Henry Jenkins (2007) defines transmedia storytelling as ‘a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience.’ Each medium that partakes in the transmedia process adds to the story.
In my own (simpler) words, transmedia is one story that is scattered over many channels. Each narrative can stand-alone, though contributes to the wholeness of the story. This concept has made industries, such as the film and television industry, very wealthy. Jenkins describes the way transmedia storytelling adds to the ‘economies of media consolidation… or “synergy”’. Media companies hold interests across a range of industries, such as books, comics, games and movies. Each provides the consumer with an enhanced experience of the full story. For an example of how Marvel has utilised transmediality for the success of The Avengers, check out this blog.
The media industries are not the only ones that utilise transmediality. With the evolution of technology, more marketing channels are emerging, and businesses are using the principle of transmedia to promote themselves, with Pinterest allowing great success for many brands. Pinterest has been utilised alongside Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media sites to tell different aspects of a business’s story. For example, the Martha Stewart brand includes magazines a website and several product lines. The brand has recently joined Pinterest with enormous success. With a Martha Stewart profile and a Martha Stewart Living profile, combined the two have more than 174 boards and approximately 23716 pins, which has earned a following of 798,700 people. Each medium compliments the Martha Stewart brand. Each medium that is utilised by a company can contribute to the overall story that it is trying to tell to its customers, or potential customers.
The concept of ‘transmedia’ can be tricky to fully comprehend, however, I have found that One 3 Productions’ explanation makes the concept easier to understand.
Henry, J 2007, Transmedia Storytelling 101, Confessions of an Aca-Fan: The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins, weblog post, March 22, 2007, viewed April 28, 2014
Moore, C 2014, BCM112 Convergent Media Practices: 2014 lecture notes 15th April 2014, University of Wollongong, Semester 1, 2014.