By focusing at once on the industrial, artistic, social and marketing perspectives, as well as on audience participation, this work aims at discussing our understanding of Transmedia texts from a variety of viewpoints, offering a more holistic approach than otherwise possible.
Contributors include Henry Jenkins (Textual Poachers, 1992; Convergence Cultures, 2008; Spreadable Media, 2013, with Ford and Green), Matt Hills (Fan Cultures, 2002; Triumph of a Time Lord, 2010), Toby Miller (Television Studies: The Basics, 2010; Greening the Media, 2012, with Maxwell), Paul Booth (Digital Fandom, 2010; Doctor Who: Fan Phenomena, 2013), Geoffrey Long (MIT Press’ Playful Thinking book series, ed, with Jull and Uricchio), Sam Ford (The Survival of Soap Opera, 2011, ed, with de Kosnik and Harrington; Spreadable Media, 2013, with Jenkins and Green), Simone Knox (Transatlantic Television, 2013, with Bignell), Aaron Delwiche (The Participatory Cultures Handbook, 2012, ed, with Henderson), Jennifer Jacobs Henderson (The Participatory Cultures Handbook, 2012, ed, with Delwiche), Louisa Ellen Stein (Sherlock and Transmedia Fandom, 2012, ed, with Busse), Hélène Laurichesse (La Stratégie de Marque dans l’Audiovisuel, 2013, ed), Denzell Richards (‘Cult TV and New Media’, in Abbott (ed) The Cult TV Book, 2010), Mélanie Bourdaa (‘Le Transmedia Storytelling’ Terminal special issue, 2013, ed) & Benjamin W. L. Derhy Kurtz (‘Branding TV, Transmedia to the Rescue’ Networking Knowledge special issue, forthcoming 2014, ed).
The television world is changing, having been impacted by mutations of three different natures: technological, narrative and participatory. Productions now use technology to enhance their content as television series and movie franchises are, increasingly, basing their narratives on principles of narrative complexity since active audiences do not only consume, but also engage with the said texts. These efforts made by the industry to target involved audiences demonstrate how transmedia practices have impacted not only on storytelling processes, but the text – and brand – itself, the latter no longer being a mere programme with a limited duration, but a whole, composed of numerous elements spread across media. The goal of the different players involved is, nevertheless, quite different. While fans’ activities represent a way to empower themselves and engage with this universe, the teams behind institutional transmedia strategies seek to secure more (faithful) customers and, incidentally, a higher financial return.
Rather than reducing transmedia storytelling to the augmenting effect it had on the concept of narrative resulting from its ability to create an immersive environment, this issue seeks to discuss the wide range of economic perspectives available to film and television brands due to this very immersive environment. The transmedia phenomenon has, so far, mostly been approached from an either textual or participatory standpoint, but rarely so from a multidisciplinary perspective encompassing the marketing aspect. Providing insight on this topic – so far not discussed in Networking Knowledge – through contributions from researchers in media, communications, cultural studies and marketing, the issue seeks to enrich our collective understanding of transmedia practices, in the hope of offering a more holistic approach. In doing so, the various pieces presented in this edition clearly demonstrate that transmedia practices have revolutionised television branding.. and that it’s just getting started.
Contributors include Leora Hadas (University of Nottingham), Mélanie Bourdaa (Université Bordeaux 3), Erin Giannini (Independent), Matthew Freeman (University of Nottingham) and Sam Ward (University of Nottingham).