OTW Fannews: Coming Attractions

A female figure dancing against a blue and pink sky 'OTW Fannews Coming Attractions'

  • Both the Wall Street Journal and The Global Times wrote about China’s approach to fanworks and intellectual property. The Journal reported on Alibaba Pictures’ plans to “no longer hire professional screenwriters. Instead it would gather material from online forums and fan fiction writers to compete with each other over screenwriting credit.” Although screenwriters protested, others felt this was the wave of the future. “The rising demand for quality content with a built-in fanbase has driven up the price of such ideas in general, especially popular online fiction that is well-embraced by the country’s young generation.”
  • The Times gave some background on the culture Alibaba planned to exploit. “An increasing number of Chinese IP owners are realizing the value of tongren authors – they are creative, enthusiastic and inexpensive. This year’s hit TV series The Journey of Flower and The Legend of Langya were promoted using fan-made music. Journey to the West: Hero is Back produced official derivatives based on ideas submitted by fan designers. Many games, movies and TV series have also begun encouraging fans to create tongren works, even going so far as to hold competitions so they can discover talented authors and painters as well.”
  • The Disruptive Competition Project hosted a post about what the Internet should look like in coming years. “Let’s start with Fandoms: they wouldn’t exist without platforms, and show why competing platforms give geeks what they want. Users naturally flock to the platform which best suits their particular fascination, and what the internet helps do is enable an level of intensity that simply couldn’t exist before.” The EU wants to know more about users’ needs. “They’ve launched a consultation — you have until the end of the year to respond — to ‘better understand the social and economic role of platforms, market trends, the dynamics of platform-development and the various business models underpinning platforms.’”
  • Slate wrote about the stars of YouNow, dubbing it “the social network you’ve probably never heard of” and discussing the engagement of fans with its broadcasters. “‘His supporters are on another level. I can’t even explain it’… Alex From Target, for instance, has seven times as many Twitter followers as Zach does. But when it comes to fan engagement—the number of RTs, likes, and comments the guys rack up, tweet for tweet—Zach’s metrics blow Alex out of the water. Zach’s fans are simply more obsessed. ‘All these kids are getting crazy impressions,’ Dooney says, and when they work together, ‘it’s like the Power Rangers combining to become Megazord.’”

Do you know about the next big thing in fandom? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

OTW Fannews: No Place to Hide

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  • AdNews discussed the use of YouTube fandoms as a marketing bonanza. “The quality of talent on display, and the reaction of fans got the point across about the premium content YouTube has to offer…Stuart Bailey, chief digital officer at OMD Australia, believes that, ‘long gone are the days when clients would associate YouTube with skateboarding cats and other such content. It now has content credential in spades. Google certainly flexed their ‘influencer’ muscles and showed that some of their YouTube talent are stars in their own right, with engaged and loyal audiences – some queuing from 6am to catch a peek of their favourite YouTube stars,’ Bailey said. ‘The trick will be how to tap into that talent to not only communicate with a brand’s customers and consumers but to add value and customised experiences.'”
  • Comic Book Bin asked whether fan films should be crowdsourced. “I believe that copyrights holders should be tolerant of fan films and fan fiction but to a limit. When fan fiction and fan film creators earn money from the unlicensed properties they exploit, that is a problem. More than voluntarily breaching the rights of copyrights owners, they earn revenues from properties they have no right to exploit. If you want to make a Batman film, do it on your own, bear all the costs. Use it as a portfolio piece. But to go out of your way to ask people to fund your Batman film is wrong. You don’t own Batman.”
  • MTV.com spoke glowingly about erotic fanfiction competitions and noted it’s an expanding business. “If you’re not in San Francisco or New York, you can still observe the NSFW madness from afar. Shipwreck also has a regular podcast where they post recordings of their live show, as well as a Tumblr where you can read previous works — and last night they just announced they’ll be publishing a book sometime next year.”
  • QSR promoted a Dairy Queen competition for fans. “Along with a new television advertising campaign dedicated entirely to Fans, both the Random Acts of Fandom Giveaway and the ad campaign showcase a wide variety of DQ Fans professing love for their favorite people, places, and things including vintage cars and the perfect nature hideout.”

What efforts to tap the fandom market have you been seeing? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

OTW Fannews: Commercial Opportunities

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  • Airlock Alpha posted Ann Morris’ discussion of What Mainstreaming Of Fandom Has Done For Me. Namedropping the OTW’s Fanlore, she notes that tech advances have helped her follow her fannish interests despite having low vision problems. “I have low vision, and it used to be super annoying to go to the library and try to find large-print science-fiction books. The people who published large-print books didn’t seem to think that anyone with low vision would be interested in those weirdo books with the rocket ship on the spine. Here’s a pet peeve which is fortunately a thing of the past. The Science Fiction Book Club and the Large Print Book Club were owned by the same company. And yet, they did not publish any science-fiction books in large print. Augh!”
  • At MTV.com Taylor Trudon thanks the makers of Almost Famous for being able to see herself on screen. “When adults don’t take the ideas, passions and dreams of fangirls seriously, they’re missing out. They’re missing out on finding possible solutions to major social problems. They’re missing out on the opportunity to ask important questions. They’re missing out on the chance to view the world through a different lens and in doing so, are missing the voices that have the potential to change it.”
  • At Popzette Tom Smithyman looked at how fannish activity is driving the growth of crowdfunding. “‘We’re making the ‘Star Trek’ that we all want to see,’ Peters told a crowd at the San Diego Comic-Con. And, judging from fans’ response, Peters is correct. An initial Kickstarter campaign netted more than $100,000, and led to a second initiative, which raised more than $600,000. It also sparked a competition among the crowdfunding sites to house the second. The campaign has since moved to Indiegogo, where it has raised an additional $525,000.”
  • Autostraddle‘s Fan Fiction Friday column is expanding because “fandom is more powerful than ever…And because money makes people in charge pay attention, and social media makes our voices hard to ignore, the folks who make TV are listening and responding to us, both on-air and in real life…starting this week, Fan Fiction Friday will…include fan fiction recommendations, of course, but it will now also offer you news round-ups about fan culture, interviews with fic writers and TV writers and TV recappers and TV directors, mini-essays about fandom from people in fandom, polls, discussion questions, infographics, advice about harnessing the power of fandom to affect real change, and a grab bag where I answer questions people have been asking me.”

What commercial opportunities have you seen opening up because of fandom? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.