Audience Theory Objective: explore audiencetheory, connecting to examples from my own work
Audience• Every media product has to have an audience, otherwise in both a business sense and probably an artistic sense too it would be judged a failure.• In your projects, you will undoubtedly have been looking at the idea of a target audience- who you are aiming it at and why; you should also have taken feedback from a real audience in some way at the end of the project for your digital evaluation, which involves finding out how the audience really ‘read’ what you had made.• You were also asked at AS to consider how your product addressed your audience- what was it about it that particularly worked to ‘speak’ to them? All this is effectively linked to audience theory which you then need to reference and apply.
Audience Theory• Hypodermic model• Uses & gratification theory• Reception theory
Hypodermic model The audience is passive• In this model, the audience is perceived to be passive. The media governs how we will use / respond to texts – and the effect of the text upon the person who has been reading / using the media.Symbolic – taking illegal drugs.• Has negative connotations.• Audience becomes addicted and need more and more (increasing levels of, fear /violence etc to achieve same effect / pleasure in the text. E.g. exorcist not scary any more)• Term used by popular press – sensationalist.• Connected to Moral Panic arguments about Media
Uses and gratifications theory How the audience USE the media to get specific gratifications or pleasure.• Audience are not helpless victims, they use media to meet their various needs.• Media run by audience – producers compete to satisfy audience demands.• Media has no control over the way the audience may read / use the media.
Uses and gratifications theory 4 elements of uses/pleasures• Surveillance: Information which could be useful for living, understanding the world around them. Example: weather reports, financial news, holiday bargains• Personal identity: finding yourself reflected in texts, learning behaviour and values from texts• Personal relationships: using the media for emotional and social interaction. Example: substituting soap operas for family life, building relationships with characters.• Diversion: escape from everyday problems and routine.
Reception theory• Active partnership are the key words for this theory.• Neither media nor audience has full control.• Media is polysemic, has more than one meaning.• Audience is not passive but interprets text based on their individual cultural or life experiences.
Passive V ActiveDavid Morely 1980• Different social/economic groups watched the same TV programme.• Interviews revealed different readings of the same text.
Passive V Active• Members of the same sub-culture will tend to decode texts in a similar way.• Individual readings of texts will be framed by shared experiences, cultural formations and practices.
Applying Theory CD Cover• Now apply to your own productions• How do you want audiences to read and use your text? Explain. – Passive v Active – Which theory is best fit? – Why does your production fit this theory?• What pleasures do you hope audiences might derive from using your text? Explain
Applying Theory• Now apply to your own productions• How do you want audiences to read and use your text?• What pleasures do you hope audiences might derive from using your text?• Especially – CD cover
So what do you do in theexam?You need to state which project you are using and briefly describe itYou then need to analyse it using whichever concept appears in thequestion, making reference to relevant theory throughoutKeep being specific in your use of examples from the project