Difference is enriching, that is said of culture and society, but can the same be said for media? Transmedia is where a story is told across multiple channels. For example, Harry Potter. First there was the book series, then the movies. From these there spawned Potter World, fan fiction, podcasts, Youtube Channels, Quidditch as an actual sport, Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station in London become a tourist destination and thousands of different types of Harry Potter merchandise from T-shirts to tattoos.
Transmedia allows the story to be enriched and edited by not only the creators, but also the fans. There are more entry points into the story which allows for a larger audience and more content.
Game of Thrones in a relatively new to transmedia. But from the books there was a cult following and now the T.V show has expanded the fan base by millions. Unlike the books, people eagerly await the release of new episode weekly. Game of Thrones is the most pirated T.V show ever, yet thanks to transmedia the producers do not suffer profit wise from it.
And it had to be mentioned, Twilight. You either love it or loath it, but it can’t be argued that Twilight has used transmedia to become larger and larger and have an effect on a whole generation (which I am going to name ‘The Twilight Effect‘). The books written by Stephenie Meyer started out as an small book series with a collective group of loyal fans, then the rights to the movie were picked up by Summit Entertainment. I actually did go and see the film when it was released thinking ‘Meh’ it’s a movie. Once Twilight (film) started to become a pop culture hit, transmedia took affect. There is fan fiction, merchandise in the form of about everything, spoofs, bad tattoos and even the popularity of the characters names has increased ( a kid born in 2009 has a good chance of being called Jacob or Isabella). Once you read the books or saw the movie; whatever came first; then you had to experience the other, then you had to go and read all the other vampire romance books published by authors who realised teenage girls are forever devoted to Edward Cullen and his sparklyness. The Twilight Effect had taken control of the market for film and literacy for females aged 12-16 by 2009.
I promise that Twilight will now never be mentioned again, but in the case of transmedia, it does excel.
For Harry Potter and Game of Thrones transmedia is enriching the lives of fans of the franchises. Anyone can interact and live within the story while creating their idea of what the characters should be doing. Engagement is key when it comes to the audience. The collective intelligence of the audience allows the multiple stories to come together and be successful. Without the audience transmedia would fall flat on its face. The collective intelligence of the audience allows the multiple stories to come together and be successful.
For the original producers of the content there is a gain from them as well, for from interaction from fans comes a community. From the community comes excitement, and what do people do when they are excited about they something? They spend money on it.
So transmedia creates a number of things, a community for fans, a world of fantasy to get lost in and content to enrich and expand on an already great story judging by the number of fans already***.
***You may exclude Twilight from this. Case in point: