Radio 2.0: How Facebook is enhancing audience participation for Irish radio audiences.

Conference item


McMahon, D. 2014. Radio 2.0: How Facebook is enhancing audience participation for Irish radio audiences. Academic Conferences and Publishing International.
AuthorsMcMahon, D.
Abstract

As a traditional mass medium radio is proving its flexibility and resilience in an ever more digitalised mediascape by increasing its presence on one of the fastest growing digital platforms, Facebook. With the radio industry in Ireland as a case study, this project examines the use of Facebook by radio producers and their audiences as a medium for deeper interaction and explores the functions this contact serves for the audience member, for the radio producer, and for society as a whole. Based on recent findings, this doctoral research argues that radio producers are increasingly engaging with their audiences through Facebook for commercial reasons, in an effort to build audience loyalty and grow their audience share in a highly competitive industry. Radio audiences are following their favourite radio programmes on Facebook in growing numbers seeking an enhanced media experience and opportunities to exercise their agency as active audiences and participate in the on-air and online conversations. Furthermore, the evidence suggests that public spheres and virtual communities are created on radio station Facebook pages and that some users build social capital between one another through extended interaction. The convergence of radio with Facebook is thus allowing an old medium to remain competitive at a time when digital media is threatening the traditional mass media.The methodology involves both qualitative and quantitative research methods including interviews with radio producers and audience members combined with a survey of the latter, textual analysis of radio station Facebook pages and a longitudinal content analysis of Facebook interactivity across the Irish radio industry. The project is nearing completion and therefore this paper will present the main findings that demonstrate the capacity of radio as a medium to engage with and profit from the introduction of new digital technologies, particularly Facebook.

As a traditional mass medium radio is proving its flexibility and resilience in an ever more digitalised mediascape
by increasing its presence on one of the fastest growing digital platforms, Facebook. With the radio industry in Ireland as a
case study, this project examines the use of Facebook by radio producers and their audiences as a medium for deeper
interaction and explores the functions this contact serves for the audience member, for the radio producer, and for society
as a whole. Based on recent findings, this doctoral research argues that radio producers are increasingly engaging with
their audiences through Facebook for commercial reasons, in an effort to build audience loyalty and grow their audience
share in a highly competitive industry. Radio audiences are following their favourite radio programmes on Facebook in
growing numbers seeking an enhanced media experience and opportunities to exercise their agency as active audiences
and participate in the on-air and online conversations. Furthermore, the evidence suggests that public spheres and virtual
communities are created on radio station Facebook pages and that some users build social capital between one another
through extended interaction. The convergence of radio with Facebook is thus allowing an old medium to remain
competitive at a time when digital media is threatening the traditional mass media.The methodology involves both
qualitative and quantitative research methods including interviews with radio producers and audience members combined
with a survey of the latter, textual analysis of radio station Facebook pages and a longitudinal content analysis of Facebook
interactivity across the Irish radio industry. The project is nearing completion and therefore this paper will present the
main findings that demonstrate the capacity of radio as a medium to engage with and profit from the introduction of new
digital technologies, particularly Facebook.

KeywordsSocial media; Facebook; Radio Industry; Radio audience; Media convergence; Audiences; Agency; Audience participation; Ireland
Year2014
JournalProceedings on the European Conference on Social Media
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International
ISSN20557221
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/622348
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0/
hdl:10545/622348
ISBN9.78191E+12
File
File Access Level
Open
File
File Access Level
Open
File
File Access Level
Open
Publication datesJul 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited16 Mar 2018, 10:57
ContributorsUniversity of Limerick
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