Transmedia. Basically, any media that works to extend narrative outside the initial text/artefact. It takes the central text and expands it beyond the diegesis. It gives you an insight into the world you oh so love but want to know more about.
Here are some dot points to make that last paragraph a little easier to digest –
– extends the narrative
– offers more info to enrich the experience
– creates are more detailed and immersive narrative space
– encourages participation
Some key players in transmedia analysis are the likes of Matt Hills, Frank Rose and Henry Jenkins. Each kind of has their own take on it, which I’ve outline below:
The creation of a vast and detailed narrative space outside the world of the text
Transmedia encourages more participation in a program or text. For Frank, this can be deemed ‘Deep Media’ which he acknowledges is interchangeable with ‘transmedia’.
Transmedia creates ‘entry points’ through which consumers can become immersed in a story world.
What is interesting here is that each analyst notes the vast narrative world that transmedia denotes that exists outside the world of the initial text. A world that encourages participation and immersion in the whole being of a certain text.
As immersive as this may be, it must also be of commercial origins. Marsha Kinder coined the term ‘transmedia’ in 1991, noting that franchises using this form of storytelling were making use of ‘commercial transmedia super systems’. After all, you’re offering publicity to a text outside of its original medium. Not only publicity, you open it up to consumers playing a vital role in its preservation, all the while disavowing any ‘commercial manipulation’ (Kinder, 2003).
Yet as successful commercially as this model may be, complex transmedia stories are still not quite reaching audiences.. some work, some don’t. Why? It seems a matter of audience. Though this success rate is something that needs further analysis.
If we are to take audience as an integral ingredient to making transmedia successful, how does one deem the success of the upcoming The Avengers TV Series. Worldwide, the film has taken over $615 Million dollars. It has reached a wide and varied audience. Realistically, the TV series should be a hit right? It will be interesting to see if this is the case.