Celebrity and fandom on Twitter : examining electronic dance music in the Digital Age

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2012-12

Authors

Anaipakos, Jessica Lyle

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Abstract

This thesis looks at electronic dance music (EDM) celebrity and fandom through the eyes of four producers on Twitter. Twitter was initially designed as a conversation platform, loosely based on the idea of instant-messaging but emerged in its current form as a micro-blog social network in 2009. EDM artists count on the website to promote their music, engage with fans, discover new songs, and contact each other. More specifically, Twitter is an extension of a celebrity’s private life, as most celebrities access Twitter from their cellphones and personal computers, cutting out gatekeepers from controlling their image. Four power player producers in EDM are used as case studies for analysis of the intimacy and reach Twitter provides. Chosen because of their visibility, style, and recognition, Deadmau5, Diplo, Skrillex, and Tiësto represent different EDM subgenres, run their own record labels, have dedicated fans, and are accessible through social media. All use Twitter to announce shows, interact with fans, promote contests and merchandise, and share stories and pictures of their personal lives with their fan followers. Tweets are a direct line for fans to communicate with these celebrities through the reply, retweet (RT), and mention functions on Twitter. Fan tweets to and from these EDM celebrities are also examined by looking at celebrity-fan encounters in the cyber world and the real world, aftereffects of celebrity RTs, and engagement with said celebrities. The internet is the lifeline for this subculture as it changed the way EDM is shared, promoted, and packaged. Twitter and other social media sites give producers the exposure they never experienced with traditional media and allow fans to participate in a global subculture. To sum up, this is a study on how Twitter influenced EDM and personalized the relationship between producers and fans.

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