What is an audience?• An audience refers to the people who consume a media product, and the people that the media product is aimed at (Target Audience)• An audience is defined with the use of two categories, Demographics and Psychographics.• Demographics: Characteristics such age, income, education, status, type of occupation, region of country• Psychographics: Peoples lifestyles and behaviors such as moral values, how they behave etc.• Both demographics and psychographics help media institutions tailor their text to the catered audience that their trying to target.
Audience TheoristsStuart Hall – This a theory of reception theory. Hall Introduced the 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.• Preffered Reading – This is when audiences respond to the product the way media producers want/expect them to.• Negotiated Reading – This is when a member of the audience partly agrees with part of the product .e.g Film, documentary, TV programme.• Oppositional Reading – This is when the audience are in complete disagreement with the product’s message or setting.Readings of texts are dependent on who the audience is, and what their social position is, because this influences their interpretation of the denotative codes.
Uses and Gratifications TheoryBlulmer and Katz theory states that individuals might choose to use and use a text for the following purposes (Uses and gratifications):• Diversion – Escapism from the real world.• Personal Relationships – Using the media for emotional and other interaction.• Personal Identity – Finding yourself through reflection in texts.• Surveillance – For Information.This can be applied to the horror genre, as the viewer watches a horror for entertainment, and escapism for the real world as they hope to be consumed in watching the film.
The Hypodermic Syringe Model• The Hypodermic syringe model is a model of communications suggesting that an intended message is directly received and wholly accepted by the receiver.• This theory suggests that an audience passively accepts a message portrayed by a media text.• This theory also suggests that there is correlation between violent behaviour shown in media texts and the violent behaviour shown in reality. For example, video games such as GTA have caused conflict in the media due to the assumption that the violent behaviour and representations used in the game have influenced individuals.This can be associated with the horror genre as in some cases it’s been argued that the violent behaviour/messages in horror media texts can influence the viewer. Such assumptions have led to the banning of some horror films, like The Exorcist.