Every move you make. Every breath you take. They’ll be watching you. No, not your local stalker but audience measurement companies of course! Isn’t it great knowing that almost everything you do is being watched, sold, then used to persuade you to open you wallet? Sounds like some kind of dystopian nightmare, but no, this is “normal”. Audiences indicate if a media text will continue to be aired, printed or published for consumption, or what kind of advertisement is best suited to you. One has to question whether snooping on our activities is really necessary for finding out how we receive it.
Not all audience measurement is used for consumption of products or media texts. ABC’s Q&A, the only thing that keeps me sane during university sessions, uses audience measurement for a different purpose. Live audiences who attend Q&A, at their own risk, are asked their political preferences which are displayed as percentages within the first five minutes of the show to demonstrate their unbiasedness (yes, “unbiasedness” is a word). As Q&A is a space to voice concerns and question those in power, whether it be political or social, it is important for them to display that they are not in favour of one particular group. They attempt to give a representative sample with the resources available to them.
Added 19th August 2014:
Here is another audience measurement tool that Q and A have added to their repertoire.
— ABC Q&A (@QandA) August 19, 2014