What do you think Transmedia is? Media across multiple platforms? Stories told via various media? Seems like we’re on the right track. Let’s see if we can find out more.
What in the World is Transmedia?
Transmedia refuses to be put in a box. Just like us! It exists, but it’s only recently that it’s catching fire in the media and marketing business. As a term, “transmedia”, basically describes a whole mixed bag of combining production, distribution, and audience engagement techniques in order to give consumers a whole new kind of media experience.
Why is it a thing?
The main thing driving the development of transmedia, like with almost anything, is demand! Audiences in today’s digital world expect media to be first and foremost social. They also expect it to be customized for any digital device they’re using, and there should be an aspect of participation involved.
Another reason transmedia is developing so fast is competition. Businesses are competing for customers in the current economic climate. Advertising and marketing can no longer be limited to just a few channels. You need to be available across multiple platforms if you want to stay competitive and relevant. Whether it’s interactive, immersive, story franchises, sequels, packaging, or social media, the list is too long.
It’s even been present in the world of movies for a while. Some of the largest movie sagas have spin offs in forms of series, comics, or animated cartoons via different platforms. They tell stories that can stand independently, but at the same time connect and give more information to any hard-core fan looking for it.
How can we make use of Transmedia?
There are many things to consider when it comes to producing content for the purpose of advertising and marketing. Different channels attract different levels of attention span. When you produce something for Facebook, you need to consider that people prefer content to be a little shorter. On YouTube, you can create a longer form of content. On Instagram and TikTok, your content is even shorter! This is if we’re talking videos. Pictures, infographics, and EDM are a totally different ball game. Essentially, Transmedia allows you to push the same narrative across multiple digital platforms meeting demand and staying relevant in today’s digital world.
Let’s Break it Down
It can get confusing though. It’s easy to confuse transmedia with multimedia and cross-platform. Cross-platform has to do with delivery channels. For example, a movie comes out in theatres and is eventually shown on Netflix and on DVD, this is cross-platform distribution. It’s the same thing, but being accessed via different sources.
Multimedia is basically when a website or application might have audio, text, videos, and maybe even simulations available. Transmedia, on the other hand, will distribute all of those experiences across different platforms. This gives the audience the chance to be actively involved in finding all the different information and putting them together.
It isn’t about how many platforms or forms of media there are. It’s about the relationship between them. Each form of media is able to tell a story that can stand alone, but also contributes to a bigger picture. And importantly, each form of media gets you actively involved in searching for the story or information. This is transmedia.