Archive for Intro. to Mass Communication Class Blogs

Intro. to Mass Communication Blog 5: In a World Where Everyone Pirated Music…..

What if everyone pirated music instead of paying for it? Kant’s Categorical Imperitive asks what would the result be if everyone took the same action as you were considering. Many people do pirate music already but what would the state of the music industry be if no one paid for downloads or CDS? What would happen to the musicians would they all be “Starving artists” or would they still be able to live on their other sources of income?

In a world where everyone pirated music, the music industry and the record labels would be in shambles, or at least if they continued using the business model they use now. The bands would still get some money from concert ticket sales and merchandise, but the record labels get most of their money off record sales but without record sales, where would they get their money? The record industry is also responsible for recording music so in a world without the record labels how would the artists record their songs? The artists would probably have to either record it themselves, which is not that difficult with inexpensive computer hardware and software. The other option is to hire an independent producer to arrange recording their music because the record labels would most likely not be in business having lost their primary source of income.
On a larger scale, this could also lead to the unemployment of thousands of people in the record industry because without the sale of music whether it be physical CDs, for the rare people who still purchase their music that way, or digital purchases through online music stores such as iTunes and Amazon MP3. Thousands of jobs would no longer able to be supported because the record industry would more or less crumble without the sales of music and would remove the need for many jobs. This would not only be devastating to the music industry, but would also hurt the entire economy because the loss of a large industry like the record industry, the economy would be in bad shape due to the loss of a major industry and all the jobs that go down with it.
Bands would still earn some revenue through concerts and the sale of merchandise, so they wouldn’t be completely in financial trouble. However, if they aren’t receiving money from record sales they also loose the quantitative data of how people are responding to their music by being able to see which songs and albums are being bought the most and by which demographics. This leaves the artists in a way decentivized to make news music because they aren’t directly receiving money from sales and they don’t even know how many people are buying their music and which songs are the most popular. There have been efforts to track pirated downloads to gather information, but, it is very difficult because there are so many sources of illegal downloads and hard to keep good numbers of all the downloads.
This is not meant to paint a picture of a post-apocalyptic world where there will be no music but, without record sales, there is little motivation for the musicians to make music beside the love of it, which is enough for some, but many artists want to make a living, and a good one at that off their music. If you really think about it, $1 per song isn’t that much and is all the artists ask of us to support them and keep the music alive.

Mass Comm Blog 4: Advertising is Everywhere

We were assigned to record every exposure to advertising for an entire day to see when and where we were exposed to ads in our daily lives.  My impressions are a little different than the average person because they are primarily web advertisements and ads I see in on billboards or signs hung up. This is largely due to the fact that I don’t listen to the radio nor do I really watch television in the traditional sense too often because I typically watch most television shows online via streaming websites like Hulu.

The vast majority of these  advertisements are on websites that I visit whether they are in my Gmail email account or if they are on Facebook. However, although I know they are there on the side of  numerous websites, I more or less ignore them and they are more or less white noise on the side of the page that I don’t really look at, let alone click on. I also have a web browser extension that block ads from being displayed on many websites as well further reducing the number of advertisements that I see online.  Another place where I see ads are on some of my mobile applications, they are a little more in your face than web ads, although that is what they essentially are. I think this is mainly because the screen is much smaller so the ads are more noticeable.  But even with those ads, I never click on them unless I accidentally tap on them, but I rarely even do that.

Hulu offers television shows online with commercials at regular intervals similar to watching on tradition TV, often, these ads are actually normal television ads although some are more interactive or better suited for the web so that they keep the viewers’ attention.  These ads are often ignored and many times, I end up leaving my computer. The form of internet ads that I find most effective in getting me to pay attention and many times make a purchase are the ads found in the many podcasts I subscribe to. This is because the shows that I subscribe to only have a few commercial break during the program and they have the host personally talk about the product and interact with the product or service on the show and recommend them. These ads also get a lot higher CPM, which is the cost per thousand viewers, because they get more value than a standard television commercial due to the niche  audience of the podcasts which makes the audience much more likely to be interested in buying from the advertiser. The final category of ads that I see regularly are Billboards and other sign ads, these surprisingly do get my attention much of the time, especially those electronic billboards because the flashing lights of the ads changing get my attention which is definitely dangerous when driving.

As for location and time of day for these ads, in the morning, I see mostly web ads while I get ready to go to the gym when I’m checking my email, Facebook and typically watch a show online on  Hulu or a podcast on my second monitor. The gym is one of the rare times every day that I actually hear the radio, although only for the brief period of time between when I enter the gym and when I get my headphone in and then again when I am leaving so I really only listen to only a few minutes each day.  Then between leaving the gym and when I return from class for the day I mostly see web advertisements from websites and from mobile applications and signs posted around the campus. When I return to my room after class I watch TV shows on Hulu and then podcasts, either when I the internet becomes too slow to stream or when I run out of shows to stream. Then I’m also seeing web ads on websites I browse and some signs hung around campus when I’m walking around. Most people are more exposed to more traditional advertisements in Televisions, Radio, and newspapers but because I use the internet for most of my content, I get less traditional advertising.

Mass Communication Blog 3: Wired Magazine’s Target Demographic

Wired magazine is one of the most poplar technology magazines and serves an audience of 3.2 Million people, mostly young men. The content and advertisements in Wired reflect this demographic by providing content about science and technology that would interest young men either in college or who just graduated from college. This demographic is also known to have high amounts of disposable income and more likely to spend their money on luxury items like expensive cars. It is because of this that the ads in Wired are luxury items, such as top-shelf alcohol,luxury cars, watches, electronics and other products that people with more disposable income are prone to buy.

According to Wired’s advertising information, their readers are 72% male, and 82% of them graduated from or at least attended college and have a median age of 36. This is very important information because it is a well known fact that people who gradate from college makes significantly more income than those who do not and therefore are more likely to have more money to spend on products and services from advertisers. The median household income is over $83,000 which is widely considered upper-middle class which is great for advertisers, because obviously, people with less money are less likely to buy unnecessary products or services. To that same effect, 78% of Wired’s readership is employed and 48% of them are in professional positions.  This is a very valuable demographic to advertisers because many people who are in it are just out of college and have not started a family yet. Many studies have shown that people in this demographic has more disposable income than any other demographic group and are very profitable.

The products that are advertised in Wired reflect its target demographic’s higher income level by advertising products that services that people who are on a stricter budget would not be able to afford. Some products that are advertised in Wired are digital cameras, mid to high range cars, investment services, high-end watches and other luxury items. The magazine content is targeted to the same audience and is mostly about technology and science subjects that would interest a young, mostly male audience. This includes things from reviews of the newest smartphones to advances in space science that could allow people to travel to the moon. The majority of the people who would be interested in these subjects are young males, although some women may be interested in this, which is the target demographic of Wired and signals them that this is for them.


Mass Communication Blog 2: CNN and Al Jazeera Go Head To Head

When consuming news media, everyone should be mindful of is the bias or spin of each particular media source. This blog post will compare the coverage of the Mitt Romney’s victory in the Maine Caucus as presented by CNN and by Al Jezeera. The story is overall the same however, the audience of the the media outlets are very different and therefore, they need to produce content that bests serves the wants and needs of that particular audience. In this modern age, niche audiences are king and media producers can’t just produce stories that serve everyone, nor is it practical. Although the story of what actually happened, as in Mitt Romney winning the Maine Caucus, each media outlet will have their own spin to best serve their own target audience.

With these stories, both stories are very similar to each other. Both open with how Mitt Romney has lost the past three primaries and won a close vote beating Rick Santorum by 3%. They then go quotes from his victory speech backing up his conservative values and how he believes that he will be the best candidate to run against President Barrack Obama.

The big difference between the two articles is that the CNN article went much further in depth over how this impacts the overall election and also includes quotes from Governor Romney’s opponents on their thoughts over the election and affirming their beliefs that they are still the best candidates to run against the President in November.  Many attacked Governor Romney and his stances on the many issues. The Al Jazeera version was a lot more concise and focused primarily on the “big picture” and didn’t go into nearly as much detail because obviously the primary election doesn’t impact their target audience nearly as much as it does for US citizens.

Typically, there are a lot more differences between the two media outlets because they are so different. Although the version of Al Jazeera used for this comparison was the English version, it is based Qater and it’s target market are people of Arab origin. CNN is the largest cable news network in the United States and targets the typical American citizen. These are two very different target audiences and each require a very different focus. In the case of this story and probably is the case with most American news, CNN can go into further detail because it directly impacts the target audience and their daily lives. Al Jazeera is focused much more on the Arab world and would therefore spin the story in such a way that it focuses on how news affects that part of the world.

Mass Communication Blog 1: House Vs. Reality

“House” is  a show about the diagnostics department at a hospital which is led by Dr. House, a brilliant, yet unconventional doctor who acts as if he has never heard of bedside manners. Dr House  lies to and manipulates his patients while he treats them, and is motivated not only by curing the patient but, to prove himself right and feed his own ego. “House” is a great show from the aspect of it being entertaining and keeping the viewers’ attention,  even the use of medical terminology maybe fairly accurate. However,  there is so much about “House” that would never be permitted to go on at a hospital. If a real doctor did even one of the things Dr. House did they would not only be fired, but would also lose their medical license and possibly face jail time.

One of the most common illegal practices Dr. House commits is betting on patients, he makes wagers with other staff members over whether or not his diagnosis was correct and then  more times than not, he interferes with the patient, risking their well being so that he could win the bet. Another major infraction of Dr. House is him lying and tricking his patients, doctors are supposed to do whats best for the patient, although that is what House believes that is what he is doing, manipulating the patients would never be permitted in a real hospital and would also lead to a doctor loosing their license. Finally but, perhaps Dr. House’s biggest infraction is his addition to drugs, early in the show he was shot in the leg which obviously causes him an immense amount of pain but led to him become addicted to Vicodin. Throughout  the series he has been seen popping Vicodin while at work which is absolutely illegal for a doctor to be under the influence of anything that would affect their judgement.

In real life, Dr. House would probably be fired for just one of the previously mentioned practices, but, if he got fired every time he broke the rules, the show would be boring. The show would also be boring if Dr. House was just a brilliant Dr. who always followed the rules. The commodity in mass media is the attention of viewers so a show about a well-behaved doctor wouldn’t make the network any money. The writers of the show do an amazing job at blending the factual medical information to make it seem realistic and fiction to make an extremely entertaining medical show.  This keeps audiences wanting more, making the show lucrative to advertisers and keeping it on the air. “House” isn’t the only show to do this, all shows must step beyond reality in order to prevent the show from becoming boring and unable to make money for the networks.

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