F:\Kate\Media\Understanding Audience And Target Audiences Main
• When a media text is being planned, perhaps the most important question the producers consider
is "Does it have an audience?" If the answer to this is 'no', then there is no point in going any
• Audience research is a major part of any media company, using questionnaires, focus groups,
and comparisons to existing media texts.
• In researching our audience we have looked at a number of comparisons to existing media texts.
• We have looked at the consumption habits of our target audience (other pop videos and media
that are target audience would look at)
• We have used our own experience as young people in terms of taste and preferences.
• We’ve have looked at the different genres of music which are most popular amongst our age
• And we have a good understanding of what our target audience expects in terms of codes and
conventions of our main products.
• a great deal of time and money is invested by the industry in finding out if the idea/artist/band will
be successful and attract a lucrative audience.
• A method of categorising a potential audience is known as demographics. This initially highlights
the spending power of an audience.
• A Top management, bankers, lawyers, doctors and other professionals
• B Middle management, teachers, many 'creatives' e.g. graphic designers, PR, Journalists etc…
• C1 Office supervisors, junior managers, nurses, specialist clerical staff etc
• C2 Skilled workers, tradespersons (white collar) Plumbers, electricians
• D Semi-skilled and unskilled manual workers (blue collar)
• E Unemployed, students, pensioners, casual workers
• Depending on the genre of music, the target audience could be found form a range of these
• There are other categories that divide up a target audience:
Arguably, these are the most important categories for choosing a target audience.
At the moment, the commercial charts are dominated by RnB so race is an important one in this
For example, Lady Gaga’s target audience is: young, men, women, homosexuals,
Location has been important for associating a genre.
Despite this we must remember that musical taste is a very personal thing. And younger audiences may
choose music as a way of showing they belong to a group, so a sense of belonging to a community
or choose a music of a more underground nature to highlight their growing sense of individualism.
• Record companies also consider very carefully how that audience might react to, or engage with,
the text/product they intend to produce.
• The following are all factors in analysing or predicting this reaction.
• AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT This describes how an audience interacts with a media text. Different
people react in different ways to the same text.
• AUDIENCE EXPECTATIONS These are the advance ideas an audience may have about a text.
This particularly applies to genre pieces. Don't forget that producers often play with or deliberately
shatter audience expectations.
• AUDIENCE FOREKNOWLEDGE This is the definite information (rather than the vague
expectations) which an audience brings to a media product.
• AUDIENCE IDENTIFICATION This is the way in which audiences feel themselves connected to a
particular media text, in that they feel it directly expresses their attitude or lifestyle. (Attitude, lyrics,
clothes, direct address)
• AUDIENCE PLACEMENT This is the range of strategies media producers use to directly target a
particular audience and make them feel that the media text is specially 'for them'. (way in which
you make our audience react: direct address, with T.V bards also lyrics, creating relationships with
• AUDIENCE RESEARCH Measuring an audience is very important to all media institutions.
Research is done at all stages of production of a media text, and, once produced, audience will be
• People are going to react to your product in different ways.
• Once a media text has been made, its producers need to ensure that it reaches the audience it is
intended for. All media texts will have some sort of marketing campaign attached to them.
Elements of this might include
• print advertisements
• promotional interviews (e.g. stars appearing on chat shows)
• tie-in campaigns (e.g. a blockbuster movie using McDonalds meals)
• merchandising (t-shirts, baseball caps, key rings)
• Marketing campaigns are intended to create awareness of a media text. Once that awareness has
been created, hopefully audiences will come flocking in their hundreds of millions.
• Promotion: promotional video, CD cover and back cover, advert in magazine (tour),
• Radio: Radio one coverage: scheduling may be an issue, but would be a good place to promote
album. As well as xfm, capital, mercury, (local Guilford radio) eagle
• Music Magazines: such as NME, Kerrang, Q the music, Blender.
• She would appear on things like the Saturday/Friday night project…..
• Podcasts, promotional website, www.nenahmusic.com and www.myspace.comnenahmusic
• Itunes for single and album cover, youtube, Spotify, last.fm, Amazon mp3 and other internet music
• Merchandising: t-shirts for gigs (with tour dates)
• Viral Marketing Campaign: little online programme where you can remix the track yourself
• Radio/TV Measuring the number of viewers and listeners for a TV/Radio programme
or whole station's output is a complex business. Generally, an audience research
agency (e.g. BARB) will select a sample of the population and monitor their viewing
and listening habits over the space of 7 days. The data gained is then extrapolated to
cover the whole population, based on the percentage sample. It is by no means an
accurate science. The numbers obtained are known as the viewing figures or
• Music channels our video would be shown on: MTV,
• In order to evaluate and discuss our audience reactions and feedback we have
considered several theoretical approaches.
• The Hypodermic Needle theory:
Basically, the Hypodermic Needle Model suggests that the information from a text
passes into the mass consciousness of the audience unmediated, i.e. the
experience, intelligence and opinion of an individual are not relevant to the
reception of the text.
This theory is still quoted during moral panics by parents, politicians and pressure
groups, and is used to explain why certain groups in society should not be exposed
to certain media texts (shoot’em up films in the 1980s, rap music in the 2000s), for
fear that they will watch or read sexual or violent behaviour and will then act them
The Hypodermic model quickly proved too clumsy for media researchers seeking to
more precisely explain the relationship between audience and text.
The Two-Step Flow
• Suggested that the information does not flow directly
from the text into the minds of its audience unmediated
but is filtered through "opinion leaders" who then
communicate it to their less active associates, over
whom they have influence.
Uses and Gratifications:
Katz and Blumler
• Suggested that media texts had the following functions for individuals and
• Correlation – emotional responses, story told by the performer, something
for audience to relate to, distrust (direct address from band members).
• Researchers expanded this theory and published their own in 1974, stating
that individuals might choose and use a text for the following purposes (i.e.
uses and gratifications):
Diversion - escape from everyday problems and routine.
Personal Relationships - using the media for emotional and other interaction,
e.g. substituting soap operas for family life
Personal Identity - finding yourself reflected in texts, learning behaviour and
values from texts
Surveillance - Information which could be useful for living e.g.) weather reports,
financial news, holiday bargains
• Since then, the list of Uses and Gratifications has been extended,
particularly as new media forms have come along (e.g. video games, the
Extending the concept of an active audience still further, in the
1980s and 1990s a lot of work was done on the way individuals
received and interpreted a text, and how their individual
circumstances (gender, class, age, ethnicity) affected their
reading. This work was based on Stuart Hall's
encoding/decoding model of the relationship between text and
audience - the text is encoded by the producer, and decoded
by the reader, and there may be major differences between two
different readings of the same code. However, by using
recognised codes and conventions, and by drawing upon
audience expectations relating to aspects such as genre and use
of stars, the producers can position the audience and thus create
a certain amount of agreement on what the code means. This is
known as a preferred reading.
• A preferred reading.
• An aberrant reading: (people rejecting it)
• A negotiated reading: (Where the reaction is not what’s expected; a
new reaction develops from it)
• Unless you have a youtube account, you can not comment on the
• Leave space for comments…to reference and relate to: Audience
• Feedback from questionnaire
• Entertainment: pace of cuts, movement of performance, (dancers and artist).