Uses and Gratifications Theory • Uses and gratification • Uses and gratification theory (UGT) is an approach to understanding why and how people actively seek out specific media to satisfy specific needs. • UGT is an audience centered approach to understanding mass communication. Differing from other media effect theories the question "What does media do for the people". Unlike UGT focuses on "What do people do with the media?" • Why do people use media and what do they use them for, UGT discusses how uses deliberately chooses media that will satisfy given needs and allow one to enhance knowledge, companionship, relaxation, diversion or escape.
How do music magazines apply UGT • A music magazine uses UGT as it will help fans of the music gain more knowledge about their favourite artists. • One could also argue that music magazines could fall into the relaxation category of UGT. As ultimately the story produced in these magazines are never going to be hard hitting or revolutionary instead there is a more simple approach with the emphasis and USP being on the artist(s) themselves. Therefore it could be argued that music magazines also fall into the relaxation and diversion categories. • Exclusive interviews with big stars • Album reviews • Concert reviews • Hot tracks at the moment • More general music news
More on UGT… • Blulmer and Katz theory • -In the 60's people started to decide how they wished to consume media text. • -Groups of audience were formed who actively consumed texts in different ways • -People consume media texts for different reasons- • Diversion: To escape everyday life • Personal relationships: Used for emotional and other interaction • Personal identity: Constructing themselves to fit a character they've seen in a media text. E.g. celebrity • Surveillance: Information gathering
Criticism • There are numerous criticisms of music magazines… • One major criticism of the prominent American ‘Rolling Stone’ magazines involves its generational bias toward the 1960s and 1970s. One critic (Jody Rosen) referred to the Rolling Stone list of the "99 Greatest Songs" as an example of "unrepentant rockist fogeyism". Therefore showing how certain publications can be biased to a particular era. • Another criticism of music magazines is that they don’t stick to their original ratings. Through history this has been proved as certain magazines reconsider many classic albums that they have previously dismissed... • E.G ‘Rolling Stone’ originally gave Nirvana’s Nevermind a 3/5 rating, however it appeared at number 17 on their ‘500 greatest albums of all time’ list. • The Beatles ‘Let it be’ http://flavorwire.com/345689/