Tracking the Audience: The Ratings Industry From Analog to Digital, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Tracking the Audience

The Ratings Industry From Analog to Digital, 1st Edition

By Karen Buzzard


192 pages

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In Tracking the Audience: The Ratings Industry From Analog to Digital, author Karen Buzzard examines the key economic, political, and competitive factors that have influenced ratings methods dominant in each of the markets for radio, TV, and the Internet, tracing the practice¹s history from its early beginnings up to its most recent advances. 

Beginning with the birth of the industry in 1929, Tracking the Audience traces the establishment of a standardized ratings "currency" as it evolved to meet the needs of the analog broadcast system, and explores the search for new gold standards necessitated by the devastating effects of the digital revolution. Buzzard examines key challenges to the established system by discussing the movement from traditional sampling methods to new, more transparent measurements. More than a history of the ratings industry itself, it also tracks the evolving business model for the broadcast industry. 

Tracking the Audience: The Ratings Industry From Analog to Digital shows how the development of conceptual tools designed to measure and package radio, TV, and Internet audiences is the result of a variety of historical factors. With a detailed examination of ratings providers, their methods, and their attempts to adjust to meet new demands a digital age, this volume explains how a standardized broadcast system of audience measurement ratings has evolved, and where it is going in the future.


"Highly recommended… Buzzard does a splendid job explaining how measurement tools have been refined and developed to produce more relevant and useful audience data with the transition from analog to digital broadcasting." - CHOICE magazine

Table of Contents

Introduction: Audience Ratings in the 21st Century: The Digitalization of Media Audiences Part 1: Analog 1. Network Radio Audiences: The Telephone Coincidental, The Telephone Recall and The Household Meter 2. Local Radio and TV Audiences: The Diary Initiative 3. Network TV Audiences: The People Meter Initiative Part 2: Digital 4. Local TV Audiences: The Local People Meter Initiative 5. Local Radio Audiences: The Portable People Meter Initiative 6. Internet Audiences: The Software Meter Initiative 7. Exploring New Digital Currencies for TV, Cable, and Internet Audiences: Digital Cable and Set-top box Data Initiative. Conclusion

About the Author

Karen Buzzard is a professor of media, journalism, and film at Missouri State University and is internationally acclaimed for her seminal scholarship in the area of ratings history and practice. She is the author of several works on the ratings industry and has published in professional journals such as the Journal of Radio Studies andthe Journal of Media Economics. Her scholarship has resulted in solicitation by legal scholars, industry professionals, journalists, and business start-ups.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies