Modes of engagement with musical talent shows: Studying audience engagement as a set of experiences

Heidi Keinonen, Pia Majbritt Jensen, Anna Maria Lemor, Andrea Esser

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Audience engagement is attracting increasing attention in various academic disciplines. During the past few years, the industry- and technology-oriented conceptualizations of engagement have been challenged by a more audience-oriented understanding. This article aims at contributing to the development of a more nuanced audience-oriented approach. First, we make a theoretical contribution by bringing together the still limited literature on engagement and its disparate conceptualisations; secondly, we use the analysis of an empirical case study to demonstrate audience engagement as a set of experiences. Our analysis builds on the empirical material produced by two rounds of exploratory focus groups with viewers of musical talent shows in four locations: Saarbrücken/Germany, London/UK, Tampere/Finland and Aarhus/Denmark. From this we identified a number of modes of engagement which derive from both textual and contextual factors. These include character engagement, habitual and ritualistic engagement, and ludic engagement. We also discovered that audiences at times disengage or actively resist engagement.

    © 2019, The Author(s). This is the final published version of the article (version of record) uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. It first appeared online via PARTICIPATIONS: JOURNAL OF AUDIENCE AND RECEPTION STUDIES at the link below.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)58-76
    JournalParticipations Journal of Audience and Reception Studies
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


    • audience studies
    • involvement
    • engagement
    • television programmes
    • formats
    • talent shows

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