So last week, I laid out a prevailing theory about different levels of readership these days. Again, not my theory/observation and I wish I knew exactly who to credit for it, but I’m afraid that I don’t. Whoever laid it out like that was much smarter than me and I owe a debt.
What I will talk about and credit as my own is exactly how you can use this way of thinking to generate income. Yes, income. It can be done in transmedia, you just have to rearrange your thinking.
First of all, your Super Users are both your most and least important audience members and you have to treat them as such. “Most” in that their opinions will trickle all the way down your pyramid and be picked up by every other level, even that invisible fourth level that I didn’t mention before, the “don’t know and don’t care about your project” level. Especially should you turn those fans against you. They’re the least important in that they will not be your main body of viewers/viewsers. Sure they will light fireworks and get everyone to look up and see what you’re doing, but at the end of the day they will make up a very small percentage of your audience.
The real people you have to cater to are the casual users and, more importantly REALLY, the “DKDCAYP” people who you need to let know about your project and need to get to care about it. I made up a word that I like to use to encapsulate these people: CONSUMERS. This word doesn’t seemed to be much used or much liked by most transmedia projects I have seen or been a part of, but I think it’s really important. Of course, in order for them to be consumers, you have to have something for them to consume. You need PRODUCT.
And this, I think, is where most transmedia projects fall flat in terms of becoming sustainable and where marketing firms have actually been doing this sort of work more successfully for decades. They have a product. Something you can get your casual users to spend money on at the end of the day and can justify all the work and effort you put into your project.
Let me interject here and say that if your transmedia project is a hobby and you don’t care about turning a profit, that’s perfectly valid and fine and I wish you nothing but the best. That’s awesome and I applaud you and will be incredibly happy to see you become the biggest thing on the web and beyond.
But if you want to turn this into a sustainable business, do yourself a favor and decide from the onset what your product is going to be. Sure, that may change along the way and you have to remain nimble enough to let that change, but put something from the onset. If your goal is movie tickets, let that inform your choices. It can be toys, books, virtual goods, whatever.
Maybe some of you will look at this and say how simple it is and I’m a moron for even suggesting one needs to focus on this, but I see lots and lots of existing projects and projects in the works that don’t see to have a clear product designed into them. Projects where the goal is simply to get eyeballs and viewsers. If it is going to be a sustainable business, you need to design it so that those casual users will plop down a dime for a virtual good or a dollar for a pdf or a five dollar CPM or twelve dollars for a movie ticket or $100,000 for commercial time. Design that from the beginning, don’t trust that if you build it, money will come. That only works for Kevin Costner, I’m afraid.
Leave a Comment
No comments yet.