Ratings in Revolution or Transition?
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Communications and Arts / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts,Technology, Education and Communications
The much touted transformations of television not only towards more television but more ways of accessing television presents particular challenges for ‘business as usual’ in audience measurement—particularly with respect to the trade-offs involved in establishing and maintaining broadcast ratings conventions. The gradual erosion of the standard broadcast model and the evolution of niche broadcasters alongside a variety of platforms including YouTube demonstrate an increasingly more complex and mixed set of televisual arrangements and business models. In this context audience measurement is both becoming more complex and needing to recalibrate its instruments to meet the new challenges of covering not only more but also different kinds of viewing. At the same time the relation between the audience market defined by advertising and the content market defined by sales of media product including pay-TV, DVD and downloads of programs is entering a new and more mixed phase. What the authors want to do in this paper is to follow the debates and controversies within audience measurement in Australia and the USA, especially as they relate to the future of exposure as the standard measure.