Crowdfunding the Web Series: A Case Study in the Political Economy of New Media and the Production of a Fan Following

By Maria McLeod.

Published by The International Journal of the Image

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: January 25, 2017 $US5.00

This article explores the dynamics and framing of crowdfunding through the lens of two independently produced cross-genre web series—“Dark Darkness” and “JourneyQuest”—both of which have engaged in crowdfunding campaigns using the online platform Kickstarter with varying degrees of success to finance their projects and increase their exposure to a wider audience. The use of Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms as a financing mechanism for high-cost, high-quality video productions complicates the roles of producer and consumer and expands the distribution of media content previously concentrated in the hands of corporations. Using a case-study approach, this article explores the interplay between traditional “old” and “new” forms of entertainment serials made possible by digital media platforms and pays special attention to the framing of crowdfunding as a “democratic” financing mechanism.

Keywords: Crowdfunding, Web Series, New Media

The International Journal of the Image, Volume 8, Issue 1, March 2017, pp.71-79. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: January 25, 2017 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 433.380KB)).

Maria McLeod

Assistant Professor, Department of Journalism, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington, USA