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A spatial approach to fan labor: Conceptualizing fan mobilization in transmedia marketing
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication. (Geomedia)
(Geomedia)
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication. (NODE)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0501-2217
2017 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

When Swedish artist Tove Styrke released her album Kiddo (2015) on Spotify, she mobilized her fans through an immersive marketing campaign that stretched across and beyond media platforms: an 8-bit game, Spotify, Facebook, Twitter, Dreamhack, and a major Swedish music festival were key campaign platforms. The campaign construction was hardly unique, but rather illustrative of current trends in cultural production, including transmedia marketing and the increasing reliance on fan labor.This paper argues that informed spatial approaches to fan labor, and business strategies aimed to cultivate such labor, are missing in the existing research on cultural production. While descriptions of our transmediatized culture often-times do include spatial metaphors, such as “flow”, “stream”, “fluid”, and “liquid”, our conviction is that a more serious engagement with geography is vital for understanding, mapping, and ultimately critiquing industry practices that potentially are exploitive, unethical, and even harmful.Therefore, this paper suggests a theoretical framework for exploring the geographies of fan labor and presents exemplifying cartographies of authentic music marketing campaigns. The framework is influenced by two recent ‘turns’ in media and communication studies: the labor turn and the spatial turn. From labor theory, we borrow the idea that consumer engagement can be read as labor that is typically unpaid, affective, and voluntarily given. Spatial theory, next, provides us with a conceptual toolbox to disentangle the spatiality of transmedia marketing, including the relationship between physical and virtual elements.The notion of ‘transmediascape’ is brought in to describe the embodiment of transmedia marketing – in mediated and non-mediated spaces and flows. Such transmediascapes, the paper argues, can be read as the perfect soil for fan labor since they mobilize consumers in more than one respect: they assemble fan affect and, at the same time, encourage physical as well as virtual fan movement. Due to its multifaceted connotation – pointing towards both affectivity and mobility – the term ‘mobilization’ fruitfully bridges labor theory and spatial theory and serves, ultimately, as a key concept for analyzing contemporary forms of cultural production.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keyword [en]
Fan labour, transmediascapes, affect, mobility, marketing
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Media and Communication Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-62524OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-62524DiVA: diva2:1128151
Conference
Locating Imagination: Popular Culture, Tourism and Belonging conference, Erasmus University Rotterdam, 5th – 7th April, 2017, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Available from: 2017-07-22 Created: 2017-07-22 Last updated: 2017-07-22

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Fast, KarinRyan Bengtsson, LindaFerrer Conill, Raul
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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Output format
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