First Advisor

Erin Spottswood

Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Communication Studies and University Honors






parasocial relationships, music artists, Instagram, social media, loyalty, music industry




With the rise of social media as a cultural staple in entertainment industries such as music, Instagram changes the landscape of the artist-fan connection and muddles the boundaries of parasocial relationships in a digital space. While a wealth of research exists on how fans perceive mediated relationships, the perspective of the artist and how they navigate this connectivity is missing from the discourse. This study builds on the current literature surrounding mediated artist-fan interactions and examines how music artists use Instagram to build strong, loyal relationships with fans through the lens of parasocial relationships. Through interviews with up-and-coming artists and music industry professionals, this study concluded that in using Instagram to build valuable fan connections, artists view online interactions as mutually beneficial for fans and themselves, and build a community around their music through self-disclosure and providing more valuable content to followers. While these parasocial relationships crafted through Instagram may not grant fans full access to their favorite artists, the opportunity for artists to engage with their fans can still blur the boundaries of a true parasocial relationship.


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Persistent Identifier

Included in

Social Media Commons