Which Course theories best explain what has happened / might happen to Transmedia?
One of the best examples of course theory that pertains to Transmedia can be seen through Seeing What’s Next. In the book the authors explain that Undershot Customers are “consumers who consume a product but are frustrated with its limitations; they display willingness to pay more for enhancements along dimensions most important to them” (Anthony, Christensen, & Roth, 2004). People who engage with Transmedia are frustrated that they can only get a small portion of a story through one medium. They want the world to be expanded upon, and are willing to pay for comic books, video games, and other media that do that for them.
I may be able to use the theories of network effects to explain if a media property would benefit financially from Transmedia. If a show does not have that large of an audience, it may not be economically viable to create a Transmedia campaign for it. Some properties have a cult following where people create comics, video games, and other media for it. I will argue that while it may not be economically viable to create a Transmedia community, it can create a dedicated and engaged community.
Another course theory that explains how Transmedia provides a more engaging user experience is Fidler’s idea of Mediamorphosis. Transmedia is taking advantage of both social and technological innovations that have come along with Mediamorphosis. Socially, people want to dive deeper into their media. Technologically, the Internet has made it easier for the distribution of Transmedia stories across multiple platforms. I will use both Fidler and Henry Jenkins to talk about convergence culture.
What are the three most important developments in timeline?
It may seem simple, but the most important event in the timeline for Transmedia was the creation of storytelling. Unless people had the urge to share their thoughts and experiences with others Transmedia would not exist. I will introduce Transmedia by explaining why people feel the need to share their stories with others, and how that has evolved into Transmedia.
The second important development in Transmedia was during the 1940’s and 1950’s. The star of Hopalong Cassidy bought the rights to the show and created one of the first successful Transmedia campaigns. He was able to become very successful by creating a narrative across multiple platforms. The story was told across television, newspaper, radio, and comic books.
The final important development in the evolution of Transmedia was The Matrix franchise. In Convergence Culture, Henry Jenkins explains how the movie series was expanded across multiple platforms. The reason why The Matrix is so important in the timeline is because it was such a large campaign. There are also many aspects of the campaign to show what works, and what doesn’t. I can use the information from The Matrix for suggestions on how Transmedia projects can be successful in the future.
How has your timeline (past/present/future) changed?
Originally, I thought Transmedia started within the last 10 years. I was familiar with the way The Matrix story was told across movies, video games, and anime. I had played them all and I was impressed with how the story was expanded across each medium. I did not know that a successful Transmedia campaign had been told over 50 years prior to The Matrix.
Additionally, when I started to think about the beginning of Transmedia I thought it would be much different. I started to think about the beginning, and what it boiled down to was without storytelling, there would be no Transmedia. I never thought that I would look at Transmedia from the beginning of human storytelling, but unless I focus on it I won’t be able to share why a story needs to be told across multiple mediums.
My timeline has changed a lot since I started this project. I am glad that I did the annotated bibliography. Doing the bibliography helped give me a much better understanding of the Transmedia, which hopefully will lead to a much more successful paper.
Anthony, S., Christensen, C., & Roth, E. (2004). Seeing What’s Next: Using the Theories of Innovation to Predict Industry Change. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence Culture: Where old and New Media Collide. New York, NY: New York University.