A Network Analytic Approach to Audience Behavior and Market Structure: The Case of China and the United States
PublisherTaylor & Francis (Routledge)
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This study adopts a network analytic approach to understand media audiences in relation to media markets, bridging the literature on audience behavior and media economics. Using audience data in the Chinese and U.S. markets, we apply multi-level measures to compare audience fragmentation patterns, a key indicator of market structure, across television channels. Drawing on McQuail's four–stage fragmentation model, we find the Chinese television market exhibits the Core-Peripheral model where a few channels dominate the marketplace and the rest are viewed by niche segments of the audience. In contrast, the U.S. market represents the Pluralism model with extremely high levels of audience duplication across channels, suggesting overlapping patterns of exposure throughout the market rather than isolated segments.