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Audience Commodity

Eileen R. Meehan


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The audience commodity is the main product produced by media that earn their primary revenues from advertisers. Traditionally, advertiser-supported media have included →  Newspapers , →  magazines , and commercial forms of →  Radio , broadcast →  Television , and →  cable television. Advertiser-supported media are often contrasted with media whose primary sources of incomes are audiences: →  books , recorded music, and films. Depending on which source is the principal source of revenue, a media company will tailor its content to satisfy the demands of either advertisers or audiences (→  Commercialization of the Media ; Commodification of the Media ; Cost and Revenue Structures in the Media ). In essence, the primary source of revenue functions as the proverbial customer exerting demand in the marketplace and thereby shaping the product. In theory, then, films should tell us more about what people want to see and television programs should tell us more about what advertisers think will increase the sales of their goods and services (→  Consumers in Media Markets ). For advertiser-supported media, the task is to assemble an audience commodity – that is, a group of persons to whom advertisers want to sell their wares (Advertising, Economics of). The implication is that advertisers will target consumers of brand-name products: people with the disposable income and access to the retail ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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