Audience measurements, with their resulting influence on content and commercialization, are essential components of financially viable media and media markets. They help create marketplaces where diverse media can compete in viable niches, offer audience insights and thus increase the likelihood that media organizations will produce relevant content, and play an essential role in reducing corruption by exposing it. From a media development perspective, audience measurements reveal whether people are engaging with the content that news media produce. Although it has become essential for media organizations to have core strengths in understanding their audiences, building capacity for measuring audiences is seldom included in media development initiatives.
This report examines the benefits and challenges of measuring audiences for news media and media developers. Its release is timed to coincide with an important conference on this subject taking place in Bonn, under the auspices of the German Forum Media and Development (FOME).