Transmedia Production: What is it
and how do you monetize it?
By Patty Rappa
Ritz Carlton Hotel, Marina del Rey,CA(Hollywood Today)10/18/11/—It’s the buzz word I seem to encounter inside every ballroom of this week’s Digital Hollywood conference. To put it simply, Producers in Hollywood have to not only source the story, put the deal together to fund and produce it as a movie or TV series. They have how to think of ways to layer the story across mass media channels including YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and a string of other social networks.
There’s some challenges in involved in getting this kind of aggregation accomplished. The first is to segment the story in ways that engages the audience of each of these media channels. For example the Twitter audience might require ongoing interactive bites from the talent, whereas the YouTube audience might embrace behind the scenes or short takes of the story. Then perhaps Facebook might open the doors to social commerce opportunities tied to merchandising for the project. These plus all the ways the story needs to layer across mobile and tablet devices is enough to cause an unprepared producer to desire early retirement.
Looking back, one might argue multimedia layering of the story across various media outlets is nothing new. After all, when a film or new show comes out, you see the cast promoting it on late night shows, magazines, etc. However, producers in Hollywood know there’s one major game changer: Interactivity. It’s a transmedia world that not only requires producers to have technical sophistication, but ample understanding of consumer social media behavioral patterns.
Transmedia Production: What is it and how do you monetize it?
Seasoned transmedia producers need to take into consideration preliminary shifts in perception from a social media point of view. They need to be two, three, sometimes ten steps ahead of the curve to figure out ways they can create the kind of pre-release and post release buzz they’d favor around their project. John Heinsen, Executive Producer of Bunnygraph said it best during this morning’s panel discussion, “It’s a new production, new branding and new pricing model. We’re all kind of searching for the switch in the dark.”
Speaking of money, the most common thread among audience member questions, was the concern of how to monetize these added layering efforts. Mark Mangiola, Venture Partner with Canaan Partners expressed the need for Producers to think along the lines of employing curation experts. This means flowing the content in manageable segments that can be potentially funded by brand sponsors and a number of foreign investors looking for these kinds of projects. I especially believe Producers who can figure out ways to meet the audience’s interactive expectations, perhaps even gamify the digital assets they’re curating, will be incredibly successful. More to follow throughout this week on this topic.