What happens when your favourite idol gets cancelled?

Simone Driessen explains this phenomenon on NOSop3

Will the music of a cancelled artist still be played on the radio? And if not, why not? Do radio stations have a policy on this? That is what was investigated in NOSop3, ESHCC media scientist Simone Driessen was invited to provide scientific context on this.

Simone is assistant professor of Media & Popular Culture at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication. She researches what cancel culture means for fans, including Marco Borsato's. Media platform NOSop3 was also curious about whether cancelled artists are still being listened to and getting airtime on radio. They researched some cancelled artists, such as Marco Borsato and Lil' Kleine, and spoke to radio stations about their policies for cancelled artists. The NOSop3 item explains that radio stations certainly try to assess what their listeners like to listen to and this is where developments such as the cancellation of an artist come into play. However, radio stations also state that they do not want to play judge and therefore focus on what the listener wants.

However, the numbers in private listening to a cancelled artist can differ from radio airtime, as in the case of Lil' Kleine's music, for example. NOSop3 shows how radio stations played Lil' Kleine less when he was discredited, yet peaks of airtime can be seen when Lil' Kleine releases another new hit. In terms of active listeners on Spotify, the data remains much more even for Lil' Kleine and smaller dips can be seen. Simone explained this as follows: "Cancelling in itself is something public. You need a certain mass for cancelling, a crowd participating in that boycott. And privately, of course, it can be different. The question is, she says: "Can you separate the art from the maker? Or do you still see it as a whole?"

Portrait picture of Simone Driessen
Dr. Simone Driessen

Simone's contribution to NOSop3 was based on her recent research focusing on Marco Borsato's fans, about which she published an article in Convergence. In this article (The participatory politics and play of canceling an idol: Exploring how fans negotiate their fandom of a canceled ‘fave’) , she discusses how fans of Marco Borsato deal with the cancelation of their idol. The article demonstrates the complexities these fans now face. Some fans continue to support their idol and dismiss the allegations, while other fans are more cautious in publicly expressing their fandom. These wish to learn more about the situation surrounding Borsato before supporting him. Last, there is a group that completely distances itself from Borsato and his music after his cancelation.  

More information

Watch the NOSop3 item here

Read more about it on the NOS website

Find Simone's article on her research here

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