Audience-Generated Media

Audience-generated media, also known by other names such as user-generated content
(UGC), consumer-generated media(CGM), and user-created content (UCC), refers to various kinds of media content, publicly available, that are produced by audiences: the people. The term ‘user generated content’ came into popular use in 2005 within web publishing and new media content production. Audience-generated media is used for a wide range of things including news, gossip, and research which reflects the expansion of media production through new technologies that are accessible and affordable to the general public. All digital media technologies are included, such as question-answer databases (Wikipedia), digital video, blogging (including Facebook and MySpace), podcasting (YouTube), mobile phone photography, and wikis. (1) (3)

Any individual with a camcorder, audio recorder, digital editing software, a Facebook account, or personal blog is able to play the role of producer and director enabling them to create what results in audience generated media. This sometimes results in the distribution of false information that at times the public believes to be true before checking actual facts. The result of such changes is that the professionalism and authoritativeness of old mass media sources is eroding.

Audience-generated media has become one of the fastest growing media on the internet marking a shift among media organizations from creating online content to providing facilities for amateurs to publish their own content, which encourages the publishing of one's own content as well as commenting on other people's. With audience-generated media, the role of the passive audience therefore has shifted, and a growing number of participatory users are taking advantage of the interactive opportunities, especially on the internet to create their own content. Often UGC is partially or totally monitored by a website’s administrators to avoid offensive content or language, copyright infringement issues, or simply to determine if the content posted is relevant to the site's general theme. There has been little and most times no charge for uploading user-generated content. As a result, the world’s data centers are now UGC centered that, in 2009, this may become more of a liability, than an asset. (1)

(1) “User-generated content.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. 10 Sep 2009.
(2) “Audience-generated.” Media Now. Pg 24. 2009, 2008 Wadsworth, Cengage learning

(3) “Participative Web: User Created Content.” Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Pg 4. 2009, 2007 OECD/OCDE