What is Audience?

Audience in media and the media industry is the type of people and group of people a media product/text is aimed at. Audience is a very important concept throughout media as all texts are created with an audience in mind. When determining an audience, questions would be asked. Who is the media text best suited for? What’s the focus group? Does the media text compare to existing media texts? Wikipedia – “An audience is a group of people who participate in a show or
encounter a work of art, literature, theatre, music, video game, or academics in any medium.”

What Audience theorists can you find?
Stuart Hall developed the reception theory, which is a version of reader response literary
theory that emphasises the readers reception of a literary text. Stuart developed the reception theory for media and communication studied from the literary. It focuses on the scope for “negotiation” and “opposition” on the part of the audience. This means that a media text is not simply passively accepted by the audience, but that the reader/viewer interprets the meanings of the text based on their individual cultural background and life experiences. Encoding and Decoding; Preferred/Negotiated/Oppositional readings.

Denis McQuail created the Uses and Gratifications theory, which is an approach to
understanding why people actively seek out specific media outlets and content for gratification purposes. The theory discusses how users proactively search for media that will not only meet a given need but enhance knowledge, social interactions and diversion. Uses and Gratifications theory; audiences consume media texts for surveillance, personal identity, personal relationships, escapism/diversion.

Ien Ang born in Java 1954, educated in the Netherlands, is a professor of cultural studies.
She argues that ‘Audiencehood’ is becoming an even more multifaceted, fragmented and diversified repertoire of practices and experiences.

What Audience theorists link to the Horror genre?
Stuart Hall developed the reception theory, this links to the Horror genre because
it’s about how the audience reads the media or literacy text. It’s about how each specific audience member understands the texts from their individual cultural background and life experiences. It focuses on the scope for “negotiation” and “opposition” on the part of the audience which gives it a direct relation to Horror as it also focuses on “opposition”. Denis McQuail the Uses and Gratifications theory, which is an approach to understanding why people actively seek out specific media outlets and content for gratification purposes relates and links to the Horror genre. It links because the Uses and Gratifications theory talks about audiences searching for a given meet, escapism/diversion or to enhance their knowledge and when people watch Horror movie genre’s they watch for a thrill, to get away from reality or to educate them on death and bad experiences.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful