UNDERSTANDING ENTERTAINMENT AUDIENCES
The essential feature of the audience experience as we see it today is that everyone has become an audience all the time-it is constitutive of everyday life. This audience concept is called diffused audience. The proliferation of entertainment in our lives has, for all intents and purposes, merged mass and live audience functions into a continuum of message reception. All messages all the time. In order to be well-received, messages must entertain. We will refer to everyone who receives entertainment messages as active makers of meaning who engage in watching or listening for pleasure. This diffused audience is the audiences of the twenty-first century. The level of pleasure audiences derive from media, performance, sports, and other leisure activities is an indication of entertainment’s social and psychological value. We need entertainment to maintain our feeling of belonging and our feeling of well-being.