“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 Matrix, The Lord Of The Rings/The Hobbit, Harry 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.
* Jenkins, H (2007), Transmedia Storytelling 101, henryjenkins.org, pp 1
* Pandora Media, Inc. (2012), About Pandora, Oakland