The nature of some fandoms is to generate a fan hierarchy, often based around either perceived proximity to the artist, or by regularity of posting, or encouraging fan behaviour like downloading of new songs. Fave, the fan platform that supports fandoms including Swifties, Harries, and Hooligans (that’s the Taylor Swift, Harry Styles and Bruno Mars’ fandoms, grandad), has launched a “fan verification” system, where Fave “logs everything from streaming activity to merch collections, to fan art, to concert attendance, to crazy fan stories.”
Status is not the only reward: as fans climb the ladder to full verification, they gain points – and points mean prizes: secret artist events, limited merch drops, and so on await. Part of the drive here is also to remove non-human behaviour from the fandom: Fave manually checks that users are fans, not bots, before status is granted.
This is part of a wider movement we’re seeing to stratify and recognise fandom: a commonly stated use-case for NFTs is for fans to be able to prove they were at an artist’s early gig, for instance. As the desire from artists teams to connect directly with fans strengthens, one of the key appealing factors is owning the data on those fans – and knowing your superfans from your casuals is highly useful.
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