Marvel vs. DC: New Fandom Study Reveals Franchise Fatigue | Popgen Tech


More than one-third of Marvel fans feel tired of the constant stream of content delivered to theaters and on Disney+ this year, according to a new study released Thursday by fan platform Fandom. But the study also shows that Marvel fans are also more inclined to watch whatever Marvel project compared to DC fans, who are more likely to consume film and TV about a specific superhero than the entire DC catalog.

Those are some of the broad findings of the study, which was drawn from a survey of 5,000 entertainment and gaming fans between the ages of 13 and 54, as well as what Fandom terms “owns insight” from its platform of more than 300 million monthly users in total. 250,000 different wikis.

The most intriguing statement of the study is that fans can be divided into four subcategories of roughly descending order of intensity.

The Advocates: They’re the core fan base, described as “deeply invested in the IP,” so it’s “part of who they are.” They are likely to watch content within the first few days of its release. Some franchises with a high number of Advocates include Marvel, “Rick and Morty,” “Harry Potter,” DC, “Star Wars,” and “Stranger Things.”

The Intentionalists: These fans — who typically make up the largest segment of a franchise’s fan base — are more discerning, influenced by marketing and strong reviews, storytelling themes, and the actors and filmmakers behind the project. They will probably watch within the first two weeks. Franchises with high numbers of Intentionalists include “The Sex Lives of College Girls,” “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Game of Thrones” and “Only Murders in the building.”

The Bodybuilders: They are “heavily influenced by the buzz” surrounding a popular release, and see viewing as an opportunity to connect with friends and family, as well as the larger cultural conversation. They will probably watch within the first month. Franchises with high Culturalists numbers include “Chicago Fire,” “Ted Lasso,” “True Detective,” “The Challenge” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”

The Flirting: As the name suggests, these are the dabblers, who are most interested in entertainment that they can “drop in and out of” and “allow them to find common ground with others around them.” They will probably watch when they have time. Franchises with a large number of Flirts include many legacy shows such as “The Office,” “SpongeBob Squarepants,” “Gilmore Girls, “South Park” and “Friends,” as well as reality shows such as ” The Bachelor” and “Real Housewives.”

“The words ‘fan’ and ‘super fan’ have always been used to describe entertainment consumers, but those terms are too generic for today’s entertainment world — fandoms are complex,” said Fandom CMO Stephanie Fried in a statement. “Understanding the layers of fan identity and truly engaging with them at the right time and place will be key for marketers looking to maximize success with streaming, theatrical and video releases game.”

Having more Advocates and Intentionalists in a fandom, as Marvel does (with 66%) over DC (with 61%), can be an advantage for a franchise — but it’s not so cut-and- dry. According to Fandom’s study, 81% of Marvel fans will watch anything released in the franchise, while 67% of DC fans will do the same. In contrast, only 38% of Marvel fans say they care more about specific superheroes than the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, compared to 57% of DC fans who care more about one or two superheroes than the entire DC Universe . That may be a major reason why only 20% of DC fans say they’re tired of the number of releases a year, compared to 36% of Marvel fans who feel the same way. As of September, Fandom reported that “The Batman” was the site’s “biggest cinematic release” worldwide. DC fans are 20% more likely to buy products than Marvel fans — collectables, apparel, even superhero-inspired menu items.

Fandom’s general assumption is that, on average, about half of a franchise’s potential fan base consists of Culturalists and Flirts, suggesting that marketing that can engage those fans can further expand a franchise’s reach. franchise, especially for original projects that are not part of pre-established IP.

“Reaching consumers in an effective way is not a one-size-fits-all formula,” said Perkins Miller, CEO of Fandom. “Understanding the spectrum of fan identity and how it affects fan behavior has never been more critical in the ever-expanding entertainment landscape.”

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