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9 How Should We Think About Audience Power in the Digital Age?

2. Media Production

2. The Cultural Industries and the Organization of Production

  1. Joseph Turow

Published Online: 3 JAN 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444361506.wbiems999

The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies

The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies

How to Cite

Turow, J. 2012. How Should We Think About Audience Power in the Digital Age?. The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies. 2:2:9.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 JAN 2012

Abstract

This chapter emphasizes the workings of corporate power in people's core relationships to the emerging digital media system. Its aim is to provide a counterbalance to a perspective with a lot of traction among contemporary academics: that the best way to think about audiences in the new age is to emphasize that individual audience members are exercising unprecedented control over the creation and distribution of media products. Focusing on the media-buying sector of the advertising industry, this chapter outlines the contours of a new ecosystem of digital-marketing companies that buys and sells data about online users without their permission or knowledge. This ecosystem raises a new version of the concerns about media's constructions of society for society that scholars first expressed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Keywords:

  • advertising industry;
  • audience research;
  • digital marketing;
  • media buying;
  • new media technologies;
  • social discrimination