Media Audiences in the Urban Context
To support efforts in extending the relevance and reach of audience research and intellectual scope of urban studies, in this chapter I revisit the heritage of audience studies through urban optics. I excavate the field’s forgotten urban pedigree and advocate a firmer empirical hold of media consumption in public as a productive return to the urban origin of audience studies. By doing so, I also address urban scholars whom I hope to offer reasons for further engagement with insights from audience studies into how meanings of mediated spaces are negotiated and how urban living is interwoven with media practices. Scholarship on phenomena like reading outdoor advertising or partaking in “platform urbanism” tends to assume, rather than research, myriad important ways in which people negotiate cities, making the belated dialogue between urban and audience studies a timely opportunity.