Transmedia Business Models

Brian Clark, CEO and founder of GMD Studios, talks about Transmedia Business Models

Brian Clark says ‘that the next wave of innovation in transmedia storytelling is going to be about business models rather than storytelling forms’.

Business models from the point of view of a creator, a storyteller, a person whose goal is to make a living making a story.

Five key challenges to making a model that works in the modern media age:
1. FUNDING: Where am I going to get the money to make this?
2. RETURN: What do the funders expect to get back for that funding?
3. SUSTAINABILITY: How am I going to pay my personal bills as a storyteller?
4. AUDIENCE: Is there an audience for what I want to make and who are they?
5. PROMOTION: How will get this work out to this audience?

If you look at some of the issues hampering innovation in the new forms of storytelling there’s no better place to start than where the money is. Models to consider:

1. Patronage through patrons and sponsors. BUT the transmedia movement has no traditional system to be excluded from, and the traditional system is the patronage model.

Ten alternative business models from other media movements that provide some inspiration to other entrepreneurial storytellers.

2. No Budget

3. Grassroots or “D.I.Y. ethic”

4. Research & Development arms from large companies

5. Fan Incubation

6. Fan Funding

7. Ticketed (paying) Events

8. Marginable Arbitrage (buying low in one market to sell high in another eg infomercials)

9. Audience Developed Products ie co-creators (as seen in Crowdsourcing)

10. Infrastructure Play

11. Venture Capital

Conclusion: New Models will emerge through entrepreneurial innovation. Two factors – grassroots entrepreneurial risk taking and well financed companies looking to take more limited risks with bigger piles of money – will inevitably influence and reinforce each other.

Thoughts about the future of books

For fiction there’ll be:

1) Hardcopy books we can’t put down
2) Books that create their own universe (fantasy and sci fi) with huge fan bases
3) Hypertextual and interactive books like Kiss Kill (

Authors will not work in isolation, they will connect with ‘others’ by affinity.

These ‘others’ will want to be involved in the creative process.

The digital book will be an ongoing creation so that the task of the author will be ongoing (through an ongoing series of dialogue)

The boundary between author and reader will dissolve and we will see collective creativity.

Social networking will create networks of influence.

Exciting times!


Relationship abuse

Teen Dating Violence

From: A Parent’s Guide to Teen Dating Violence from

Everyone deserves a healthy relationship safe from violence and fear. Protect your teens from an abusive situation by learning these warning signs.


Your Teen:
•Apologizes and/or makes excuses for his/her partner’s behaviour.
•Loses interest in activities that he/she used to enjoy.
•Stops seeing friends and family members and becomes more and more isolated.
•Casually mentions the partner’s violent behaviour, but laughs it off as a joke.
•Often has unexplained injuries or the explanations often don’t make sense.

The Partner:
•Calls your teen names and puts him/her down in front of others.
•Acts extremely jealous of others who pay attention to your teen.
•Thinks or tells your teen that you, the parent(s), don’t like them.
•Controls your teen’s behaviour, checking up constantly, calling or texting,
and demanding to know who he/she has been with.

•See the partner violently lose their temper, striking or breaking objects.


Seven Crucial Lessons about Transmedia Stories: Christy Dena in conversation with Lucas JW Johnson

Christy Dena from speaking to Lucas JW Johnson re Azrael’s Stop: posted 30 November 2011

Seven Crucial Lessons learned from a first jump into creating a reactive story online.

Lesson #1: Quality and Speed means Costs.

Lesson #2: It’s never as easy as you think it will be.

Lesson #3: Have a plan or outline for the whole project before you begin. Know thematic elements as well as the look and feel of a project. And know when a project ‘ends’.

Lesson #4: Set the stage so the audience knows what they are committing to structurally (their time and commitment) as well as the ‘story’ elements.

Lesson #5: Everything in your transmedia story has a potential barrier to entry. For example, having to register to use the site, moving across platforms etc.

Lesson #6: Everything is a balancing act, for example, between audience size, audience engagement, audience contribution, accessibility etc. Don’t make the bonus content — the music, the audio play, the game, and whatever else I devise — necessary to follow the story.

Lesson #7: Promote yourself.
Your own networks aren’t enough. Go where your audience is, to forums and blogs and news sites and put your stuff in front of eyeballs.

Thank you to Christy and to Lucas for sharing these lessons!

From: Future Talk with Philip Jones, The Bookseller, Monday 9 January 2012.

Tom Weldon, Penguin UK CEO lists the skills needed to be developed quickly to take traditional publishing houses into the future as:

1) truly imaginative digital storytelling (especially in the children’s area)
2) managing data
3) dynamic pricing
4) brand amplification
5) publishing authors on multiple platforms
6) shifting from a display to a discovery marketing model
7) creating a halo of recommendation and engagement for the reader
8) developing our own IP
9) becoming even more ambitious and selective about what content we bring to market.

Interesting …

Philosophy as a framework for Kiss Kill

Philosophy deals with profound issues that are important for humanity. At its core, philosophy is concerned with truth and understanding and this is achieved through observation, reading, critical thinking, and analyses of alternative points of view. Critical and systematic thinking require an element of intellectual rigorousness, an open mind and a willingness to understand the views of others. In the study of philosophy we search for an understanding of what it is to be a human being, both as an individual and as members of a group or community.

In Kiss Kill the character, Mat, is grappling with the question of ‘What is a human being?’. In doing so, he must observe others as well as himself by examining thoughts, judgements, emotions, reason and experiences. Other manifestations of being human are also explored such as self-consciousness, agency, intuition, passion and imagination. To gain in his understanding of himself and others Mat explores the use (and value) of language by telling his story using different text types.

Other big philosophical questions for Mat are: ‘Is it possible for a person to truly know themselves …’ and ‘… to truly know others?’ This journey from solipsism to intersubjectivity is a integral part of this young adult story. Of course, no story framed in philosophy can ignore theories on morals and ethics, but Mat’s journey also includes his study of Religious Philosophy. He wrestles with the idea of a God and with the concept of evil (as seen in the character, Elle). Through the study of Buddhism Mat explores ego and egolessness to achieve greater awareness and self-acceptance. He concludes that there is both meaning and meaninglessness in his life and in the lives of others. And ultimately, Mat learns the value of himself.