“Transmedia storytelling” is telling a story across multiple media and preferably, although it doesn’t always happen, with a degree of audience participation, interaction or collaboration.
In transmedia storytelling, engagement with each successive media heightens the audience’ understanding, enjoyment and affection for the story. To do this successfully, the embodiment of the story in each media needs to be satisfying in its own right while enjoyment from all the media should be greater than the sum of the parts.
Before expanding on how to create transmedia experiences, let’s ask ourselves two questions:
- Why would you want to tell stories?
- And why tell stories across multiple media?
Why Tell Stories?
We tell stories to entertain, to persuade and to explain.
Our minds do not like random facts or objects and so they create their own stories to make sense of otherwise discrete, isolated events and items. We naturally and often subconsciously connect the dots. And dots connected in a stimulating way we call great stories.
Great stories win hearts and minds.
Why Multiple Media?
We tell stories across multiple media because no single media satisfies our curiosity or our lifestyle.
We are surrounded by an unprecedented ocean of content, products and leisure opportunities. The people we wish to tell our stories to have the technology to navigate the ocean and can choose to sail on by or stop and listen.
Technology and free markets have allowed unprecedented levels of customization, personalization and responsiveness such that a policy of “one size fits all” is no longer expected or acceptable.
Telling stories across multiple media – transmedia storytelling – allows content that’s right-sized, right-timed and right-placed to form a larger, more profitable, cohesive and rewarding experience.