Audience Evolution: New Technologies and the Transformation of Media Audiences

Published:   November 2010
ISBN: 0231150350 | 248 pages
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Today's consumers have unprecedented choice in terms of the technologies and platforms that access, produce, and distribute media content. The development and overlap of television, the internet, and other media technologies is fragmenting and empowering media audiences more than ever. Building on his award-winning book, Audience Economics, Philip M. Napoli maps the landscape of our current media environment and describes its challenge to traditional conceptions of the audience.

He examines the redefinition of the industry-audience relationship by technologies that have moved the audience marketplace beyond traditional metrics. Media providers, advertisers, and audience measurement firms now deploy more sophisticated tools to gather and analyze audience information, focusing on factors rarely considered before, such as appreciation, recall, engagement, and behavior. Napoli explores the interplay between political and economic interests in the audience marketplace and their effect on audience evolution. He recounts the battles waged between stakeholders over the assessment of media audiences and their efforts to restrict the functionality of new technologies. As Napoli makes clear, the very meaning of the media audience continues to evolve in response to changing technological, economic, and political conditions.

Review

"Philip M. Napoli introduces the reader to the technologies that are changing the audience marketplace, new media services that have and are being built with those technologies, and the possibilities for measuring aspects of audience members' responses to media products and the advertisements they make possible. He describes new tools for audience measurement, along with the controversies over their use, and the battles among industry interests over which new audience measurement tools should be accepted. I think the time is right for just this type of analysis. A well-researched text, and the scholarship is first rate and insightful." -- Steve Wildman, James H. Quello Professor of Telecommunication Studies, Michigan State University