A study that is part of the “Public Value goes international” project examines the relevance of public service media from the audience’s perspective
Austrian citizens are frequent users of public service broadcasting or online services. At the same time, many of them – particularly younger and internet savvy citizens – do not consider public service media (PSM) as relevant any more. This contradiction is revealed by a study conducted by the Research Center between autumn 2014 and May 2015. Results have recently been presented at conferences in Warsaw and Montreal.
Displeasure with license fees
48 people who permanently live in Austria participated in the qualitative study. The semi-structured interviews covered habits, expectations and evaluations concerning both media used and not used by the respondents.
The interviews unveil and explain the contradiction that PSM might be rejected as irrelevant despite heavy usage in Austria. They include evidence that certain popular services such as the news website orf.at are either not recognized as being part of PSM or are not associated with license fees. Consequently, what can also be found in the interviews is that several participants are averse to fees because they believe they have to pay for services they do not use at all.
Responses in the interviews inspire the notion that the audience is not yet fully aware of fundamental changes in the PSM sector, involving public service broadcasters to evolve to public service media companies that provide online services in addition to TV and radio. As many enterprises such as the Austrian PSM, ORF, have already succeeded in this development, they would be well-advised to put more effort into communicating that shift.
For further information on the design and the results of the audience research, please click here.
The project “Public Value goes international” receives funding by Vienna Municipal Department 23 for Economic Affairs, Labour and Statistics (MA23).