Describe Your Audience

Audience Ideology (Values, Attitudes & Beliefs)

In order to understand audience you should understand what makes them tick, especially what reasons they have for consuming any media at all.

Remember Blumler & Katz, who suggested that there were four Uses and Gratifications that an audience seek from their media. Their theory describes an active audience:


Information Self education to suit personal needs; advice on practical matters; information on events or issues of personal interest; curiosity or general interest. News to help them decide how to vote.
Personal Identity Media reinforces or challenges personal ideologies; models of behaviour explored to challenge, adjust or affirm personal values, attitudes and beliefs
Social Interaction Identify with others to gain a sense of belonging (identity); find basis for real life interactions; a substitute for real life relationships
Entertainment Escape; diversion; emotional release; filling time; aesthetic enjoyment


Stuart Hall Reception Theory

He argues that an audience decodes what the producer encodes in a text. However, how they read the text will depend on their

  • Demographics – age, gender
  • Psychographics – beliefs, politics, religion
  • Cultural competence – their knowledge of ‘stuff’
  • Circumstances in which they are consuming the media   

So whatever you decide to include in your music video and associated products must use signs, symbols, cultural references and codes that your target audience will be able to read, interpret, recognise and decode so that they will enjoy it and have a preferred reading of your text(s)

This theory will be extremely helpful for the Critical Reflection. It will also be useful theory to understand for both Postmodernism and Media Ecology; sections of the last paper (Critical Perspectives).

Below is a handout on Hall and a slideshow on reception theory.


Click for handout on Hall.


So…what am I supposed to actually do?

Answer… Design your perfect audience member.

Consider these questions when doing your research:

  • What platform is your production to be accessed on?
  • What is the product’s function? (What is it trying to do or achieve?)
  • What genre(s) does your artist typically work in?
  • Who are the target audience?
    • What do they find appealing?
    • What do they like to do?
    • What are their interests/concerns?
    • What do they expect from this type of media product?

As a pair/group agree the following features of your audience:

  • Which other bands/artists your audience would be into?
  • What other media they would consume, fashion tastes, musical genre preferences…
  • What are their values, attitudes and beliefs they hold about what’s important in their lives and the world around them.
  • What broad demographic groups do your audience fall into (gender, age, education, occupation, marital status, cultural background)?
  • What ‘communities’ do they belong to?
    • Where do they live, work and play?

Then as a group you should all contribute to designing your target audience profile in the form of a moodboard.


Here is a handout we gave you earlier this year which describes different audience groups / communities which is helpful in reaching some conclusions about their values, attitudes and beliefs, and how to describe their communities and social groups.

Use Google slides to design a profile for your target audience to include photos and call outs for key facts.

Give your ideal audience an image, name, gender, relationship status, groups, status, likes, dislikes…all of this should be through the filter of music and should help describe your audience profile. Make it as detailed as possible – why not consider someone you know (do not actually use them) who likes the music, is a fan of that music/band and use them as inspiration.

Note: This is a group task so share the document or moodboard.

You should try and outline the ‘typical fan’ on someone you know – this always helps to guide your design decisions – would he or she like it, respond to it, notice it, enjoy it?

YOU MUST ALSO USE THIS WEBSITE:  Go to ratings/entertainment and then  search for your artist or a similar one. Then scroll around and down and see what other artists they might like, what else interests them, their age, beliefs, politics etc. and mention it in your introduction or even better, take a snipping tool screen shot of the profile target audience for your performer.  For example this link gives information about fans of Adele.

REMEMBER TO USE TERMINOLOGY IN YOUR BLOG POSTS INTRODUCTIONS and REFLECTIONS! –preferred reading, encode, decode, oppositional reading, demographics, psychographics, cultural experience, uses and gratification, target audience, producer, target audience, entertainment, education, social interaction and personal identity, communities, tribes, tribewired, individualists etc from the audience segmentation sheet.