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Crowdfunding the Future

Media Industries, Ethics, and Digital Society


Edited By Lucy Bennett, Bertha Chin and Bethan Jones

The concept of crowdfunding, where grassroots creative projects are funded by the masses through websites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, has been steadily gaining attention over the last few years. Crowdfunding the Future undertakes a dynamic interdisciplinary approach to the examination of the new, and growing, phenomenon of crowdfunding and its encompassment of digital society and media industries. The book offers a wide range of perspectives and empirical research, providing analyses of crowdfunded projects, the interaction between producers and audiences, and the role that websites such as Kickstarter play in discussions around fan agency and exploitation, as well as the ethics of crowdfunding. With a series of chapters covering a global range of disciplines and topics, this volume offers a comprehensive overview on crowdfunding, examining and unraveling the international debates around this increasingly popular practice. The book is suitable for courses covering media studies, fandom, digital media, sociology, film production, anthropology, audience, and cultural studies.
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1. Up Close and Personal: Exploring the Bonds Between Promoters and Backers in Audiovisual Crowdfunded Projects


1.   Up Close and Personal: Exploring the Bonds Between Promoters and Backers in Audiovisual Crowdfunded Projects



The nature of cultural production and consumption continues to undergo profound changes. New platforms, new media, and new types of cultural agents, coupled with easier access to the means of production and promotion, have generated a multitude of emergent media forms, redefining the production and consumption of cultural products, and altering the relationships between media, industries, and audiences (Jenkins, 2006; Deuze, 2008; Schafer, 2011). As a means of communication and production, and as a source of entertainment, the Internet has been a driving force behind the transformations in processes of creation and exchange (Braet & Spek, 2010), forcing us to reconsider traditional boundaries between the various agents involved in cultural production.

Beyond celebratory discourses, this new ecology must be characterised in terms of change, but also of continuity, even if in an unstable and conflictive relation between practices, business models, and cultural agents. In the end, this is about the proliferation of spreadable content, the emergence of new cultural agents, transformations of cultural consumption patterns, but also power relations, the roles of public and private cultural institutions in promoting culture, controversies on diversity and public participation, audience fragmentation, and uncertainty over business models.

Participation has become a key concept in the understanding of these emerging media practices in a context of cultural...

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