Section B: Institutions and Audiences

Candidates should be prepared to understand and discuss the processes of production, distribution, marketing and exchange as they relate to contemporary media institutions, as well as, the nature of audience consumption and the relationship between audiences and institutions. In addition candidates should be familiar with:

  • the issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media practice;
  • the importance of cross media convergence and synergy, in production, distribution and marketing;
  • the technologies that have been introduced in recent years at the levels of production, marketing and exchange;
  • the significance of proliferation in hardware and content for institutions and audiences;
  • the importance of technological convergence for institutions and audiences;
  • the issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences (specifically, British) by international and global institutions;
  • the ways in which the candidates’ own experiences of media consumption illustrate wider patterns and trends of audience behaviour.

This unit should be approached through contemporary examples in the form of case studies based upon one of the specified media areas. Examples may include the following:

Film

A study of a specific studio or production company within a contemporary film industry that targets a British audience (eg Hollywood, Bollywood, UK film) including its patterns of production, distribution, exhibition and consumption by audiences. This should be accompanied by study of contemporary film distribution practices (digital cinemas, DVD, HD-DVD, downloads, etc) and their impact on production, marketing and consumption.

Music

A study of a particular record label within the contemporary music industry that targets a British audience, including its patterns of production, distribution marketing and consumption by audiences. This should be accompanied by the study of strategies used by the record labels to counter the practice of file sharing and their impact on music production, marketing and consumption.

Newspapers

A study of the contemporary newspaper market in the UK and the ways in which technology is helping to make newspapers more efficient and competitive despite dwindling audiences. This should be accompanied by a study of a specific online version of a national/ local newspaper and the issues that are raised for the production, distribution and consumption of the news.

Magazines

A study of a successful magazine within the contemporary British magazine market, including its patterns of production, distribution and consumption by audiences. This should be accompanied by the study of the use of online magazine editions and the issues that they raise for the production, marketing and consumption of a magazine brand.

Video Games

A study of the production, distribution and marketing of a specific game within one or across various gaming platforms, along with its reception by a variety of (British) audiences. This should be accompanied by study of the impact of next generation capabilities (HD, Blu-Ray, online services, etc) on the production, distribution, marketing and consumption of games.