“The State of Fandom” Report: Insights for Marketers Seeking to Tap Into the Age of Fandom

Fan-first global entertainment platform report finds the average duration of a long-term fandom is nine years and that engaging younger fans across genres and content verticals can be critical to success

Fandom, the fan-first global entertainment platform, released its inaugural insights report in New York City at FanDNA: Marketing in the Age of Fandomonium. The study, titled, “The State of Fandom”, identifies the stages and drivers of fandom and provides critical insights for marketing and media leaders aiming to increase and sustain fan engagement. Fandom’s platform has more than 200 million monthly users and more than 400,000 communities across movies, TV and gaming, granting it a unique ability to analyze and understand what motivates fans.

The market for content is booming as US adults spend 11.5 hours per day connected to media (Nielsen Q1 2019 Nielsen Total Audience Report). But the content they’re consuming isn’t strictly new: nearly half of new video game releases are part of existing franchises (Game Informer) and 1 in 3 new film releases are based on existing properties (Box Office Mojo). With increased competition for fan attention, media companies are relying on franchises to take existing fans on a longer journey – and to bring in new fans by framing releases as part of a larger cultural conversation.

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Fandom’s report finds that marketers seeking to build lifelong fandoms must learn to embrace and engage fans at every step along the path, from discovery (finding out about the content) to emotional investment (becoming engaged with the content) and evangelism (spreading the word about the content). The report highlights how marketers must also understand how to interact with distinct audience segments in the context of these different stages of fandom, as well as the top motivations for consuming content in three main verticals: movies, TV and video games.

Here are a few insights from the report:

  • Over a person’s lifetime the arc of fandom is long. The average duration of a long-term fandom is nine years.
  • Engaging younger fans can be critical to content success. Across genres and content verticals, fandom peaks in teens, takes a dip among 18- to 24-year-olds, and reignites in 25- to 34-year-olds. 
  • Three fan segments – Explorers, Evangelists and Devoted Enthusiasts – comprise 75% of the fan market and account for 91% of fan spend devoted to their favorite fandoms in the past year. These segments are more likely to subscribe to a service in order to access their favorite content.
  • The Fan Health Index, a proprietary metric that tracks the proportion of Superfans to Casual fans, is currently 128, showing that deeply engaged TV, movie and video game fans significantly outnumber more casual fans.
  • Word of mouth reigns supreme for content discovery, regardless of age, gender, or content vertical. Among TV and movie fans, ads also play an important role, serving as the #1 driver of new content discovery. 

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“At Fandom, we have a front-row seat to the evolving role fans are playing in all facets of pop culture, from movies to games, TV, books, anime and more,” said Perkins Miller, CEO of Fandom. “We are confident that this report will help marketers identify trends across the industry and set actionable benchmarks for engaging successfully with their fans.”

“The State of Fandom” report is produced by the Fandom Insights Lab, which provides industry thought leadership and exclusive fan insights to Fandom’s most valued media partners. The study was conducted in partnership with market research company, Ipsos. Ipsos conducted 20-minute online surveys with 5,000 TV, Movie and Video Game fans in the U.S., ages 16-44, fielded from August 16-23, 2019. Fandom’s segmentation also leverages the results of previous surveys conducted by Ipsos among 10,000 fans in the U.S. within the past year.

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