With the rise of Web 2.0 have come increased opportunities for fans to serve as filters, influencing the
global flow of cultural materials. On the one hand, this represents a giant leap forward for fans, who can
now serve new roles without industry support. On the other, it represents a potentially exploitative
transformation of media industries in which unpaid volunteers do the labor that professionals are paid
to do. This paper examines this tension with a close analysis of the global internet scene around Swedish
independent music. Interviews with music industry actors and particularly active fans are used to
establish the value of fan practices to the industry and to examine how the fans understand the tensions
between their own costs and rewards, exploitation and empowerment.
This is the author's accepted manuscript. The final publication is available from SAGE Publishing at http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1367877909337857.
Baym, N. & Burnett, R. (2009) Amateur experts: International fan labor in Swedish independent music. International Journal of Cultural Studies. 12(5): 433–449. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1367877909337857
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