Media Experiences is a big picture project that pieces together the puzzle that is being an audience today. A broad research question includes how do producers create experiences and how do audiences actually engage with these experiences? Our innovative approach is best described as a dialogue between academic researchers, executive and creative producers, and audiences, where we listen to the voices of producers and the values they create and we investigate how these conversations connect or disconnect with audiences. In this way, the project investigates how producers and audiences can co-create, shape and limit cultural experience within emerging mediascapes.
Media Experiences is funded by the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation (6.3 million Swedish Kroner), in collaboration with Endemol Shine, and includes a team of eight people from assistants to post doctoral researchers, consultants and experts working over a period of three years (2013-2016).
The project critically examines media experiences by combining analysis of production and audience perspectives in three key countries Sweden, Denmark, the UK, with further work undertaken internationally in countries such as America and Mexico, connected to case studies. Our cases include a range of drama, and reality television, such as The Bridge crime drama format (Filmlance International and Endemol Shine), Utopia cult drama format (Kudos and Endemol Shine), Masterchef entertainment format (Endemol Shine), and Got to Dance reality talent format (Princess and Endemol Shine). We also study independent documentary films The Act of Killing and The Look of Silence (director Joshua Oppenheimer). The project uses multi-method and multi-site research where each television series, or documentary film is treated as a fit for purpose study. We use a range of methods from interviews, focus groups and participant observations, to social media analytics and analysis of scheduling and ratings.
Our goal is to better understand contemporary audiences and their complex experiences of media as live audiences, catch up viewers, illegal users, as consumers and users, fans and anti-fans, contestants and participants. We see people’s media experiences as performative and interactive practices, which are evolving within the broader transformations taking place within production, consumption and social relations.