The transmedia format

I recently stumbled (again) upon this good post by Jason from The Connected Set on why television is an integral part of a transmedia format. Coming from a television background much as Jason, I guess it is no surprise that I agree with him on most of his points.

Television is still very much a powerful player with it comes to getting viewers and audiences engaged in your content. That engagement in turn will generate traction for other parts of your transmedia property – or the other way around, as, for instance, HBO’s Game of Thrones showed this last spring. I wrote a piece for MIPBlog at around the same time, wondering if there was going to exist such a thing as a transmedia format. I wrote at the time:

”The one thing that will be sure to stem the rise of the transmedia format at this year’s MIPFormats and MIPTV is simply the fact that very few formats are transmedia at this point. As more and more projects are initiated, more and more tools are made available and more and more success stories unearthed, however, expect this to change, as transmedia simply offers so many logical and compelling ways to engage consumers more fully into your content.”

Since then I have become more and more acutely aware of the need that transmedia can have of television. TV still boasts impressive revenue. TV has tried and tested (and admittedly sometimes a bit outdated) business models. TV knows (again, a bit outdatedly) how to calculate success. TV has a broad reach.

Now, show me the transmedia project that would say no to impressive revenue stemming from tried and tested business models, with calculateable success founded on a broad reach.

So, as much as television needs to be looking in the direction of transmedia to be able to offer an audience the multiplatform approach many take for granted today (”if this show doesn’t invite me to do something on a 2nd screen (that ties logically and seamlessly into the show itself or the world the show depicts) I’ll just use that 2nd screen to bitch about it on Twitter. Or play Empires & Allies on Facebook”) transmedia needs to be looking at television as an integral part of many transmedia projects. And not as an add-on either, like a reversal of the state of affairs when tv shows should have interactivity at all cost, leading to slap-on, underdeveloped and seriously underwhelming interactive content being published regularly. Nope; just as much as multiplatform or transmedia content need to be developed at the same time as a television show, so must a television show be developed at the same time as the multiplatform and transmedia content.

On that note, see you all at MIPCOM perhaps? 🙂

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