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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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9. Fixing Television by Funding a Movie: The Crowdfunding of Veronica Mars


9.   Fixing Television by Funding a Movie: The Crowdfunding of Veronica Mars



The film noir detective series Veronica Mars (UPN/CW, 2004–2007) uses the The Dandy Warhols song “We Used to Be Friends” as its theme song to establish the show’s message of adolescent angst. The song also happens to describe the frustration of fans of the series toward the television network that aired the episodes. Veronica Mars fans, or “Marshmallows” as they call themselves, “used to be friends” with the network, even working to improve the network’s ratings and revenue but quickly felt alienated from the television business model that valued them less than a more desirable mass audience.

These fans coalesced on websites like and to discuss the show in great detail and sophistication while also teaching one another about the television industry in an effort to save the show from cancellation. The ad-hoc media industries education that these fans collectively cobbled together distinguishes them from other viewers. By learning about the relationship between ratings, television networks, studios, and affiliates, Marshmallows became aware of the business complexities and power structures that shape their cultural products and their own value as an audience. The fact that these fans understood their relationship to show business makes their participation in the crowdfunding of the Veronica Mars movie an informed political decision and not an example of exploitation as some critics fear.1

Crowdfunding campaigns are...

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