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ERIC Number: ED567487
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 181
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3038-1531-7
Media Consumption on the World Wide Web: Integrating Theories of Media Choice and Global Media Flows to Explain Global Cultural Consumption
Taneja, Harsh
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Northwestern University
The cross border availability of media content has raised speculations that content preferences would largely drive audience choices. In such a scenario, technologies and institutional structures would primarily shape patterns of global cultural consumption, sweeping away old allegiances based on cultural traits such as language and geography. On the contrary, we may find that despite having access to content from across the globe, people continue to grant disproportionate attention to content that unfolds nearby or is in their primary language. Given these divergent views on the forces that will shape global audiences, the following questions are of central importance: How relevant are cultural factors such as language and geography in determining global patterns of media consumption in an age when technologies and powerful institutions increasingly facilitate cross border flow of content? Will technological infrastructures trump cultural differences or will they work in tandem to shape the patterns of global cultural consumption? This study is an empirical investigation into the role that each of these factors play in determining audience formation on a global scale. It does so within a theoretical framework that, for the first time, integrates theories of media choice with the theories of global cultural consumption. The top 1000 Websites around the world account for about 99% of all traffic on the World Wide Web. I analyze data on audience duplication (the extent to which users who access site A also access site B), across these sites to identify patterns of global Web use. To explain the level of audience duplication, I use cultural factors such as similarity of language and geography and institutional factors such as hyperlinks between each pair of Websites. I find that global Web usage largely clusters according to language and geography of the Websites, and not according to their content genres. Further, I find a very low correlation between hyperlinks and audience traffic, suggesting that hyperlinks are not as powerful a determinant of Web use as they are thought to be. These findings contribute to existing research on media choice as well as the literature on global media flows. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A