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date: 19 October 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter traces how changes in media and surveillance technologies have influenced the strategies producers have for constructing audiences. The largely unregulated practices of information gathering that inform the measurement and evaluation of audiences have consequences for how individuals are viewed by media producers and, consequently, for how they view themselves. Recent technological advances have increased the specificity with which advertisers target audiences—moving from the classification of audience groups based on shared characteristics to the personalization of commercial media content for individuals. To assist in the personalization of content, media producers and advertisers use interactive technologies to enlist individuals in the construction of their own consumer reputations. Industry discourse frames the resulting personalization as empowering for individuals who are given a hand in crafting their media universe; however, these strategies are more likely to create further disparity among those who media institutions do and do not view as valuable.

Keywords: audience construction, audience measurement, consumer reputations, advertising, surveillance, personalization, interactive media, consumer empowerment

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