A March Across Mediums- Shazam and 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”- Jenkins (2007)

Henry Jenkins describes Transmedia narratives as the transfer of a single story across multiple channels, each providing an individual contribution. In a utilisation of multiple mediums, companies and owners of intellectual property appeal to the notions of ‘synergy’ as described by Jenkins in attempting to expand their franchise across broader audiences. Shazam as a music identification application is not able to create formats in which users can contribute to a transmedia narrative; however it can act as a means to access them.

Although unconventional, a concept album still encompasses many aspects of a transmedia narrative; each song on an album encompasses the same theme and takes place within a fictional world. Attack Attack!’s  2012 album “This Means War” takes place within a World War Two type setting, each song formatted and titled in a similar manner (The Revolution, The Motivation, The Betrayal etc.).

(captured from personal use)
(captured from personal use)

If a Shazam user were to analyse a track off this album, links towards; artist information, music videos, up-coming gigs and lyrics would all be provided. Shazam in this sense acts as a central hub for transmedia storytelling through concept albums, each individual link providing more information and another aspect towards the story.

This proliferation of channels again refers to Jenkins ‘Transmedia Storytelling 101’. Each Channel is contributed by the individual artist, in this case Attack Attack!. The required ‘coordination’ in transmedia narratives is obviously apparent in light of this.

Despite Shazam’s simple primary purpose of track identification, its proliferation of new features and links to various other media allow this application to be used in ways never before considered such as Transmedia Storytelling.

References:

Jenkins, H (2007), ‘Transmedia Storytelling 101’, Confessions of an Aca-Fan, March 22, accessed 16th April <2014, http://henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html>

Attack Attack! (2012), This Means War, Rise Records, accessed 20th April 2014

 

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