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Marco Dohle

Subject Communication Reception and Effects » Audience Research

Key-Topics audience

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


The audience is an essential part of mass communication processes, and since the beginnings of communication research, it has been one of its central topics. As regards mass communication, the term “audience” describes the sum of all persons who receive or received (parts of) a media offering. Thus, audience is a group participating in the public communication process but normally it is not involved in the making of its contents. Audience is not a lasting social formation; it rather originates as the case arises via →  exposure to communication content . The general concept of audience is quite abstract. For a more specific analysis, it is possible to differentiate between selected audiences: in this way, audience can be distinguished by its used media (e.g., television audience), channel/product (e.g., →  CNN audience), or content (e.g., →  News Audience ). In the same way audience can be classified according to social characteristics (e.g., women vs men), or the location of use (e.g., American audience). Quite often audience is also characterized by its needs (e.g., information-oriented audience; →  Audience Segmentation ; Media Use by Social Variable ). The origins of the traditional audience are commonly seen to come from ancient Greece and Rome, where people gathered in stadiums and theaters to attend organized literary and musical works or games and circuses. According to ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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