Loyal Audiences in the New Multi-Channel Electronic Media Environment — The New Scheme of Peoplemeter Measurement and Repeat Viewing Rates


Ting-Yu Tiffany Wang


The level of cable penetration in Taiwan has increased rapidly to around 80% in 1998 from over 40% in 1994. The levels of repeat viewing wireless television programs fall, according to European and the U. S. research findings, as the availability of cable television, VCRs, and the nationwide scheme of peoplemeter measurement increases. As an indicator of audience involvement and loyalty, repeat viewing refers to the extent to which people return to watch a program over a period of days or weeks.

The study aims to distinguish the impact of the new measurement scheme on repeat-viewing levels from those of “narrowcast” vs. “broadcast” cable channels, satellite and cable television new technologies. First, in a literature review of the British and U. S. studies, this study compares repeat viewing rates obtained from the ratings data collected by different measurement schemes. Secondly, repeat viewing rate, one of the accumulative exposure indexes, is examined by way of placing it within a model of mass audience behavior so as to clarify how structural and individual factors affect this index. Next, this study arrives at an integrated model of repeat viewing determinants by expanding the model of mass audience behavior. The expansion of the model of mass audience behavior results from sorting out relevant research literatures. Finally, from taking into account the comparison of four ratings measurement schemes and the integrated model of repeat-viewing determinants, emerges a framework for researching into the degree of audience loyalty in a multi-channel electronic media environment.