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This seems like a new term for an old idea. There is also no discussion history which always makes me wonder. Anyone have history on the origin of this term?
--Testerer 19:05, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

This term actually came into use in the 1940s when broadcast radio workers were upset by the prospect of private subscription radio services. I found a Time article from 1948 (Time Magazine (1948) Narrowcasting. Time, 51(5), p. 69.) that is available in EBSCOhost Academic Database. Licklider's use was the first I can attribute to an academic source, and defines the term most accurately.

--Pjenkins75 (talk) 09:44, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

This is the part that made me really wonder
"Narrowcasting is a form of broadcasting, if the latter term is understood as the 'wide dissemination of content through mechanical or electronic media' as defined by Dr. Jonathan Sterne of McGill University."
Dr. Stern doesn't even have a wiki article himself, which is pretty odd if he's the guy who defined narrowcasting, whichi is how this reads. There are also not enough ref's (imho) to make this seem legit.
— Preceding unsigned comment added by Testerer (talkcontribs) 19:06, 2 February 2007
McGill University Staff Directory lists Dr. Jonathan Sterne as the Graduate Program Director of Communication Studies. I was able to find numerous citations of the text, including a course at Simon Fraser Universty in Communication in Dr. Fleras' Curriculum Vitae. If these are part of a hoax, this is elaborate one.
Michael C. Keith is listed in Wikipedia (GO THERE) so I suppose that makes him legitimate. We use his text The Radio Station in our Radio Broadcasting course. This Focal Press/Elsevier 6th Edition text, copyright 2004 ISBN:0240-80530-5 lists Narrowcasting in it's index as on pages 15, 42, and 348. The page 348 citation is in the book's Glossary where it describes Narrowcasting as "Directed programming; targeting specific audience demographic." The page 15 citation appears to credit Narrowcasting with the salvation of the radio industry after TV. What more is needed to remove the shadow hanging over this term?
Rburtnick 23:41, 6 March 2007 (UTC)


"An example of narrowcasting in this context is the installation of the Cabvision network in London's black cabs which shows limited pre-recorded television programmes interspersed with targetted advertising to taxicab passengers."

How is this narrowcasting? It seems like just advertisements inside cabs, which is also not new. What sets this apart from ordinary advertising. The people who get into cabs in London certainly cannot share anymore in common than taxi goers of New York City or LA? How is putting TVs in Cabs narrowcasting. What about the advertisements is specifically targeted to what substantiated group of people?Testerer 16:26, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

  • If a narrowcast is a presentation to a narrow or concentrated audience then I would consider Cabvision narrowcasting. In putting together the service (at least according to their website) they prepared market research of typical cab users so as to market their advertising to certain demographics (see [1]) for example black cabs are mainly used by business people and tourists. This targetted approach (note the specific content of the channels) would appear to be precisely what narrowcasting is trying to achieve. Moreover viewing data is returned to the company so as to identify those channels selected by cab passengers, further suggesting the tool is a advertsising/marketing/consumer reference. It does not set narrowcasting aside from "ordinary" advertising but more catergorises a form of advertising. And, just to clear up any suspicion, I do not work for Cabvision! Dick G 17:10,2 edits 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the response, a few comments. I don't think you can consider taxi users in London consisting of tourists and business types to be a targeted audience. I think what you have described is simply advertising. Perhaps this should be merged with that article? There are very few, if any real references in this article. I don't think (if I were an advertising guy) that tourists and business people would come close comparison as far as demographics are concerned. I totally get what this article tries to say, but isn't it just a (possibly made up term) for what already happens all the time? Wouldn't the commercials during Soap Operas fit into your definition of narrowcasting? Or is it just good marketing? Perhaps even old, antiquated concepts in marketing that (to my understanding) are not explained as narrowcasting, but merely good strategy based on real demographics? The article now mentions something called Interactive Narrowcasting? That one made me laugh, I don't think it is really interactive simply by installing a touch screen and sending back data to the sponsor. I think that the reason, Narrowcasting is a bad term for what you are describing is because it seems to define the format of delivered content. Every time someone makes an advertisement and delivers that to a targeted audience is it narrowcasting? Also, what if the target group is 50 million strong? Like the ads you see on the Super Bowl? Those are all targeted to a specific demographic that watches the game, yet the all take place sequentially and for the most part are, entirely unrelated campaigns? To say nothing of the fact that the word "narrow" would lend itself to actually being a smallish or marginal group of people. This article needs refs, serious help, and perhaps a rewrite or a considered merge. Is there an article on macrocasting?, broadcasting to large groups of people for the purpose of intentionally broadcasting a message or content to a large group? ;) Testerer 04:48 &:50, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
  • I suspect you're right in that it is another term for a marginal category of advertising. The problem with categorising things is that one person's definition differs from another's. I would suggest the article remains but is substantially re-worked to make the point that it is not a distinct concept in itself but more of an "in vogue" advertising industry term. The weight it is afforded in the article is certainly disproportionate to its usage. When I get some time, I'll take this on Dick G 12:24, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
I might suggest you take a look at more references to "digital signage" or "Point of Purchase Advertising,"or possibly terms such as Customer-Facing Digital Media. In recent years, several participants in the "Digital Signage" industry make up an estimated $11 billion market. Since the market is gaining a large degree of popularity, the industry leaders are now attempting to standardize the technology. Among other considerations presented at the last industry summit, was a name for the industry that all could reference as the industry standard. "Narrowcasting" was but one suggestion at the summit and one of increasing acceptance throughout the industry. As a participant in the industry myself, I see this as an acceptable reference as a subset of the whole theory of "Narrowcasting," while it fulfills the basic elements which define Narrowcasting as t applies to the advertising industry.Ill post a bot more on tis later. But I am certain you will see my point when I am done. (Pkelley, Coastal Datatech, LLC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:43, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Merging "narrowcast" and "narrowcasting" entries[edit]

I think perhaps these should be merged into a single wiki page. The bare infinitive/noun form ("narrowcast") seems to be more common in web searches and print; "narrowcasting", on the other hand, seems to be simply a verb form. I suggest merging the two under the heading "narrowcast."
User:memefactory Sept. 1, 2009— Preceding unsigned comment added by Memefactory (talkcontribs) 08:33, 1 September 2009

The Narrowcast doesn't start until the screen is on and (ADVERTISING)12/21/09 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:03 &:04, 22 December 2009The IP's contrib was originally placed in this section, but preceding the previous contrib -- perhaps with the intention of responding to that previous contrib in listserv style.--Jerzyt 06:26, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

(Nick Negroponte) [edit]

The concept of narrowcasting was referred to by Nick Negroponte within his book 'Being Digital'. It is summarised as saying that the digital age allows so much diversity within media that the traditional audience is fragmented into a 'demographic of one' - ie the user selects his/her own content.
--Katiewestbrook (talk) 11:28, 21 April 2010 (UTC) katiewestbrook

This is unclear. In academic literature there is a noted divide between narrowcasting, which involves the direct targeting of a specific group, and self-selection. This is particularly clear in (Newman, Brian and Mark Caleb Smith. 2007. "Fanning the Flames: Religious Media Consumption and American Politics." American Politics Research, 35(6):846-77.) which controls for self-selection and other factors in order to isolate the impacts of narrowcasting.

--Pjenkins75 (talk) 09:50, 9 March 2012 (UTC)