Understanding Game of Thrones Fandom Community

How fandom dynamics contributed to GOT’s massive success

Collaborating with Trailer Park

Spring 2018 Semester

Research Overview

This is a group project completed for my graduate class Audience Analysis instructed by Dr. Mathew Curtis, collaborating with the leading entertainment marketing agency Trailer Park. The overarching research question that Trailer Park brought to our class was: How does premium entertainment video content go to market within a social media platform? Our group of five narrowed down the question to focus on one aspect of any content's success: fandom community.

We chose Game of Thrones as our research subject due to the prominence of the GOT fandom - undoubtedly the show's massive success relies on heavily on those who love and talk about the show. We wanted to take a step back and ask ourselves: Why do people love the show so much? Why do they want to promote the show and how do they promote the show? What happens interpersonally when one tries to convince another to watch the show? We also took a look inside the non-fans: What are the obstacles preventing people from getting into the show? Understanding these questions would give us insights into the dynamics of fandom community and their contribution to premium content's success.

We used multiple research methods to investigate the topic: interviews, surveys (designed by us and deployed by Trailer Park to their research panel), content analysis, and focus groups. We presented our findings to Trailer Park's research team and received positive feedback. Our findings were synthesized into a press release by Trailer Park.

The Outcome

Please click the below images to view our PPT presentation and Trailer Park's press release.

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My Role

  • Clarified the definition of research topic, and pointed out possible research directions with nuances

  • Developed the interview guide and focus group moderator guide, facilitated the focus groups, and analyzed the findings

  • Developed the overarching structure of surveys and analyzed the findings

  • Conducted content analysis and analyzed the findings

  • Contributed to the design of PPT presentation