According to Sweeney, transmedia narratives can be defined as “a multiplatform approach to storytelling that mirrors how we consume stories as an interweave of texting, screen capture, remix dialogues, and theatrical and television viewing” (2010). Transmedia storytelling involves elements of fiction being dispersed across multiple delivery channels, giving the story a new meaning or perspective.This can occur through platforms such as comics, games, fanfiction, blogs, books – the list goes on.
For example, the addition of ‘Pottermore’ to the Harry Potter novels.
As users navigate their way throughout the site, new information and never-before seen aspects of the wizarding world of Harry Potter are unlocked. New information is added, which keeps the existing audience interested, but as information is chronological, following the novels chapter at a time, a new audience is able to join the narrative without getting confused or being left behind.
Users can become fully engaged with a totally new way of experiencing Harry Potter. As put by Jenkins himself, Pottermore can be seen as the future of transmedia storytelling. The radical intertextuality and multimodality of Pottermore allows for “an extension of the information we have available about the world rather than as a replication of the story from one medium to another.” Pottermore is the epitome of a transmedia narrative.
In the case of my media platform, Pandora Radio, it offers access to movie soundtracks as an avenue into transmedia storytelling. Pandora includes soundtracks to The Matrix, The Lord Of The Rings/The Hobbit, Harry Potter and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, it is not as interactive as something such as Pottermore as it does not offer new ways to experience a story, rather an avenue to appreciate it.
This is an important distinction to understand as there is a fine line between adding to a transmedia narrative, a simply using something for marketing or branding. In the case of Pottermore and Pandora however, they both add value and expand transmedia storytelling.
Sweeny, K 2010, ‘Tansmedia Remix’, Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism, vol. 38, no. 3, pp. 2-3