Posts in Business Models

OTW Fannews: Coming Attractions

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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.”

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.'”

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!”

OTW Fannews: Balance of Power

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Gamasutra hosted a post about the preservation of gaming history. “The second event – the most relevant and sadly the one that got less coverage – was that EFF made a petition to the U.S. Copyright Office, requesting an exemption to allow for games abandoned by their companies – such as MMOs that no longer have servers online – to be legally maintained by the fans. That is a fantastic thing both for consumers and for the preservation of our history – either companies keep their servers up, or they are giving permission for others to do so. So it doesn’t come as a surprise that the Electronic Software Association also contacted the U.S. Copyright Office, pressuring them to deny EFF’s request, supported by their buddies, the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America – yes, those two also contacted the Copyright Office to pressure against the preservation of video games.”

OTW Fannews: Fandom Entrepreneurs

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A post at Digital Book World discussed lessons publishers should learn as the eBook market matures. For one, they should “[a]cquire readers, not just authors. Editors already know to look for authors who have already found a following, however small, but while publishers are turning more attention to fan fiction communities, many aren’t being utilized to their full potential. Publishers tend to see writers of online fan fiction and original fiction, like those on Wattpad, as a means for sparking initial sales. But they can sometimes exceed that marketing function to emerge as strong, independent brands in their own right and should be approached accordingly from the get-go. Amanda Black’s Apartment novels and SJ Hooks’s Absolute novels both originated as Twilight fan fiction posted as online serials and are now among Full Fathom Five Digital’s best-selling titles.”