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Type of publication: Straipsnis / Article
Author(s): Rožukalne, Anda
Title: Media audience development in Latvia (2004–2012)
Is part of: Media transformations, 2012, vol. 6, p. 144-157
Date: 2012
Keywords: Latvian media audience;Media usage patterns;Internet media;Social networks
Abstract: This article analyses the main development trends in media audience structure and media use in Latvia since its joining the European Union in 2004. To characterize and carry out the analysis quantitative data were mainly used which are regularly provided by TNS Latvia – an agency for market, social and media research. In addition to the information provided by TNS Latvia, this summary also employs a study on broadcasting media audience structure and content priorities commissioned by the National Electronic Media Council and carried out by the Baltic Institute of Social Sciences. In order to describe media usage patterns in different audience groups, data from polls and focus group studies were used, carried out by the author. The behavior of media audience is characterized by taking into account media consumption and providing detailed information about press, broadcasting and Internet media usage trends. The data show that Latvian media consumption time and the diversity in media usage is increasing. Due to technological development, some audiences tend to consume less of traditional media, giving preference to Internet media where it is possible to receive all the necessary information. National social networking site has become increasingly popular in the local media environment, where people are mainly communicating among themselves. Latvian media audience can also be described by a generational gap – people below thirty mainly use Internet media, while those above 30 tend, in their use, to combine both traditional and Internet media. Nevertheless, television is still the most important source for information and entertainment for Latvian people – from 2000 until 2009, TV viewing figures have gone up on average from 260 minutes (4.3 h) to 306 minutes (5.1 h) per day. At the same time, in the last few years, the number of press readers has declined. However, the press usage habits are those that clearly show the differences between the Latvian audience media usage that are determined by such factors as ethnicity, media availability and traditions of media consumption. Latvian-speaking audiences gradually abandon reading newspapers, while still tend to prefer consumer magazines and regional press. In their turn, Russian-speaking audiences have retained stable habits to read daily and weekly newspapers. In terms of content preferences, media users in Latvia mainly consume news and various entertainment formats.
Appears in Collections:Media Transformations 2012, vol. 6

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