There is an intense discussion in politics, economy and science about chances and risks of media fragmentation and segmentation of the audience. Other than in the US there are only few empirical studies for the German case regarding media fragmentation online. The aim of our project is to show the development of media and audience fragmentation online in Germany, to find determinants of fragmentation online, and to analyse chances and risks of media fragmentation for democracies. Therefore, we are following the suggestion of Webster and Ksiazek (2012) using an interdisciplinary strategy which combines social science and economic science. Based on the Media-Analysis Online data source with more than 730 commercial media channels online and a minimum of 30.000 respondents every year we are able to analyse the media market online and the audience structure of online media itself. Bringing together those two approaches enables us to get a broader picture of fragmentation in online media as well as its effects on democracies. Furthermore, looking at the audience and market structure at the same time, gives the ability to develop governance strategies.
During the presentation we will have a closer look on the theoretical basis for such a conjoint model. Thereby, business models of online media will be an issue as well as media repertoires of online media user groups. An initial typology of the market and audience of online media in Germany will be given.
Webster, J. G., & Ksiazek, T. B. (2012). The Dynamics of Audience Fragmentation: Public Attention in an Age of Digital Media. Journal of Communication, 62(1), 39–56. doi:10.1111/j.1460–2466.2011.01616.x