Tag Archives: Worldwide Fan Clubs

This Past Week in Duranland – July 21 – July 27

This has been a busy week in Duranland.  Part of me thinks that must be because my partner-in-crime was gone, which left me to blog, when necessary.  It’s all good, though.  I like that there have been things to discuss!  That’s the way it should be!!!  On that note, I’ll do my best to summarize everything that I saw and heard.

Obviously, the two biggest happenings involved the lawsuit Duran is involved with and their upcoming performance on Fashion Rocks.

For those who missed the lawsuit information, which would have been hard to do since the news seemed to be on every news source, both domestically and internationally, the basic idea is that Duran Duran is involved in a lawsuit against Worldwide Fan Clubs, Inc., a company they hired to run part of their paid fan club.  I wrote a blog in reaction to this piece of information, which you can read here.  Of course, there were fans out there who seemed confused or misunderstood due to poorly written headlines and really thought Duran Duran was suing their fans.  This, of course, couldn’t be further from the truth.  In fact, Duran Duran released a statement clarifying the situation here.  Another good article about the situation could be found at Billboard.com here.

In more positive news, it was announced that Duran Duran would be one of the artists performing in this year’s Fashion Rocks, which will take place and be televised on September 9th.  The blog on that is here.

There were lots of little bits of album news released this week as well.  First, this month’s Katy Kafe with Simon revealed a number of tidbits.  The blog about that is here.  Social media also provided some  information.  John Taylor shared that Hollie Cook visited the studio.  Hollie is a British singer who has performed as a solo artist and also as part of the lineup of the Slits.  I’m not sure if this means she is working on the album or just visiting.  Anyone know?  Likewise, there was a studio visit with Natasha Khan of Bats for Lashes.  Hollie and Natasha weren’t the only women in the studio as Anna Ross posted that she was in to work on a new track that she says we are going to love!  According to her status update, she has worked on quite a few tracks.  Beyond the news about who has been in the studio, John also posted a few pictures from the studio, including one with him and a dog, one with Nick and the same dog and one of Mark Ronson.    While we are on the topic of the studio, have you checked out the new pictures in the dd.com gallery?  If not, go here to see them!

The last pieces of news that caught my attention related to 1980s Duran.  First, Buzzfeed posted an article about 6 things you might not have known about the Rio album.  If you want to read it, go here. Then, Bop magazine announced that it would no longer publish monthly publications and would only issue special editions.  For many of us, Bop magazine was one of THE magazines to provide Duran news and posters!  I know that I wasn’t the only one who had many, mnay pictures and posters from Bop magazine decorating my bedroom walls as a kid.  Thus, this news makes me sad.  Truly, it is the end of an era.

I think that is about it!  Of course, there was so much happening that I am sure that I could have missed one, ten or 10,000 things!  If so, let me know so that I can edit this post and add it in!!!

-A

Past the Legal Limit

Last night, I saw a couple of articles being posted on Facebook about that little band we know and love.  You, too, can read the articles by clicking on their titles:  “Duran Duran Suing Glenview-Based Fan Club For Lack of Payment” and “Duran Duran Sues Glenview-Based Fan Club”.  Immediately, discussion ensued.  First, there was a need to clarify what the articles were talking about.  Then, the discussion expanded to a more common topic–Duran’s paid fan community and what might happen from here.

From what I can tell, Duran Duran Music, their paid fan community, has different organizations/companies taking care of different aspects.  For example, we all know that Artist Arena deals with the presales.  This lawsuit involves Worldwide Fan Clubs, Inc.  According to the FAQ page on DDM, “Worldwide Fan Clubs processes, fulfills and handles customer service for the Official Duran Duran VIP Community membership packages. WWFC will also coordinate contests and marketing of the Community.”  The lawsuit is saying that this company allegedly did not keep accurate accounting of membership fees and did not pay Duran the 75% they were due, based on the contract signed in 2010.

Of course, I cannot speak to the accuracy of those charges, but like many did yesterday on Facebook, I can comment about what it has been like to be a member of DDM.  We have discussed DDM a number of times on this blog, including how the presales changed when Artist Arena got involved or how the VIP packages are very different than what they were in like 2005.  The forums aren’t what they used to be as so many people left and/or stopped posting there, for various reasons.  This particular company has to deal with membership packages, contests and marketing.  How do we think they have done with that, as customers?

I have taken the time to review the last couple of years gold packages.  Most people I know seem to like what has been offered in the gold package.  It has taken awhile for the gold packages to be updated, though, which has forced people to renew with just the silver package and then again with the gold within a year, if they want the merchandise.  That shouldn’t be.  Beyond that, there is the question of whether or not there should be two levels of membership or whether or not there should be a cost at all.  Even beyond all the questions and debates about presales, membership fees, etc., is the larger and most important question.  What should the role of the fan club or fan community, as they call it, be?  Should it just be a place to get tickets and merchandise?  That doesn’t feel like a fan club or fan community to me.  I think a fan club should be about connecting.  It could be the perfect place to connect the fans to the band but also fans to fans.  While there are exclusives on DDM, including favorites like the Katy Kafe, there aren’t enough to make the members feel a special relationship to the band.  More importantly than the connection to the band, people stay in fandom because of the connection they feel with other fans.  How does DDM do that?  It doesn’t.  The forums helped at one point.  The VIP parties and other meet ups helped, but now there is nothing working for that.  This, of course, is one of the main reasons that Rhonda and I have jumped into organizing meet ups and even Durandemonium, the 2013 convention–to have fans connect to other fans.  One of the reasons we blog is to open up discussion among the fans, which is needed for connections to form and solidify.  We saw the void that was left and wanted to fill it, the best we could with no resources.  (Imagine what we could do with some resources!  Ha!)  Seriously,  we know that it is the connections between fans that keep the fandom going in between albums and tours.

Maybe this lawsuit will spur some changes.  I sure hope so.  I would love to see Duran Duran have a fan club that shows not only their love of their fans but also an understanding of what fans want and need to sustain their fandom.

-A