Key concept: Audience
• Know what is meant by the term passive
• Understand the Hypodermic Needle
• Use this understanding to apply the
Hypodermic Needle theory to music
Your target audience
You have 3 minutes to write a list/ create a mind map of your
planned target audience for YOUR music video.
Different audience theories believe that an
audience can be either:
Today we are going to understand a passive
What does the word passive mean?
1. not participating readily or actively; inactive:
2. influenced, acted upon, or affected by some
external force, cause, or agency;
‘external force’=the owners of media
Globally, large media conglomerates eg. SONY, Timewarner, 20th
The media we are surrounded by is largely influenced by a small
group of large conglomerates.
What does this mean?
We ‘the mass audience’ are receiving messages/
ideas from a very small group of media
They (hegemony) give us ideas (ideology) about
what it is to be beautiful, old, young, religious,
poor, and so on.
The hegemonic ideology of the elite is imposed
on to the passive audience.
This results in very one sided, biased ideas that become accepted in society as the
norm. For example:
Theorist: Karl Marx
Karl Marx had a theory about media
ownership. He believed that there is a “ top
down false consciousness” which suggests
that ideology is imposed “from above” by elite
powers upon the unknowing masses.
What you must remember is we are ALL passive audience readers without
realising. Its only when we question the messages we receive that we become
Hypodermic Needle theory (the
Frankfurt School 1920s)
Championed (lead by) Theodor Adorno, the
"hypodermic needle theory" implied mass media had a
direct, immediate and powerful effect on its audiences.
A passive audience response to music
Watch the following music videos and make a
list of how a passive audience would interpret
What are the hegemonic ideals?
What are we being told to passively accept?
Audience research: blog post
As with any new media product you need to do some
market research aimed at your intended audience for
Create a survey? Video responses? To what people
would expect from your music video song and genre.
Are you planning to match or challenge audience
expectations? (Or both)
Analysing music videos
As the producer of your music video, digipak
and advert, what messages are you sending to a
passive audience to passively accept??
Representations (men, women, age)
Narrative (boy meets girl live happily ever after)
Genre (Indie- smoking, pop- colourful)