Extending stories over various platforms is more popular than ever.
Extending stories over various platforms isn’t a new concept, as we noted in our 2011 trend report Transmedia Rising. But transmedia is becoming more pervasive as content creators find new ways to extend their properties and as consumer attention toggles between screens and devices. We’re seeing more of it in TV, where shows like Lost and Heroes were among the first to experiment with the idea. As part of MTV’s new “storytelling without borders” strategy, its Teen Wolf series is spinning off “Teen Wolf: The Hunt” next month on Facebook and elsewhere. This will offer an original storyline while also “serving as a complementary online experience,” with fans able to “friend” and interact with the characters in real time, according to MTV.
Meanwhile, the Syfy channel is prepping Defiance for 2013, a TV series that will launch concurrently with a massively multiplayer online game from Trion World. Promotional material explains that “the dramatic tapestry of the series and the intense action of the game will exist in a single universe, where their respective narratives will inform one another and evolve together into one overall story.” In a different vein, Bravo ventured into transmedia with its most recent season of Top Chef, adding Last Chance Kitchen as an online series in which contestants booted off the TV show compete for a chance to return.
As transmedia entertainment becomes more mainstream, brands will have new opportunities to mesh organically into content in various forms, as multi-platform story extensions are generally built in early on. For more background, download Transmedia Rising here.