Industry Studies and/as Audience Studies #scms14 (with images, tweets) · melstanfill

Nice overview of the “Industry Studies and/as Audience Studies” panel at SCMS this year. My favorite new terms from this panel included Suzanne Scott’s fantrepreneur and Mel Stanfill’s fangelism.

One of the interesting things I noticed about the panel was the way the panelists focused on child and adult audience communities. I talked about this during the Q&A, but that morning on NPR there had been a whole report about Young Adults as the “hot” new audience to sell products to. And, here we were as a group seemingly (strategically?) avoiding this exact demographic. Something about that keeps itching in my brain. It seems worth pondering further. 

The regifting economy that is emerging, I argue, is the result of the industry’s careful cultivation of a parallel fan space alongside grassroots formations of fandom. By precariously attempting to balance the communal ideals of fandom’s gift economy with their commercial interests, the regifting economy of ancillary content models in particular can be viewed as attempting to regift a narrowly defined and contained version of fandom to a general audience. This regifted version of fandom that ancillary content models represent exchanges grassroots fandom’s organically generated output and fluid exchange of fan works for the regulation and resale of fan works through contests and the elusive promise of credibility.

The regifting economy that is emerging, I argue, is the result of the industry’s careful cultivation of a parallel fan space alongside grassroots formations of fandom. By precariously attempting to balance the communal ideals of fandom’s gift economy with their commercial interests, the regifting economy of ancillary content models in particular can be viewed as attempting to regift a narrowly defined and contained version of fandom to a general audience. This regifted version of fandom that ancillary content models represent exchanges grassroots fandom’s organically generated output and fluid exchange of fan works for the regulation and resale of fan works through contests and the elusive promise of credibility.

Repackaging fan culture: The regifting economy of ancillary content models," Suzanne Scott

FanLib remains the most histrionic example of an attempted (and failed) commercial co-optation of fandom, arguably overshadowing the discussion and analysis of more covert and complex instances of corporate attempts to construct their own fannish spaces for profit. My concern, as fans and acafans continue to vigorously debate the importance or continued viability of fandom’s gift economy and focus on flagrant instances of the industry’s attempt to co-opt fandom, is that the subtler attempts to replicate fannish gift economies aren’t being met with an equivalent volume of discussion or scrutiny.

FanLib remains the most histrionic example of an attempted (and failed) commercial co-optation of fandom, arguably overshadowing the discussion and analysis of more covert and complex instances of corporate attempts to construct their own fannish spaces for profit. My concern, as fans and acafans continue to vigorously debate the importance or continued viability of fandom’s gift economy and focus on flagrant instances of the industry’s attempt to co-opt fandom, is that the subtler attempts to replicate fannish gift economies aren’t being met with an equivalent volume of discussion or scrutiny.

Repackaging fan culture: The regifting economy of ancillary content models," Suzanne Scott

My concern, as fans and acafans continue to vigorously debate the importance or continued viability of fandom’s gift economy and focus on flagrant instances of the industry’s attempt to co-opt fandom, is that the subtler attempts to replicate fannish gift economies aren’t being met with an equivalent volume of discussion or scrutiny.

There are a number of important reasons why fandom (and those who study it) continue to construct gift and commercial models as discrete economic spheres. This strategic definition of fandom as a gift economy serves as a defensive front to impede encroaching industrial factions.

(…)

Media producers, primarily through the lure of “gifted” ancillary content aimed at fans through official Web sites, are rapidly perfecting a mixed economy that obscures its commercial imperatives through a calculated adoption of fandom’s gift economy, its sense of community, and the promise of participation.

My concern, as fans and acafans continue to vigorously debate the importance or continued viability of fandom’s gift economy and focus on flagrant instances of the industry’s attempt to co-opt fandom, is that the subtler attempts to replicate fannish gift economies aren’t being met with an equivalent volume of discussion or scrutiny.

There are a number of important reasons why fandom (and those who study it) continue to construct gift and commercial models as discrete economic spheres. This strategic definition of fandom as a gift economy serves as a defensive front to impede encroaching industrial factions.

(…)

Media producers, primarily through the lure of “gifted” ancillary content aimed at fans through official Web sites, are rapidly perfecting a mixed economy that obscures its commercial imperatives through a calculated adoption of fandom’s gift economy, its sense of community, and the promise of participation.

Suzanne Scott, Repackaging fan culture: The regifting economy of ancillary content models (via fanhackers)