Transmedia Narratives

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What is “transmedia”? Well it’s the use of multiple formats of media. Transmedia story telling is using multiple platforms to portray and deliver a story, all the while attempting to pull the audience in and garner participation. Proper transmedia story telling should feel native to every platform it decides to branch to, for example the format and size of a video should not be the same when posting to both facebook and youtube.

Successful transmedia story telling requires attention to many components such as story, experience, audience, platforms, business models and execution. It can also unfold in many different ways but usually beginning with one point or platform and then branching out from there. For example:

Brand Extension – This type of transmedia narrative begins with a successful brand, for example “The Hobbit”. They begin with a successful movie and then use this as leverage to sell licencing for the use of their intellectual property. This is also known as ancillary revenue, and is made via licensing for merchandise, games and spinoffs.

Stepping Stone – Beginning with a small platform, one creates content and gathers an audience around their idea. For example, the web series “Mr Pickles” began as short videos on Youtube. After a sufficient audience was gathered they then launched into tv series, merchandise and other platforms/revenue streams.

Organic Transmedia – The most strategic of the bunch, one begins with a story and then plans the use of different media platforms to tell their story. An example of this would be halo’s “I love bees” ARG which sprawled across many different platforms.

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