For millennia, audiences have been entertained by a broad variety of spectacles in a broad variety of venues. And for millennia, those audiences have interacted to varying degrees and in diverse ways depending in part on norms that have emerged for specific types of spectacles and venues. Today, of course, audience interactions continue to happen as performances occur, in the locale where those performances are taking place; those offline interactions are likely to conform to the norms that have evolved for particular types of venues and objects of audience interest. But increasingly, audience interactions are also taking place online. Consumers are avidly embracing and experimenting with the possibilities afforded by new media and interactive online audiences are burgeoning, whether that interaction entails chatting online about what happened on America’s Next Top Model after a new episode has aired (as reflected in the epigraph), participating in virtual fantasy pools during the Stanley Cup playoffs, exchanging tweets about the latest utterances of Lady Gaga, authoring a short story inspired by Harry Potter and publishing it on fanfiction.net or… the list is truly endless, and expanding every day. This chapter helps to organize what we know about the phenomenon of interactive online

audiences, and to highlight areas for future research on this dynamic phenomenon. It does so by: identifying how interactive online audiences compare with other types of audiences; examining evolving perspectives that inform our understanding of interactive online audiences; highlighting what we know about how online audiences interact, about why they pay attention to certain things more than others, and about what the consequences are of interacting and attending to content. We end our chapter by identifying some issues related to interactive online audiences that are inviting avenues for future research.