Pandora & Transmedia Narratives

“Transmedia storytelling represents a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience.” – Henry Jenkins (2007)

Today, technology is as critical as it has ever been in offering distribution channels for transmedia narratives. However, not every individual media technology is able to offer all, or even multiple platforms for which each of these narratives can be made available and experienced. In a cinema you can watch the movie, on the Xbox game you can play the game and sometimes view comic extracts, and through the figurine toys you can re-enact scenes yourself and sometimes hear the character’s most iconic phrases and quotes.

Following suit in this trend is Pandora Internet Radio, which offers the soundtracks to many of the most renowned transmedia narratives of the 21st century, including The MatrixThe Lord Of The Rings/The HobbitHarry Potter and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Furthermore, Pandora also offers comedic videos where comedians often critique, parody or simply allude to elements of a transmedia narrative such as one of the characters in the Avengers or Harry Potter (Pandora, 2012).

However, Pandora does not allow the user to experience the film, the game, the comics or the figurines. Those components of a transmedia narrative require the user to seek out alternative channels through which they can be accessed. And this is where it is demonstrated that whilst some broader media platforms, such as the iOS system or the Web, supply distribution channels through which multiple elements of a transmedia narrative can be accessed, more specialised media technologies such as Pandora often only allow the experience of one or two elements of a transmedia narrative, such as this acoustic soundtrack to the superb 2013 film, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, by Ed Sheeran.

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Reference List:
* Jenkins, H (2007), Transmedia Storytelling 101, henryjenkins.org, pp 1
* Pandora Media, Inc. (2012), About Pandora, Oakland

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About Tom Fogarty

I'm 20 years old. I live on the South Coast. I'm currently studying a double degree in Media and Communications at UOW. I'm in a hardcore band called Pariah. Thats about it, as far as I know anyway. View all posts by Tom Fogarty

3 responses to “Pandora & Transmedia Narratives

  • amystarling

    Really interesting insight. It’s a tough platform on which to explore transmedia narratives, but I really like your angle. I had no idea you could listen to comedy, or even movie soundtracks on Pandora! And I’m a huge fan of the app.

    Enjoyed reading this.
    Cheers,
    Amy 🙂

    • tomfogarty95

      Thank you! I had to think about it for a while because it didn’t seem like something that really fit the topic but I got there in the end. I absolutely love the app too, sometimes it seems like it knows my taste in music better than I do, so I’m very happy to have taught you something new about it 🙂

  • Pottermore & Pandora – do they tell the same story? | High-Heeled Wearing Feminist

    […] 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 […]

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