Shared Fan-tasies

Similar to the practice of media corporations attempting to control the messages within their content, and the projected ideas/values that the company itself can stand for; regular, everyday consumers, and fan community spheres, are incredibly important to the overall promotion, and success of these sharable media services, as the interactivity, and sense of unified consumption, allows for new levels of direct communications through modern media technologies, and increased opportunities for spreadability in the economic marketplace in its entirety.

Successful marketing brands understand this product space, inhabited not only by the media content itself, and creator’s promotional ideas/message behind its creation, but also the rapidly established, communal hub in which these supportive populations, and dedicated fans themselves, are allowed to inhabit, and share with these intersections of mass/popular culture.

Fan-made artistic models, and services, have become almost an entirely new, and distinct modern, media marketplace, as these regionalized populations, connected ultimately through shared interests, and fantasies, are allowed to directly interact with one another, as well as content creator’s themselves, through this stitching together of various, already created, scenarios, plot devices, and interactions between recognizable, previously established characters, and situations, allowing for the open interpretations, and almost entire restructuring, of the media content itself by its most avid, dedicated, section of its fanbase.

This allows for artists/writers/content producers to, not only pinpoint which specific aspects of their created contents are resonating most with audiences, and creating these fan-made, media spheres, but also for this new market of shared, promotable content, throughout the most invested populations of personalized consumers.

Once again, as discussed by Jenkins, Ford, and Green (2013):

“Fandom nurtures writers and artists, putting the deepest emphasis on that material which most clearly reflects the community’s core values” (p. 203).

In this way, fandom communities, and audience-created contents, result in the stimulation of more-regionalized market spheres, as writers/producers are more directly able to observe which aspects of their media productions are most successful within these, again, supportive populations, who are, in turn, given the opportunity to make contributions to the overall media environment in which their desired, artistic content occupies.

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Gotta be Something

In today’s overall societal reliance on the modern media market, with the vast array of diverse preferences, digital communities, and globalized connectivity, rapidly sculpting the entertainment industry; producers and content creators are finding it increasingly difficult to predict what different audiences will actually absorb, and decode, from their mixed media messages.

With so many opportunities for audience accessibility, and overall spreadability, media companies/executives are almost, unintentionally, generating new, and interesting, methods of consumption throughout the reciprocal interpretations, shared between their supportive marketplace.

In this way, the modes in which consumers are choosing to enjoy, examine, and digest the media they actively consume, become entirely as important as the messages encoded within the content itself, by the creators, stimulating the new productions being currently created, and steering the media industries in different directions, based on popular, well-received, areas of audience interest.

Some studios/producers are finding these complications to almost be effectively rewriting, and redistributing their own works, as the messages are often misconstrued from their original intentions.

As outlined by Jenkins, Ford, and Green (2013):

“Some longtime Madison Avenue types are likely to sputter in rage at the idea that audiences might appropriate and rework their messages … They worry about losing control when, in fact, they never had it” (p. 201).

Most corporate media brands are fearful of this open interpretation by consumers, as it could potentially damage the, very carefully crafted, company/”producerly” images, and specific messages, that are selected for distribution by higher executives.

This lack of interactivity; however, can stunt a production’s spreadability, and opportunity for viral growth, and participation, as a fanbase’s own abilities to follow, support, and, in some instances, attempt to recreate their favorite media brands, is what helps drive this population of shared media interests, and the growth/interconnectivity of what is considered “popular culture” overall.

Regardless of a consumer’s active involvement in a certain media industry’s supportive community, it is ultimately the audience’s commitment, and fan dedication, that truly inspires an artist, or creator, to project their own messages into their released content, and, in turn, reciprocate these communal responses, and interpretations, back into the marketplace of their own, created bodies of work.

Something New

Media content success is almost entirely unpredictable in the modern era, mainly due to the over-saturation, and unbalanced commercial opportunities, that have become the societal expectation in our rapidly expanding, consumer-based, digital marketplace.

With an incredible array of online outlets, and regionalized distributions methods, for the delivery of mass communication messages across the sectionalized avenues of the newfound, full digital environment, producers, and original content creators, posses a, previously unheard of, direct line of interactivity with their audiences, and consumer populations; resulting in an ultimately much more select,  focused, and particular media market economy.

In this way, the actual success-rate of “spreadable media,” as referred to by Jenkins, Ford, and Green (2013), is almost entirely attributed to the production team’s level of engagement, reliability, and originality, when concerned with the productivity of all forms of consumable media.

As stated by Professor Amanda D. Lotz of the University of Michigan:

“Television, film, and recording industry executives…know full well that 80 percent of what they develop and create will fail commercially.  The key problem is that they don’t know which 10 to 20 percent might actually succeed” (p. 197).

With so many new, and exciting, channels for the human expression of created, and sharable media, there now exists entirely new opportunities to succeed in these online, and digital marketplaces, while also, unfortunately, expanding the exponentially large margin of failure, within these, now more sectionalized, media industries.

Content creators should strive to project new, and interesting messages to their audiences, while also attempting to integrate a sense of humanity, vulnerability, and overall passion for their career, craft, and consumer experience.

Overproduction, saturation, and mass conformism of the entertainment industry, can only truly be combatted by those who are willing to express original, uncorrupted ideas/ practices through their produced forms of media, and select marketing strategies.

 

 

Musically “Onlined”

Jordan Bromley, writer for the online musical news-site Billboard.com, has shared a very positive update on the breakthrough new bill in the music industry that will, hopefully, be passed through by congress within the next few years in an attempt to equalize, and most importantly, modernize the efforts, procedures, and royalty benefits for all contemporary, online artists and producers.

As stated in the article, the Music Modernization Act (MMA) will be a catalyst to the efforts by artists/producers to actually regulate the industry standards for registering, producing, and monetizing off of created bodies of work, and media productions, available through online streaming, and subscription-based, musical broadcasting services.

In this way, the MMA hopes to finally bring the music industry into the 21st century by ratifying outdated forms of distribution, and marketing procedures, in an attempt to become more acclimated, and relevant, to the, primarily, digital, and Internet-based consumption-model of the modern era.

The MMA will also, perhaps most importantly, help set a more acceptable standard of wages for online distribution services, allowing for all professional musicians to receive proper compensation for their efforts and productions, rather than the abysmal, incredibly small fraction of a single penny that each individual stream currently provides.

As a registered member of ASCAP, and an actual signer of the original petition to promote the MMA years ago, seeing this bill reach closer to its full potential is incredibly satisfying, and, hopefully, will be the first step in a long series of processes that will bring these media trends to a more equal, and gratifying, music market for artists of all levels of distribution.