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How zealous fans are creating a new type of business and marketing model




Fans hoping to get a signature from actor Daniel Radcliffe hold Harry Potter photos, at Radcliffe's star unveiling ceremony on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, November 12, 2015.
Fans hoping to get a signature from actor Daniel Radcliffe hold Harry Potter photos, at Radcliffe's star unveiling ceremony on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, November 12, 2015.
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

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Defined as a community or subculture united by its obsession with some aspect of pop culture, fandom has also become a driving force for modern marketing.

In their new book “Superfandom: How Our Obsessions are Changing What We Buy and Who We Are,” co-authors Zoe Fraade-Blanar and Aaron Glazer explore how fandom bends the traditional separation between consumer and creator.

In some ways, the advent of digital platforms give creators incredible power over their audience, but it also puts them in a more delicate position than before, pressured to adjust to the demands of consumers whose zeal is the key to profit.

From the popular game "Cards Against Humanity" to the resurgence of the Polaroid camera, “Superfandom” uses the lenses of history, psychology and sociology to explore fandom-business relationships, as well as why some fan engagement strategies succeed, while others crash and burn.

Guests:

Zoe Frade-Blanar, faculty member of New York University and NYU Journalism, co-founder and CCO of crowdsourced toy company Squishable and co-author of “Superfandom: How Our Obsessions are Changing What We Buy and Who We Are” (W. W. Norton & Company, 2017)

Aaron M. Glazer, co-founder and CEO of Squishable and co-author of “Superfandom: How Our Obsessions are Changing What We Buy and Who We Are” (W. W. Norton & Company, 2017)