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Crowdfunding the Future

Media Industries, Ethics, and Digital Society


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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Conclusion: Where Next for Crowdfunding?



As we note in the introduction to this collection, and in the introduction of our New Media & Society themed issue (2015), crowdfunding has been embraced by a wide variety of fields despite the attention of the press, which focuses on celebrity-fronted campaigns. In this edited collection however, we have opted to focus on questions of ethics, on the interactions between producers and audiences, and on the range of possibilities that crowdfunding brings to, amongst others, journalism and publishing, as well as civic and social projects. We invited international contributions not only from academics, but also those who are practitioners, and in particular those who have started and run successful crowdfunding campaigns to reflect on these themes. These are by no means exhaustive of the issues and questions imposed on the practice of crowdfunding, and nor should they be. Our endeavour has always been to “kickstart” a critical discussion around the practice of crowdfunding, and as the platforms become more varied, more questions will undoubtedly surface.

For example, as we write this, a British company is crowdfunding a space mission – Lunar Mission One – to conduct further research in the hopes, as the Kickstarter pitch explains, to deepen our scientific understanding of the Moon, the solar system, and the galaxy.1 With 18 days to go, the campaign has achieved more than half of the £600,000 they are crowdfunding for, with rewards giving contributors personal digital memory boxes...

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