Media and Its Audience: Beneficiary or Victim?

Abstract:

Contemporary media scene is one of convergence mainly technological and corporate. Audience studies have always faced certain fluidity due to the dynamic nature of audience itself. This is more pronounced in the age of media convergence. All the same the paper will make an attempt to understand the phenomenon of audience – meaning, origin, and nature. Conceptions of audience are multiple. Contemporary audience phenomenon is characterized by massification. Massification has led to commodification conveniencing media houses and advertising firms to measure it, which in turn helps to rate various programmes, especially on broadcast media. Of course, the power of the mass audience cannot be underestimated especially with the emergence of New Media, through social networking sites. Surely, audience fragmentation and polarization is an unavoidable fact arising from the contemporary mushrooming of media outlets. This poses numerous difficulties in the area of audience research – researching for audience and for commercial interests. The commercial research and audience measurement turns audience in to a market.

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