Uses & Gratifications Theory. The Uses & Gratification Theory is a new approach to mass communication and its relation to audiences. Previously, the main thought when linking the connection was the power of the media to influence audiences perceptions. This new theory discovered describes the affect from the audiences’ point of view. It looks into the reasons why we watch the media and why we are driven to follow the media by the purchasing of a magazine each week or watching a daily soap. The idea from the theory is that we gratify certain needs and helps towards our social fulfilment. “What people do with media” rather than “what media does to people” (Katz, 1959).
Sociologists Blumler & Katz expanded the previous theories of the connection between audience and the media and gave 4 reasons into the uses and gratifications of media products.
These give the audience knowledge and escapism from reality, they can look at media products for a substitute from their own lives. These all contribute to a persons character and self- fulfilment (Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs).
Magazine Institutions. IPC media is the UK’s largest magazine publisher. With products such as: NME, Country Life, TV Times, Look and Nuts; all under their name. It reaches around 26 million adults in the UK. NME is the longest published and most respected weekly music magazine in the world. Every weeks it covers the best in contemporary music, latest reviews and guide to new bands. It also looks regularly back to the magazine’s 58years of publication.
Bauer Media owns more than eighty influential media brands spanning a wide range of interests, from magazines such as: Heat, FHM, Grazia, Kerrang and Q magazine. Kerrang and Q are some of the leading music magazines. Kerrang offers a broad range of rock music with the likes of Led Zeppelin, Stereophonics, Nirvana, Green Day etc. Q is one of the UK’s best selling music monthly magazines. It includes the biggest stars and draws references from the world of sport, comedy, film and politics.
Development Hell Limited is an independent publishing company. They currently produce to monthly magazines, The Word and Mix Mag. The members of the Development Hell team are some of the most respected in British magazines The Word’s editor Mark Ellen, and former Editorial Director of Q and Smash Hits, David Hepworth. Mix Mag looks at the Dance & Club scene within the music industry and looks at the top UK festivals for those genres.