MED4106 Radio & Popular Music Reading Response Week 8

Audiences, Technology & Consumption

WeeIn A. J. Baker’s ‘College Student Net-Radio Audiences’ he introduces the reader to the idea of Net Radio which is an interactive global medium which allows users to view content on demand and become part of the online community. It creates ‘relationships between producers, industries and audiences’ unlike traditional radio and allows for more audience interaction as well.

The text I found was ‘Music Consuption: Lifestyle, Choice or Addiction’ by Cockrill, Sullivan and Norbury and investigates whether people can be addicted to listening to music. Because of digitalisation, most types of media can be consumed any time and in any place but it can also have both a negative and positive impact on other aspects of life. This is because of MP3 technology which means it is possible to carry round 1000s of songs on a portable player which could lead to compulsive use.

In Baker’s study on Net-Radio, the key consumers they targeted for their study as they found that 1/3 of college student had changed from traditional radio to net radio. Similarly to this, the Music Consumption investigation also targeted 18-35 year olds as they were found to be the main users of MP3 devices. This shows that within the past few years since both of these investigations took place, young people up to the age of 35 are seen as the primary users of technology.

This idea can be further enforced as the results from Baker’s survey found that youths were disappointed with traditional radio. The main reasons identified in the text for preferring Net Radio were for the wider range of context and variety. 44% of respondents stated that they listened to both traditional radio and net radio which suggests that although the programmes on tradition radio are suitable for the age range and audience, but there is not enough of it to keep that particular group from looking online for more content.

The Music Consumption survey also found that many people of the age range were ‘heavy users’ of music. These people would find the music they listen to having a negative impact on their social life and affecting their jobs, work and sleep. This also suggests that this age range is the most active users of technology. The interactive elements of Net Radio and many new MP3 players mean that consumers using these technologies are becoming more active as it is easier for them to interact with different forms of media. This can also result in a ‘bottom-up’ media model with consumers becoming producers as the technology becomes available for them to do it easily and cheaply.

Based on this information, if I was to do research on the impact of technology on audiences I would look at how people of different ages collect music now in comparison to 5, 10 or 15 years ago and why they have changed or stayed the same over the years. I could then analyse how  different age groups largely collect music and look at why they choose particular formats.


Baker, A. J, (2010). College Student net-radio audiences: A Transnational Perspective. Radio Journal: International Studies in Broadcast & Audio Media. 8 (2), pp.121-137

Cockrill, A, Sullivan, M, & Norbury, H.L, 2011, ‘Music Consumption: Lifestyle Choice or Addiction,’ Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 160-166


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