Transmedia, crossmedia, multimedia, plurimedia… What if we had to describe these notions to someone working in a completely different field. What if we had to break down this mumbo jumbo to a notary or a 6-year-old child?
The “new contenders”
Of course, big round of applause to the internet, television channels aren’t the only ones to be able to offer video entertainment anymore… Brands are progressively starting to get involved. This is called brand content. One example out of millions: Philips recently invited Internet users to direct their own films with a set dialogue that praises the qualities of its 21:9 TVs (http://www.cinema.philips.com/fr_fr/), pretty awesome right?
We sometimes call these actors “new contenders”, according to Wikipedia, “companies that try to compete in a new market”. And there aren’t only brands that are entering the video entertainment market, there are also large media groups already active in the radio and press fields, the big actors of the web (Youtube, Dailymotion, Free, Msn, Yahoo, …)
The first step for TV channels was to set up “TV” offers in order to satisfy the dispersed and connected audience who still like to consume professionally made entertainment. For example, some shows have better ratings on the Internet. By having the ability to air over the internet it reaches out to different spectrum of viewers,creating a bigger fan base. This show will continue to live through the Internet even after it has aired. This has caused a trend in Popular TV channels ( MTV, E!, VH1,..) to broadcast all their shows online as well. For Example, the hit show on VH1 Basketball Wives has gained an anonymous fan base through the internet (Via twitter, Facebook, Instagram). The show aired on Western time puts up the latest premiered show on VH1.com causing a chain reaction for everyone living on Eastern time to watch it online rather than on T.V.
“Change the way you watch TV”: but audiences haven’t been waiting for new applications to start doing that. Today in France, about one thousand people are “live-tweeting” television programs. In other words, spectators are using Twitter to create additional entertainment, on top of the original program…Internet sites have even been created to share your tweets (www.jakaa.fr or www.tweetyourtv.com). "Anecdotal? Not so sure… During the last World Football Cup, the USA-Japan match generated more than 3000 tweets per second!!!" (HOLY SHIT!) And even if only 10% of these tweets were interesting (goo.gl/cUQ9), they demonstrate users’ need for interaction and sharing. This is what I like to call “active viewers”.
The quickest to respond when it came to reaching out to the audience and offering a rich and interactive experience were, logically, advertisers.
What’s the difference with multimedia?
The word “multimedia” was a term inherited from the 80’s and 90’s, from the days CD-Roms, and which has already become obsolete despite its modern connotation; that we now used crossmedia or even, if you’re on board with Henry Jenkins work
: Trans media.
The difference between “crossmedia”, inherited from advertizing and the press (same content/message on different media) and “transmedia” (different content for different media, each contributing to the creation of a unique final product) with two simple sentences:
"Crossmedia is 100 pieces of a single piece puzzle.
Transmedia is 100 different pieces forming a unique puzzle."
Glee: the music at the center of a multi-platform story
This series has become a pop culture sensation. Criticized by parents and adored by its young adult audience, its universe is defined as full of energy.
In 2010 the show received a Golden Globe award for Best Comedy or Musical TV Series. It also received two EMMYawards: one for best actress and another for best director.
For the final episode of the second season, on May 24th 2011, Glee had an audience of 12 million spectators! The anecdote is that Fox had programmed the third season even before the end of the first one in 2010.
If we go by transmedia’s definition, the different supports that work together in the multiplatform system must each bring new and complementary perspectives to the universe and the story. As we’ll see later, the different bricks of the Glee system don’t particularly enrich the main narrative, but rather represent different entry points into the musical universe of the series.
The iPhone application
Built by Smule for iPhone, iPad and iTouch, Glee Karaoke plays on the spectators’ thirst for celebrity. Everyone can become a star and enter the Glee musical universe.
The players have to sing to move ahead in the circuit through missions. The application promises to slightly adjust the voice of the player to give them the illusion that they’re a pop star and go up in the daily tops.
It’s a real music epidemic that is taking over the planet: with Glee Gobe, players can share their songs with their friends on Facebook, Twitter or through email. If anyone in the class feels the need to express their inner Glee super star voice click here. :-)!
A participation culture
It’s not at all surprising that many wikis and forums have been created by fans on the Internet and it’s quite interesting to see how Fox manages this growing community. This group has its own name: they’re the Gleeks. A badge that gives them a feeling of belonging to a community with a strong identity.
With a multi generational target, the online communication strategy is targeted to the main audience: young people between 13 and 25 years old. On the Internet, Glee is everywhere: on their official website, on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Hulu…