
• 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.
• 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
  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
 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
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
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
    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
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
  •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
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
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
   Questions to ask as you view a
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

                     Are you
                     watching a
                     programme you
                     would really like
                     to watch or
                     simply viewing it
                     because its
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