Reports Media & Marketing

Fandom drivers From fan psychology to NFT demand

Report by Mark Mulligan, Karol Severin, Srishti Das and Tatiana Cirisano
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The 20,000 foot view:  Fandom is entertainment’s growth currency, yet it remains both under-valued and poorly understood. While other entertainment currencies can be accurately measured (number of streams, number of sales, number of views, etc.) it is only the effects of fandom that can be quantified (number of likes / shares, merchandise sales, etc.). Measuring the effects of fandom is a blunt approach that also fails in one crucial aspect: understanding what is driving fandom and, therefore, how to better nurture and monetise it. NFTs and other digital collectibles may yet play that role.

Key Insights


  • There are            key psychological triggers for fandom:            / identity, communal experience, emotional            and personal bond
  • Fandom operates            a cultural framework that is            around rituals, icons, and symbols
  • Large-scale fanbases            like consumers adopt technologies, starting            tastemakers, moving to follower fans,            finally to mainstream fans
  • The lifecycle            the individual fan level follows            phases: discover, immerse, and hibernate            remain / fade


  • The fan            comprises three elements: audiences, fans,            superfans – with average spend            user (ARPU) increasing down the            while segment size reduces
  • Audience behaviour            most widespread (e.g.,            stream music,            live sports), and fan behaviour            smaller (e.g.,            watch games-related videos)            super fan behaviour is niche                       buy music merch,            buy TV            film merch)
  • The average            fanbase comprises            audience,            fans, and           
  •            of consumers buy music merch,            sports merch, and            TV and film merch


               of consumers claim to understand what non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are, while            claim to understand what blockchain is
  • Music looks            a good fit for NFTs                       of consumers would be interested            buying a digital collectible from            favourite artist, compared to            overall            in digital collectibles
  • Games fans,            show strongest demand for digital            from their favourite music artists,            at            of sandbox games fans
  • The highest            among sports fans is basketball            is anime            and music is            hop           
  • Decentralised autonomous            (DAOs) represent a strong near-term            for artist fanbases
  • The future            fandom will be defined by            tribalism, monetisation, saturation, and digitisation
Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Ahsoka Tano, America’s Got Talent, Audiomack, Black Panther, Bored Ape Yacht Club, Bridgerton, BTS, Captain Marvel, Dapper Labs, DC, Disney, Disney+, Dungeons & Dragons, The Elder Scrolls, Fave, Formula One, Friends, Gilmour Girls, Hybe Corporation, Infinite Objects, Iron Maiden, Luke Skywalker, Magic: The Gathering, The Mandalorian, Maroon            Marvel, My Brilliant Friend, NBA, NetEase Cloud Music, Netflix, Nike, Paramount Plus, Pink Blood Project, Pink Pantheress, Pokémon, Shelter, SM Entertainment, Spotify, Star Trek, Star Wars, Taylor Swift, Tencent Music Entertainment, The Song That Owns Itself, TikTok, Twilight Saga, The Walking Dead, The Witcher, Weverse, Wizards of the Coast