Research Output
Big data in audience research: A critical perspective
  What does big data 2 mean for contemporary and future audience research? Does it simply have methodological implications, such as giving up traditional methods for the sake of algorithms and large data sets? Does it mean that our audiences have changed, given that they can be seen as accessories to the big data wave by continuously feeding the data streams of social media usage? Does this in turn mean that we need to talk about agency versus “dataism” (Brooks, 2013) or “datafi cation” (Couldry, 2013)? Before being able to answer these questions, it is important to approach the concept holistically, that is to be cognizant of its implications, challenges, affordances and potentials for audience research and social sciences research in general. As a matter of fact, the omnipresence of big data not only in academic but also in business, political and private discourses does not necessarily foster a sound understanding of the term and concept. As it is, big data serves in all those discourses a multifaceted role-being discussed as a new discipline, movement, paradigm, promising utopia as well as implying dystopia, or even being viewed as a myth.

  • Date:

    12 November 2014

  • Publication Status:


  • DOI:


  • Funders:

    Historic Funder (pre-Worktribe)


Zeller, F. (2015). Big data in audience research: A critical perspective. In F. Zeller, C. Ponte, & B. O’Neill (Eds.), Revitalising Audience Research (261-278). New York, NY: Routledge.



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