Last week I had a very interesting conversation with Kathy Franklin, President Franchise Development at Lightstorm Entertainment. Kathy has a long-standing background in franchising after having worked at Disney for almost eleven years and now heading the franchising efforts for James Cameron’s Avatar. During our chat, Kathy pointed out a very important challenge for traditional franchise development in the face of transmedia: Until recently, the goal of developing franchises was usually monetization through repurposing, whereas the concept of transmedia storytelling focuses primarily on the (more costly) expansion of the story itself. While this was, of course, no news to me,
With the advent of each new medium came an inherent scare for the producers of the ‘old media’: Would this new medium kick them out of business? So far, all ‘old media’ were able to survive in the long run, if only after making some adaptions and after accepting a certain decline in their audience. Rather than being replaced by newer forms of communications, existing media were faced with increasing competition in the market place for information and entertainment.
Today Facebook announced it’s new layout/complete overhaul. Great summaries of the most important changes can be found at Yahoo! and at AllFacebook.com, but the question that remains is: Does the new design offer any transmedia opportunities? After all, it was also announced today that Facebook has now got over 800 million users – an immense audience, and even better possibilities of targeting particular niches due to Facebook’s unparalleled user profiling.
You may already have come across the term ‘platform potency’ in the ‘Transmedia Defined‘ section of this website. Platform potency is a pretty big concept so I’d like to explain the term in a little more detail. Platform potency is a media platform’s ability to convey a certain narrative (or part thereof) to audiences in the most effective way possible. Platform potency is determined by each platform’s defining characteristics, mostly format (e.g. length, voice, narrative structure) and audience reach (e.g. mass vs. niche).
Last night I attended the Transmedia Meetup here in LA. The guest speaker was George Ruiz, Head of New Media and Senior Vice-President Business Affairs at ICM. George did a great job at summarizing the current challenges and opportunities of transmedia, and I’d like to repeat them here in case you weren’t able to make last night’s meetup.
Today I came across an article on The Next Great Generation that asked whether ‘social films’ are the next big thing. Social films are short webisodes distributed via social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, and which require the viewer to take action in order to influence how the story will develop. The example discussed in the article is a collaborative project by Toshiba and Intel called Inside.
This is the fourth part of my ‘Why Transmedia?’ series. Please click to go to Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Finally: Transmedia has a Global Appeal We’re only two-thirds through 2011, and already we can see a definite trend, particularly in the movie industry: The international success of your franchise can make or break it. Unlike North America and Europe, states such as the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) countries have entertainment markets that are still growing exponentially.
This is Part 3 of my ‘Why Transmedia’ series. Please click to go to Part 1, Part 2, and Part 4. Transmedia Possesses a Great Economic ROI Needless to say, transmedia universes harbor immense economic opportunities. Of course, as with all business enterprises, a certain amount of risk remains, but careful research, planning, and a great product offer just as much of an insurance against that in transmedia franchises as in other products. So far, the most visible transmedia storyworlds – Harry Potter, The Matrix, and Pirates of the Caribbean, for example – usually had as their driving platform
Why transmedia? (Note: This is the first part of my ‘Why Transmedia?’ series. Please click to access Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.) Well, first of all, because it’s FUN. Depending on the type and intricacies of a transmedia universe, it can be one of the best puzzles you’ll ever solve. In a good story universe, you have an immense number of stories and characters inviting you to learn about them, and in a good transmedia universe, this learning happens on many different media platforms where the unique properties of each platform are deliberately used to allow the consumer