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,
Yesterday afternoon I attended the ‘Storytelling Through Advanced Mobile Content’ panel at the CTIA Enterprise & Applications Conference in San Diego. The panel featured four case studies from Transmedia LA members and a ‘fire-side chat’ between Seth Shapiro, Principal at New Amsterdam Media and Partner at Media Valuation Partners, and Albert Cheng, Executive Vice President Digital and Chief Production Officer at Disney ABC Television Group. Needless to say, it is impossible to recount all presentations and discussions in their entirety, but I would like to highlight a few points I myself found the most relevant:
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.
Tonight it was time for another ad-hoc Transmedia LA Meetup. This time the guest was Prof. Henry Jenkins, one of the earliest thought-leaders on transmedia and convergence culture. I am basing the following paragraphs solely on the notes I took during Henry’s talk, so they are no word-for-word transcription. As a matter of fact, I will be paraphrasing most of the time. If you see phrases or sentences in quotation marks, they denote a word-for-word citation, but everything else is just summing up Henry’s words.
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.
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