Component 1B

Exploring Audience and Industries

In this section, learners will develop knowledge and understanding of key aspects of media industries, including ownership, funding, regulation, production, distribution and technology. In addition, learners will consider relevant aspects of media audiences, such as targeting and categorisation, consumption and use, and theoretical perspectives on audiences.

The focus of section B is on the set products as examples of the related media industries and audiences. For this section, learners should not engage in analysis of the textual features of the set products, but should study them as examples of the relevant industry and audience issues that they illustrate (see bullet points on media industries and audiences below). The online presence of these media products provides a key way into both industry and audience issues.

Spectre (Film)
The Sun (Newspapers)
Fortnite (Video Games)
The Archers (Radio)
 

Section B

For Section B, learners must develop their knowledge and understanding of the following aspects of the theoretical framework:

Media Industries

  • the nature of media production, including by large organisations, who own the products they produce, and by individuals and groups

  • the impact of production processes, personnel and technologies on the final product, including similarities and differences between media products in terms of when and where they are produced

  • the effect of ownership and control of media organisations, including conglomerate ownership, diversification and vertical integration

  • the impact of the increasingly convergent nature of media industries across different platforms and different national settings

  • the importance of different funding models, including government funded, not-for-profit and commercial models

  • how the media operate as commercial industries on a global scale and reach both large and specialised audiences

  • the functions and types of regulation of the media

  • the challenges for media regulation presented by 'new' digital technologies

Audiences

  • how and why media products are aimed at a range of audiences, from small, specialised audiences to large, mass audiences

  • the ways in which media organisations target audiences through marketing, including an understanding of the assumptions organisations make about their target audience(s)

  • how media organisations categorise audiences

  • the role of media technologies in reaching and identifying audiences, and in audience consumption and usage

  • the ways in which audiences may interpret the same media products very differently and how these differences may reflect both social and individual differences

  • the ways in which people’s media practices are connected to their identity, including their sense of actual and desired self

  • the social, cultural and political significance of media products, including the themes or issues they address, the fulfilment of needs and desires and the functions they serve in everyday life and society

  • how audiences may respond to and interpret media products and why these interpretations may change over time

  • theoretical perspectives on audiences, including active and passive audiences; audience response and audience interpretation

  • Blumler and Katz's Uses and Gratifications theory