There were two things during SXSWi that I had enough of. No, it wasn’t Rebbecca Black, it was QR codes and the buzz word Transmedia.
Transmedia is storytelling across multi-platforms where each element adds something to the story. The panel I sat in on was presented by a couple of English lawyers in a huge echoee conference room that was not even half full. Needless to say it was a little dry. But I did take away the realization that transmedia could be perfect for the right artist.
Who would benefit? Arguably any artist who has a full world to build around their music (like we all should be doing) but immediately transmedia will work best for concept artists that are out to tell a story. Lady Gaga, Ziggy Stardust, Daft Punk, and other grand spectacle artists are perfect for this.
Yes, yes, I hear you, that you are not Daft Punk, and are still trying to build that massive rabid fan base but something like a concept album is not that far from your reach and could be the perfect starting point.
The biggest idea I took away from the panel was that ideas are the lifeblood of transmedia. With concept artists like Gaga they can take their story over multiple formats and build a new nuggets of gold with each one engaging new fans.
So now how can you do this? Immediately you can use the internet to gather the pieces of your transmedia story. It can start with a song/album/3p, add another element with a video then outsource elements that you can’t do for yourself. Do you have a graphic artist friend? Pay them to make you a comic book, or a graphic novel, or even a few pieces of art can add to the story.
But remember to have the whole concept fleshed out before you get into it. Sure, you could fly by the seat of your pants, but the more thought you put into your own transmedia story the more you can squeeze out of it.
Speaking of squeezing, the money from transmedia, called transmonetization is where the lawyer panelists really got their transboners on.
Making money off of your grand concept isn’t earth shatteringly complex. You simply charge fans for the book/comic/art/album etc. The lawyers did indicate that when you’re using multiple formats to tell a story then certain rights need to be looked at more closely than others because of tricky legal issues, but at that point I stopped listening because it was noon and I still hadn’t had my share of free SXSW beers.
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