Interactive Audiences is a unique type of essay that was written by Henry Jenkins about the perceived type and level of interaction that audiences of media productions in general have projected in the past and the mistakes in the generalizations on the behavior of the audiences that most prominent people in the field of media projections have made. Basically, the book centers around the fact that audiences are somehow being liberated by the improvements and revolutions in media technologies, that the cultural studies that dominated the industry in the 1980s and the 1990s were actually wrong—especially the one that stated that audiences, within the context of media productions, would most likely be inactive, critically unaware, and unable to discriminate between a good and bad output .
The fans or in this case, the interactive audiences that Jenkins has continuously addressed in his essay can indeed be more truly powerful at least when compared to the extent of power they had when they still were not enlightened that they can become more active, critically aware, and discriminating when it comes to media productions.
One reason why it can be considered that they have indeed become more truly powerful is the fact that the collective opinions of the fans greatly matter for the people in the industry because they often make more money if they can generate a lot of positive reviews for their products such as advertisements which can only be made possible by making real, authentic, and a truly artistic outputs. In a way, this type of recently discovered power by the interactive audiences can be viewed as a catalyst that can make the environment in the media production industry more competitive.
If I am an owner of a media production company and I have already been made aware that the audiences or fans that I will be catering to are active, critically aware, and has the ability to discriminate two outputs that have different production qualities, and can even bash the one that has the obviously poorer quality, I would do anything within my reach to prevent them from not liking the output because that would literally kill the business. Fans of various productions indeed have a lot of power and project managers should never take them for granted.
Collectively, fans can flip a successful business into an unsuccessful one. What the fans gain from this newly found power is a certain form of guarantee that they will keep on receiving high or at least decent quality production outputs from companies. If they were to remain ignorant, just like how they were perceived to be during the 1970s and 1980s, then there can be a lot of ways how the managers can rip them off and just offer them every media production output, even those that have been poorly conceptualized and executed.
For example, they can be encouraged to watch a poorly made output, but because they were not critically aware of the things to consider when watching a media production, they would not be able to know that that output actually has poor quality. In the end, they can be rippled of. In this new type of environment where the fans have this new type of collective power, both the fans and the media production companies can be considered as the winner. By continuously working to please the taste and preferences of the fans when it comes to media productions, and meeting their expectations on quality, the companies can continuously generate revenue.
Jenkins, H. "Interactive Audiences? ." The Collective Intelligence of Media Fans (n.d.): 01.