New technologies and the expansion of transmedia
In the following excerpt, Matthew Freeman (University of Bath Spa) discusses the way digital interfaces enabled an expansion of transmedia, to the point of constituting it as a field of its own:
But transmediality has equally gained wider relevance as digital screen technologies have multiplied, with the so-called ‘old media’ of film and television now experienced through online transmedia distribution practices (Evans 2015), whereby content becomes integrated with social media and other online platforms. Indeed, transmediality remains an important concept for understanding the fundamental shifts that digital media technologies have wrought on the media industries and their audiences. More than this, it has grown into a distinct subfield of scholarly investigation, one that relates to a range of studies across film, television, social media, marketing, literature, music, journalism, and beyond.
One of the main characteristics of the current digital revolution is the fact that it constantly generates new media formats, from interfaces like tablets and smartphones that keep on evolving, to social media like Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat, which keep on diversifying. If we consider Marshall McLuhan’s famous expression “The medium is the message”, this means that the multiplication of different kinds of media has also an impact on the kind of cultural experience that is being generated.
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Do you think that the traditional disciplinary divisions such as literature, music, cinema, theatre, have become obsolete due to the rise of transmedia?
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