An audience is a group of people who participate in a show or encounter a work of art, literature (in which they are called "readers"), theatre, music (in which they are called "listeners"), videogames (in which they are called "players"), or academics in any medium. Audience members participate in different ways in different kinds of art; some events invite overt audience participation and others allowing only modest clapping and criticism and reception.
Media audience studies have become a recognized part of the curriculum. Audience theory offers scholarly insight into audiences in general. These insights shape our knowledge of just how audiences affect and are affected by different forms of art. The biggest art form is the mass media. Films, videogames, radio shows, software (and hardware), and other formats are affected by the audience and its reviews and recommendations.
In the age of easy internet participation and citizen journalism, professional creators share space, and sometimes attention with the public. American journalist Jeff Jarvis said, "Give the people control of media, they will use it. The corollary: Don't give the people control of media, and you will lose.