Buying the audience: The role of advertisers in the audience marketplace

  • Dan Andrew

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This thesis examines the role that advertising plays in the creation and trading of audiences with commercial media providers, and the impacts new forms of digital advertising have had on the audience marketplace. The audience marketplace has been examined from a variety of theoretical and epistemological positions, yet the role advertisers play in how the audience marketplace operates is largely overlooked. The present research argues that new digital advertising channels and technology have changed how the audience product is created and traded in the audience marketplace. Advertisers play a larger role in the creation of digital audiences than for traditional advertising media, and a new model used to trade online audiences has evolved as a result. Other components of the audience marketplace have similarly evolved to meet the needs of digital advertisers. Examining the work of practitioners engaged in the planning and buying of advertising placements, this research reveals how the professional judgement of those employed at media buying agencies determines how
    much of their client’s advertising budgets are allocated to media providers who rely on advertising revenue to remain financially viable. In the process of distributing advertising spends, the advertising industry is an important component of the media industry that is often ignored or diminished when studying how media content is produced and distributed. Using semi-structured interviews with advertising industry practitioners, this research project reveals what role advertisers play in the audience marketplace, how digital advertising has changed how they engage with audiences, and the important role that the professional judgment of practitioners plays in the advertising process.
    Date of Award2023
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorKerry Mccallum (Supervisor) & Glen Fuller (Supervisor)

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