Fan Engagement as a Population Scale: Will Web2 still be Relevant for FANDOM Beyond 2024?

By Richard Adrian
23 Min Read

Large communities don’t always equate to vibrant fan engagement and if they do, they discovered wowTalkies. 

Film-making, music, and professional sports are the most competitive industries where participants are constantly battling each other for attention. Remember,  attention is a key determinant for revenue and prizes in these industries. Your favorite film does not want you as an ‘only fan’, it wants you as a super fan. On the other hand, a fan can only become a superfan if they feel treated like one. 

As such, the immense popularity of particular musicians, sports leagues, and films, can leave loyal fans feeling like a dot in the ambiance of swarms of fish. This is why wowTalkies is revolutionizing how movie fans experience their favorite cinemas and entertainment properties. Read on to learn more. 

In Eminem’s 2000 smash hit, ‘Stan’, an obsessed but disheartened fan kills his girlfriend and commits suicide after Eminem fails to write him back. While the song is nothing real, fans can oftentimes feel unnerved when their support for a superstar or a sports club feels unrequited. Even where they don’t, it could be immensely rewarding to the sports club or artist when their fans feel a sense of mutual and genuine connection. Thanks to Web3, the entertainment industry is revolutionizing a path toward maximizing fan engagement. 

A benefit of Web3 is redefining the roles of creators and consumers. “Same algorithms and patterns are forcing entertainment brands and creators into boxes of the same boring, beige reductive content,” writes Forbes. 

Instead of sticking to the same patterns, Web3 tools are inspiring a new wave of fan engagement that can elevate the creation process and empower entertainers to be at their creative best. Not just in filmmaking, sports, and the music industry, but in a plethora of other industries that have begun leveraging tokenization and DAO structures to help foster quantifiable interactions. 

“…there are customers, fans and true fans” emphasizes Kevin Kelly in his 2008 essay: ‘One Thousand True Fans”. 

The essay suggests that a true fan will not just purchase their favorite author’s book but will also buy the audiobook version and even the Kindle edition. They might go as far as taking the midnight train to attend the book launch, purchasing VIP tickets for front-row seats, subscribing to the author’s newsletter and YouTube Channel, following them on TikTok, and clicking almost every link from their authors before sharing it with a friend.

Chart growth
In essence, building a loyal fanbase of a thousand true fans sounds easier said than done.

Particularly at an era where entertainers are putting more effort into scaling and mass producing, fans may find it difficult to build a genuine connection with the entertainer. Better yet, how actionable is it to build a community of ‘true fans’ or ‘super fans’ for a Bollywood or Hollywood movie whose blockbuster success relies on not a thousand true fans but millions of ticket sales and streams? 

The insights on A Thousand True Fans are easily executable for a tight fanbase,  some of which include: fostering a direct relationship with fans, messaging the fans directly, creating a free limited edition product and organizing exclusive AMA sessions. While it’s still possible to build from 1,000 to 1,000,000 true fans, the advent of Web3 makes it significantly easier and less costly to create a direct relationship with customers through fan engagement. 

The Evolving Nature of Fan Engagement

Accepting the power of Web3 in boosting fan engagement and driving community growth is not to deny the legacy behind Web2 platforms. The last era gave us Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and an array of dynamic platforms for building connections. Entertainers took advantage of these platforms and built successful pages for connecting with their fans and prospects. To date, no one can deny the power of X (formerly Twitter) hashtags and Instagram pages in fostering a community around entertainment, sports, finance, and politics among others. 

Unfortunately, regardless of the reliability of these platforms in driving impressions and building a community around brands, they all fell short of offering an immersive experience for their fans.  Besides being heavily controlled by big corporations and gatekeepers, Web2 platforms also pose a significant challenge for the entertainment industry to unite both fans and creators; and for creators to explore their full potential.

Take, for instance, Taylor Swift is perhaps the best case study for decentralized fan engagement. At the start of 2023, Swift took the bold step to re-record her previous six albums in a bid to break free from her previous record label which had earlier sold the musician’s first albums to a private equity firm.

She did break away and signed with another label where she currently owns the master rights to every song she records. BUT here is the kicker, Taylor Swift recently scored global box office records after her Movie “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour’ tallied over $123 million without going through film distributors. Had she taken the traditional route, distributors would have slashed nearly 57% of the film’s revenue. 

What made it possible for Taylor Swift to successfully sell her movie even after bypassing film distributors? First, she disrupted the showbiz industry by empowering herself as an independent artist. Giving her more control over her art and how she would engage with her fanbase from that time henceforth.  

Knowing that the prices of tickets had spun beyond the control of signed artists, Taylor’s goal was to discover a reasonable way to elevate her engagement with fans and connect with them at a deeper level. Therefore, she turned her Eras Tour into a movie that her fans could attend for less than $20. 

Do you think it would be possible to sell those tickets at such a price with distributors in the picture?  According to a Forbes piece, the role of Web3 in the entertainment industry will not only enhance existing entertainment models but also disrupt “how people do traditional business and those that benefit”

Past studies reveal that there were three most important outcomes of customer fan engagement for elite sports organizations, 1) loyalty, w) value-in-use, and 3) word-of-mouth. While such studies denote the customer journey and experience, other studies have suggested how these three outcomes complement behavioral interactions and heighten fan loyalty. 

Where some experts have questioned the significance of non-transactional engagements between public figures and their fans.

This study proposes a method for companies and consumers to explore fresh value propositions outside transactional engagement using social exchanges. 

It is evident that these studies reveal models outside Web3, and yes, most of these tips are actionable only on Web2. However, it is undeniably reliable to strengthen non-transaction engagements using Web3 tools. This is because tokenization and fragmentation create value around these interactions on auto-pilot; 

For example, a fan knows if they do 1,2,3, they will get this digital badge and 2 – 5 digital badges qualify them for a free concert ticket.

Principles of Web3 in Fan Engagement

Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs), Non-fungible Tokens, the blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and Web3 communities have demonstrated how entertainment and sports properties can improve revenue shares for creators, disrupt intellectual property licensing, and democratize governance in a way that engages fans. 

However, what stands out about fan engagement in this era happens to be the ethos around Web3: namely ownership, control, interoperability, inclusion, innovation, and community. Although these are benefits and concepts that are still in their early stages, several entertainment brands and sports leagues have started exploring their viability in boosting fan engagement. 

Take for instance the brand story of wowTalkies, a Web3 fan engagement platform that has built a name for itself and others in entertainment. For a long time, fan communities have remained highly fragmented. As such, celebrities, artists, and entertainment brands have found it inefficient to manage these communities. WowTalkiers wants to change that by rewriting the way filmmakers and sporting brands engage with their enthusiasts.  

Even where fans feel left out, wowTalkies believes they can build a superfan leaderboard for one to feel acknowledged for supporting their favorite cricket team or every time they watch a film they love. 

AI and AR
A few of the benefits that fans have to explore on wowTalkies include the ability to consume entertainment they love, collect non-fungible tokens, create digital value, and compete on the leaderboard.

“It’s like living in a cinematic world, every feature on the wowTalkies app makes you feel like a core part of the movies you love” notes Shardeum News in its review of wowTalkies.  

Besides offering sports and entertainment enthusiasts an immersive experience, wowTalkies is also dedicating another of its three departments to supporting artists through aiding fan recognition, fostering engagement, exploring new content opportunities and collectibles, as well as rewarding superfans. The third department under wowTalkies’ business model aims to disrupt traditional business models across cinema. By leveraging Web3 tools, the fan engagement solution provider will help studios build better communities around their film property, help them organize IRL events, and also source film ideas from the community. The third and final department under wowTalkies’ flagship aims to prioritize fandom by fraternizing film and sports enthusiasts, creating high-engagement content, organizing community contests, and incentivizing community participation. 

One of the popular aspects of wowTalkies is its periodic airdrops. To prepare for upcoming airdrops, DroomDroom prepared an easy guide to crypto airdrops. 

For a long time, technology has proven itself as a transformative tool for artists willing to embrace its potential, and Web3 is one of the latest innovations that entertainment businesses are incorporating to boost fandom. As such, a team of experts at wowTalkies is building a community-led mechanism to help cinema and sports leagues redefine fan engagement using a combination of blockchain tools, AI/ML, and Augmented Reality (AR).

Finding the Balance Between Web2 and Web3 in Fandom 

Over-relying on Web3 alone is the best way to kill a career in the entertainment industry, hence the need for entertainers and sports stars to strike the balance between Web2 and Web3 fan engagement. 

According to Verite, an American musician who has found success as an independent artist (200 million+ streams and counting), “an artistic career in Web3 is a double-edged sword”. Web3 becomes a limitation when artists exist only within its tools and communities. 

wowTalkies team member
Verite suggests artists should instead focus on building a business model that can stand the test of trend cycles. In essence, building such a career demands the convergence of both Web2 and Web3 tools. 

As per the musician, some aspects of the entertainment industry are broken, and what used to be aspects of monetization have also shut down. Web3 offers a slow yet innovatively sure method to fix issues around the industry and help build reliable capital markets for entertainment stakeholders. wowTalkies  has a vision to elevate these industries using blockchain technology, consider the following three aspects at the heart of the platform’s fandom authenticity: 

Authentic Fan Content

wowTalkies will utilize tokenization and non-fungible tokens to create a rewards system for original and authentic entertainment content that helps audiences connect more genuinely with their favorite entertainers. Through the rewards system, wowTalkies will distribute digital NFT certificates called fan badges to incentivize the fans who create high-quality content.

Proof of Fandom

The digital fan badges are a way for fans to provide proof of their dedication, enthusiasm, and commitment to their favorite stars’ journey. Fans then go on to display the badges on their profiles, the more badges one has, the more they are recognized and respected in the ecosystem. 

Trust Among Fans

The badges help the fans to interact with each other in an environment that brings together a vibrant community of like-minded people. Fans can identify each other on the platform through the badges they hold, thereby enhancing their demeanor and camaraderie with each other.  

In essence, these three aspects of fandom authenticity are not only beneficial to fans but also allow celebrities, studios, and communities to invest in their fan’s activities. An ‘only fan’ might go the extra mile to purchase VIP tickets to all their favorite star’s concerts, but only a superfan will create content that reflects their commitment to an entertainer. Hence, the question should be how to reward all of these fans using Web3 tools in a way they feel appreciated for their fandom. 

According to wowTalkies, the journey toward super FANDOM will start with celebrities, artists, and production houses curating content, creating collectibles, and building fan communities. Web3 is the magic wand for enabling these industries, combined with AR, AI, and deep tech-related utilities. However, it is still not possible to underestimate the demand generation power of Web2 tools such as social media. 

Discover the fundamentals of a Non-Fungible Token collection by reading our must -have guide for safely navigating NFT investments. 

As such, stakeholders are growing even more persistent in trying to demystify the “blackbox of data existing between public figures and their respective fans on social media platforms”. With time, stakeholders will fully explore the abilities of the blockchain to enable transparent information flow between artists and their fans. 

The medium will be utilizing the blockchain to incentivize fandom. The long-term scenario is such that cinema studios, sports celebrities, and public figures can build genuine, authentic connections with their fans. 

The Rise of Non-Fungible Tokens

Non Fungible Tokens are gaining prominence in the fan engagement sector, particularly, as a way for movie fans to book tickets and even monetize their fandom.

One of the differences we highlighted before between Web2 and Web3 in fan engagement is user ownership. The Web3 model aims to empower users to own data, control, digital assets and the ultimate fan experience. Tokenizing the fan experience is the only way to do this, and Non-fungibles Tokens will play a prominent role. 

The success of Non-fungible Tokens hinges on fan participation. It is industries like film, art, music and sports that can drive millions of fans to adopt NFTs. This is mainly because NFTs rely heavily on community.Since brands in the above industries have successfully built and led communities over the years, it’s potent to believe their community will find the NFTs appealing. However, this is not to underestimate the potential of other industries’ brands building a community from scratch and using NFTs to empower community members. 

wowTalkies discovered the potential of tokenization and launched a marketplace for NFTs. The wowTalkies NFT marketplace can be found here for all movie enthusiastes interested in exploring, collecting or trading their favorite films, film stars and studios’ collectibles. 

It’s crucial to recognize that celebrities are actively participating in innovative ventures, particularly when presented with new avenues to connect with fans and enhance their brands. NFTs offer myriad opportunities to achieve both objectives, prompting celebrities to join the trend.

However, the challenge lies in the novelty of the NFT space, marked by its complexity and steep learning curve. Celebrities face the daunting task of educating their average fans on how to interact with blockchain collectibles. Besides, distinguishing between scams and legitimate projects poses a significant concern for the fans who could easily fall prey to impersonaters. 

Launching an NFT series requires careful consideration several steps, including, establishing community engagement, and enhancing the experience for hodlers post-launch are essential considerations.

To navigate these challenges successfully, celebrities must invest time in educating themselves and seek guidance from knowledgeable advisors. The risk of getting lost in the noise or unintentionally causing harm to investors (loyal fans) is high where the brands lack a well-defined roadmap and strategy.

Prominent entertainers across Bollywood , through the help of wowTalkies, have entered the NFT space and launched their own collections. These collections are available on the wowTalkies NFT marketplace from as little as 1 MATIC token.

Prominent individuals like the NBA Hall of Famer Shaq, for instance, raised over a million dollars for his charity, Shaq Gives Back, through the acquisition of Mutant Ape Yacht Club and Creature World NFTs. 

Analytics have also been indicating a surge in NFT activity.One example is the above 2023 Q4 statistics by blockchain analytics platform, Nansen. 

The main reason that the world is turning their attention towards NFTs is their alluring provenance and proof of ownership features. Both of these features are crucial for the arts, fan engagement, entertainment and gaming sectors. The technology has also been known to foster more transparency and accountability across the digital ecosystem. 

With the industry going towards utility-driven NFTs and away from speculative tokens, bringing NFTs into fan engagement is one of the biggest moves that entertainment brands are making.Leading at the front is wowTalkies, which aims to monetize movie fandom through the power of Non-Fungible Tokens. 


In conclusion, the examination of fan engagement at a population scale prompts a critical consideration of the continued relevance of Web2 within the realm of FANDOM. 

Undoubtedly, the vast majority of the market currently resides on Web2 platforms, enjoying the distribution and scale that this infrastructure affords. The sheer magnitude of users within the Web2 landscape highlights its dominance and influence on fan engagement.

However, amidst this established framework, the emergence of Web3 introduces a paradigm shift, providing new avenues and use cases for fan interaction.

While Web2 maintains its stronghold as the primary arena for fan engagement due to its extensive reach and established user base, the advent of Web3 introduces innovative approaches that chip away at this dominance. As we navigate this transition, it becomes evident that both Web2 and Web3 have unique contributions to make in shaping the landscape of fan engagement. 

Web2’s established distribution channels and scalability cater to the masses, offering unparalleled access to fandoms on a global scale. Simultaneously, Web3 presents an exciting frontier, fostering novel use cases and decentralized interactions that redefine the nature of fan engagement.

In essence, the evolving dynamics between Web2 and Web3 underscore the complex interplay of tradition and innovation within the sphere of fandom. 

The larger market’s entrenched presence on Web2 emphasizes its current indispensability, while the promising potential of Web3 suggests a future where fan engagement transcends conventional boundaries.

As we navigate this dynamic landscape, recognizing the strengths of both Web2 and Web3 is imperative for comprehensively understanding and harnessing the power of fan engagement at population scale.

Visit wowTalkies.COM to learn more about fan engagement.

'I write about groundbreaking blockchain technology. I cover trends across crypto, DeFi, onchain data analytics, digital assets research and the movers/shakers in fintech. I’m active on Linkedin too. Join me and let’s transform groundbreaking tech into mindblowing art. 'Richard Adrian Munene