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Moving to the peoplemetered audience. A sociotechnical approach

Abstract : Using an actor network theory approach, this article argues that the audience exists only from the moment when it is circumstantiated and instantiated. To observe the audience, sociology thus needs to identify its practices, discourses and manifestations. This hypothesis is illustrated though an historical case study: the adoption of a new television audience measurement, the peoplemeter (a new audiometer machine nowadays widely used by professionals) in France in the late 1980s. It opens the technology's black box at a time when changes forced actors to reconsider their collective and individual audience definitions. Through analysing the implementation of the peoplemeter, the article shows how a triple process of routine, consensus and trust led the actors to accept this new system. This process, it is argued, explains how actors translated a state of their own construction of the audience into a technological system.
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Cécile Méadel. Moving to the peoplemetered audience. A sociotechnical approach. European Journal of Communication, SAGE Publications, 2015, 30 (1), pp.36-49. ⟨10.1177/0267323114555824⟩. ⟨hal-01821828⟩



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