Audience Economics: Media Institutions and the Audience by Philip Napoli

By Philip Napoli

Concentrating on the digital media -- tv, radio, and the net -- viewers Economics bridges a considerable hole within the literature via offering an built-in framework for figuring out a number of the companies all in favour of producing and promoting audiences to advertisers. Philip M. Napoli provides unique learn with a view to resolution numerous key questions: • How are audiences synthetic, valued, and bought? • How do advertisers and media corporations expect the habit of audiences?• How has the method of measuring audiences advanced over time?• How and why do advertisers assign assorted values to segments of the media audience?• How does viewers economics form media content?Examining the connection among the 4 crucial actors within the viewers industry -- advertisers, media organisations, shoppers, and viewers size companies -- Napoli explains the ways that they have interaction with and together rely on one another. He additionally analyzes contemporary advancements, resembling the creation of area people meters through Nielsen Media examine and the institution and evolution of viewers dimension platforms for the net. A necessary source for teachers, scholars, policymakers, and media execs, viewers Economics retains velocity with the swift adjustments in media and audience-measurement applied sciences with a view to offer an intensive knowing of the original dynamics of the viewers industry this present day.

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As Meehan (1984) notes, the notion of the audience as product is in some ways too broad. Instead, “the commodity produced, bought, and sold is constituted solely by ratings” (Meehan 1984:216). Ratings points, as a representative measurement of audiences, are really what advertisers and media firms are buying and selling. Thus, as Pekurny (1982) states in regard to television, “Ratings are the basic mechanism which rationalizes the television industry” (133). Pekurny’s point is rel- TH E AU D I E N C E MAR K E TP L AC E evant to the entirety of the audience marketplace, because all audience transactions are based on measurement data intended to provide an estimation of audience attention.

The measurement techniques and technologies of the new competitor may even be of a substantially higher quality than those used by the incumbent. In any case, these methodological differences inevitably result in audience data that differ significantly from the data provided by the incumbent. Thus buyers and sellers in the audience marketplace are faced with two different accounts of, for example, how many people watched last night’s episode of CSI or of how many people listened to the local classical music station.

The development of the Internet audience measurement industry is following historical precedent, in that two major competitors remain from the dozens of measurement firms that initially offered this service: comScore Media Metrix and Nielsen NetRatings. As Jim Spaeth, president of the Advertising Research Foundation, has noted, “There is a tendency toward monopolization in ratings services” (Thompson and Lake 2001:55). The primary explanation for this phenomenon is that audience data function as the coin of exchange within the audience marketplace.

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