Preferences for TV Content Genre What Sydney Viewers Want

Preferences for TV Content Genre What Sydney Viewers Want -...

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1 Preferences for TV Content Genre: What Sydney Viewers Want Geoffrey Lee , University of Western Sydney g.lee@uws.edu.au Robyn McGuiggan, University of Western Sydney r.mcguiggan@uws.edu.au Abstract The proliferation of television channels and alternative entertainment sources make establishing, maintaining and expanding television viewer market share increasingly difficult. Based upon ‘models of choice’, this exploratory study seeks to identify a relationship between Australian viewer preferences for content genre and viewer demographics. A survey of 427 Sydney adults explored preferred content genre and satisfaction levels to identify unmet needs by market segment. Simple discriminant analysis and explorative factor analysis identified seven dimensions of preferred genre. ANOVA testing of preferred genre and respondent characteristics identified age and education as statistically significant. Keywords: community television, content, programming, characteristics Page 1 of 8 ANZMAC 2009
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1 Preferences for TV Content Genre: What Sydney Viewers Want Introduction Television audiences have been studied at a micro-level (individuals as the units of analysis to understand what channels or repertoires they watch) or macro-level (aggregated demand by audiences) (Webster and Phalen, 1997; Yuan, 2009). In markets with few dominant channels, audience concentration follows the ‘long-tail’ phenomenon (Anderson, 2006), where a small amount of content accounts for a disproportionately large share of the audience (Yuan, 2009). With the introduction of greater channel choice, audience fragmentation occurs (Webster, 2005), as the total viewing audience is spread among more channels (Yuan, 2009). When viewers can choose from many channels, most viewers are not aware of all the options available to them and tend to select ‘brand names’ as an aid to simplify their choice (Cooper, 1996). Correspondingly, an abundance of channel choice and alternatives such as the internet can lead to viewers tending to have a limited and relatively small repertoire of preferred channels and programs that they frequently and heavily use (Yuan, 2009). For example, the introduction of cable television in the US has facilitated selectivity due to greater channel options (Jeffres, 1978). In Australia, competition for establishing, maintaining and expanding television viewer market share is increasingly difficult because of the number of new television channels (such as Pay TV, SBS2 and ABC2) and the proliferation of alternative entertainment sources (such as the internet, video rentals and digital radio). A greater number of channels fragment the traditional television viewer markets (Webster, 1985) and have resulted in increased competition for advertiser revenue, as evidenced by a predicted lag in growth of spending on free-to-air TV compared with radio, Pay TV and the internet over the next five years (BRW, 2009). Research Problem
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