The age of one-way broadcasting is ending, says Jeff Gomez, CEO of Starlight Runner Entertainment in the US. We’re living in the time of transmedia now.
Speaking at the Broadcasting Digital Media Summit in Sydney, Gomez outlined how every human being who has access to the internet is a broadcaster.
So a brand’s message only has a small slice of the pie, compared with the kinds of mass conversation that’s happening all over the web, he said.
One way to steal back some of the pie is to create a story world with your brand, a transmedia landscape where the brand’s story is essentially platform neutral.
Transmedia storytelling is a technique a number of global brands such as Disney and Mattel have jumped on board.
“It’s a process of conveying messages, themes and storylines to a mass audience through the artful and well-planned use of multi-media platforms,” explained Gomez.
The old way, said Gomez, was to take a TV pitch, develop it for TV and hope it would be repeated on different media if it was successful. However, now brands are building story worlds that are aren’t specific to only one platform.
“In this multiplatform universe, the consumer flows from one medium to the next,” he said. “So the distinction of television as that thing in your living room is no longer there, or is in the process of vanishing.
“They’re surfing from one screen to the next. And your content has to do that too.”
What you see on TV can’t just move over to online video or mobile and vice versa. “There’s no need for the contemporary audience to watch something over and over and over again because there is so much out there and so much that is specialised to their taste,” said Gomez.
“What you want to think about is creating a world out of your intellectual property so people can visit it in different incarnations across different media.”
One brand that has its story world together is Apple, said Gomez. “There’s this kind of consistent and persistent story world that actually takes into account the fact you can have problems with Apple products so they give you a genius bar, or give you a place online to air your questions and grievances.”