This Week in Fandom

This Week in Fandom, Volume 68

Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! Before we start: Vanity Fair‘s Infinity War photo shoot and article. Tag yourself, I’m Hawkeye.


There’s been an interesting happening the mashup music fandom recently. According to a TorrentFreak article, the Canada-based website Sowndhaus had its domain delisted by its registrar following a DMCA-based complaint of copyright infringement made by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). (more…)

OTW Fannews: Profiles in Marketing

Banner by Erin of Barbie working at a computer with the OTW logo on it, with two adults looking on in the background. The banner reads 'OTW Fannews: Profiles in Marketing'.

  • An increasing number of companies are marketing toward girls and women in tech, but not every attempt to capitalise on the trend is well-executed. NPR covered widespread criticism of Mattel’s Barbie: I Can Be A Computer Engineer. “‘It starts so promising; Barbie is designing a game to show kids how computers work,’ said Ribon. […] Brian and Steven take over — and, at the end of the day, Barbie takes credit for the boys’ work.” OTW Legal staffer Casey Fiesler, whose feminist remix went viral and was featured in the NPR story, took to her own blog to explain why non-commercial remix is allowed under US copyright law. “It is so amazing how many people care about representation of women in computing, and I’m thrilled and humbled that something I created helped to expand this conversation. I wrote a piece for Slate about the process and the ideas behind Barbie, Remixed, but something I wanted to discuss in more detail was the act of remix itself rather than the critique behind it.”
  • TribLIVE reported on a new TV network focused on fandom. “When Pop, a cable network most people probably refer to as TVGN, launches Jan. 14, it will do so with programs that celebrate the continuing ability of such, well, institutions, as New Kids On the Block and ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ to cut a swath through popular culture.”
  • UK site YouGov researches audiences to determine the characteristics of people with particular interests or fandoms. By using their profiler you could discover that Good Omens fans are more likely to be 40-59 year old males who work in IT, are left leading when it comes to politics, and also are fans of John Barrowman, Stephen Fry, James May, Nathan Fillion and Patrick Moore.
  • The publishing industry is among those wanting to target fans, and a recent conference on the children’s book trade included a panel on fanfiction. Meanwhile Wikia is declaring itself “the ultimate source for powerful and relevant pop culture, entertainment and game expertise” and is producing a video series on fandom in 2014 along with Disney’s Maker Studios. The idea is to create amateur/professional partnerships. “The partnership has already resulted in some quirky combinations, including one pairing of a devotee of the AMC period drama Mad Men with the creator of the Drinks Made Easy YouTube channel. ‘We hope to continue to define projects that allow for creators and super fans to come together and be in the spotlight.'”

What marketing efforts utilizing fans have you spotted? 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: Fandom Business

Banner by Robyn of the post title with $ signs as S's laid over a photo of world currency

  • OTW’s ally organization, Public Knowledge, is sponsoring a contest for remixers. In an effort to highlight the problem of consolidation in the U.S. cable industry, they are asking remixers to “[t]ake one or more of the recent highly publicized customer service calls with Comcast (or go to town with one of your own experiences) and let your imagination go to work. We want to see remixes, mashups, autotunes, interpretive dances — whatever you think of to broadcast these real customer service calls with Comcast.” If you win, “Public Knowledge will pay your last Comcast bill, up to $200, and spread the word about your creation.” Visit their post for more details.
  • OTW’s Legal Committee recently submitted comments to the Australian government, opposing a copyright proposal, which has now been withdrawn. “‘Unanimous’ opposition to the federal government’s proposed copyright law changes will force it back to the drawing board to tackle online piracy, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull says. Representatives from both sides of the online piracy debate – including the telecommunications companies and rights holders – have warned the changes to copyright law outlined in the government’s discussion paper on online piracy are too broad and could have negative unintended consequences.”
  • A Viacom study of U.S. TV viewers was reported in numerous places. “The most interesting part of the research is what Viacom calls the ‘Funnels to Fandom’ – the process of becoming a fan, Viacom has found, takes place in five steps: Discovery, Research, Selection, Fandom, and Sharing.” Fans have a strong influence since “in-person word of mouth is the #1 source for show discovery at 90%, closely followed by TV promos at 85% and word of mouth online or via social media at 78%.” What’s more, “[a]mong fans, marathoning is popular across all age groups: 83% of Millennials say this is one of their favorite ways to watch, followed by 72% of Gen Xers and 65% of Digital Natives.”
  • Yahoo! Finance reported on the rapid aging of U.S. television viewers and what this could mean for programming. “Programmers will be increasingly willing to experiment with alternative distribution platforms for their content. With less risk of cannibalizing one’s core younger audience by offering shows on Netflix Inc., networks will try to cut deals to reach the mobile, ‘time-shifting’ viewer, wherever he or she can be found…we might see even more formulaic dramas and sitcoms, more pharmaceutical commercials and more older leading men and women in primetime, to better reflect the core viewing audience, rather than the sleeker, younger people who aren’t paying attention now anyway.”

What business stories have you seen that relate to 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.