Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

The Value of Media Engagement, Pt.2

Posted by tristendenney14 on February 27, 2017

As I read the first part of Spreadable Media’s Chapter 3, I was instantly more engaged and entertained than I was in Chapter 2. The idea of how companies value our “views” or “opinions” truly interests me, especially since there is no concrete model to monetize every possible view or stream. For example, I never realized how complicated and complex the system to even measuring one form of viewership is. This is where the subsection titled “The Challenges of Measurement” comes into play. These large companies that provide us consumers with our favorite TV shows or electronic streaming services have realized how influential electronic viewership is through examples like Heroes viewership being over 500,000 more views online rather than on the television, but they continue to value real-time views more than others. This is where I get confused and ask myself why. It reminds me of that one stubborn person we all know that believes the way they do something is the only and best way to do it. Although my way may be better and more efficient, or in this case be more monetarily valuable, they decide to stick to their way because they value their opinion more. This idea also occurred in the subsection titled “The Value of Surplus Audiences.” This section described an example where extra views from “untargeted” audiences are almost irrelevant to the producers and seen as “surplus”, and showed this through the example of soap operas. This idea confuses me too because ultimately the goal of today’s television shows is to reach the highest number of views and ratings possible, whether this be through the appointment-based model or the emergent-engagement model. However, soap operas for example are ultimately dependent on the appointment-based model because there is likely very little video streaming for these shows as four soap operas were cancelled between 2008-2011. My mom for example records her two favorite soap operas, these being “Days of Our Lives” and “The Young and the Restless”, but she allows the DVR to get to nearly 50-60 recordings of these at certain times and I always wondered why. But, now I know it has to do with the appointment-based model and how TV viewership is more valuable and allows one to stay “caught up” with their shows. Therefore, measuring media engagement is not only a complicated system, but one that will take years to successfully monetize due to multiple media platforms.


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