Transmedia …what is it?

Today I attended an event called “The International Game & Film Lounge” . The theme was “Transmedia”.  Sounds interesting, right?

I listened to over 40 speakers (and 100+other industry experts) discuss Transmedia. I came away asking “is it a buzz word”? or “is it real”.

Here’s the elevator pitch …..

Transmedia is the development of content that goes beyond traditional platform …. Movie to Game to Mobile to Consumer Products. Transmedia is the building of a community that lives beyond the movie or game …. it is the creating of a lifestyle that engages consumers in the i.p. and leaves them wanting more. It’s a way to build a brand, build an audience, and ultimately increase the average revenue per user (ie the average revenue per FAN).

There’s some great examples of Transmedia out there, but mostly in the TV world.

True Blood – millions of Truesters following Twitter, Facebook, online communities, the novels  and actually participating in the story.

Glee – millions of Gleeks downloading music, watching Glee on Hulu, posting to communities, playing the iPhone App.

Harry Potter –  many million of fans and their parents reading books, playing games, watching movies, buying the toys, going to the theme park, writing fan fiction, engaging on the facebook page, playing online games.

There was a lot of discussion about the best “process” for developing Transmedia properties. In other words, how do you get the creatives for Games and the creative for Movies thinking about the i.p. holistically. Sounds suspiciously like creating something by committee to me!

Net, net, anyone creating i.p. today is thinking about how to dimensionalize it (or to put it more crassly, MONETIZE it) across platforms.  This isn’t easy and as stated by one of the speakers today …. “the expertise doesn’t exist in the studios or the games companies” to create a property from scratch that lives across all platforms.

I don’t believe that. I think the next generation of content will live everywhere.  It’s all about the Concept, the Character, and the World. If the creator can figure that out, she need only get some smart people to help her execute it …. just like Stephanie Meyer with Twilight or Toy Story 3.

More to come, but an interesting Pre-E3 day for sure!