Why does Danish TV Drama Travel? A Three-Tier Seven-Country Audience Study on the Rise of Denmark’s Transnational TV Culture: A Three-Tier Seven-Country Audience Study on the Rise of Denmark’s Transnational TV Culture

Research output: Research - peer-reviewPaper

Part of the panel 'Challenging America in the realm of quality TV drama: The international success of Danish TV drama series'

This paper, which is part of the ‘Challenging America in the realm of quality TV drama’ panel, introduces the audience study methodology designed for the collaborative research project What Makes Danish TV Drama Travel?. For the audience research, conducted in Australia, Brazil, Germany, Japan, Turkey, UK and the USA, I have developed a three-tier audience model. The three types of audiences believed to be important in the recent and unprecedented global success of Danish TV drama series are (1) buyers, (2) TV critics and (3) ordinary viewers. By investigating these different types of international audiences, the project aims to understand the transnational qualities of the Danish TV series. In the process it will elaborate and challenge preeminent theories on media reception and media geography.
Buyers are a critical first audience for any imported content; they are the gatekeepers to the importing market. Distributors and international buyers will therefore be interviewed about the reasons for buying the Danish series. What are the special attractions of the Danish series? How do they compare to domestic series and to other foreign series? What influenced the acquisitions – (low) prices, industry and other trends, personal connections, chance incidents, brand value, audio-visual style, themes, genre, particularity, exoticism, transparency, artistic quality, awards?
Secondly, TV critics and journalists reporting on the Danish series are – as arbiters of taste – an essential audience. Hence, the study will investigate the media coverage of the Danish series and how this may have an effect on both gatekeepers’ and viewers’ perceptions of the series. Of special interest are the critics’ opinions and interpretations, as this reveals the series’ perceived artistic qualities and, thus, potential brand value.
Foreign viewers watching the series are the third audience. This part of the study consists of quantitative and qualitative research. The quantitative part involves ratings of all Danish series broadcast in the seven countries within the past five years, including viewer demographics. The qualitative part includes individual and focus group interviews with various viewer segments.
All of this combined should convey the qualities of the Danish series from an audience angle-- as seen from a wide variety of perspectives and countries--and thus answer whether Danish series are perceived to be different or similar to series originating elsewhere, and whether they are received differently according to the interviewees’ demographic and/or cultural background. Thus, we can get an idea of the potentially universal, exotic and/or cosmopolitan qualities of the series and how transnational media reception may not only rely on regular viewers but also to a large degree on the the gatekeepers and critics.
Importantly, the study’s results should allow the project to not only build on but also advance theories on proximities beyond and across cultures (e.g. human universals, cosmopolitanism, ‘aesthetics of the exotic’, geo-linguistic regions, and cultural, value and genre closeness) and, thus, contribute to a better understanding of transnational audiences in an increasingly de-territorialized world.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year2015
StatePublished - 2015
EventIAMCR 2015 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: 12 Jul 201516 Jul 2015

Conference

ConferenceIAMCR 2015
CountryCanada
CityMontreal
Period12/07/201516/07/2015

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