The TechDirt gang have pointed out an interesting experiment in monetizing storytelling across multiple media platforms from movie house Zen Films:
It’s not a requirement for the audience to consume all media – only that they enjoy whichever one they have right now. Now, given all the attention we’re giving to the fact that there are three media and that they represent three perspectives on the same story, if someone enjoys the novella I think it’s likely they’ll watch the webisodes and vice verse.
So, there are no particular calls-to-action within each media except the plot points and the twists and turns of a great story which I think will motivate people to get a different perspective on events – who’s telling the truth?
The story is being written by the award-winning crime thriller writer Simon Wood and I’ve left him alone now to continue writing while I’ve turned my attention to the money.
Step 4b – Getting Paid
All the media will be free to read and watch online. It will be released episodically – possibly two episodes a week (Tues and Thurs) maybe weekly… But from the first episode we’ll be selling the whole story so you don’t have to wait.
I believe that reading a book (or Kindle) or watching a DVD on the TV is still very popular and often more convenient than doing the same online. I’m hoping that audiences are going to pay for that.
As with all such things, only time will tell… but people are trying to break the mould, and that means something will give eventually. I’ve noticed quite a few serialisation projects in the genre fiction world of late – Shadow Unit, for instance, or the latest donation-supported Marla Mason material from Futurismic alumnus Tim Pratt, to name but a couple – but what new levels of interest might a cross-media experiment produce?
What if Shadow Unit started doing some video episodes and extras alongside the written fiction, and posting them to a branded channel on YouTube, for instance? And before you mention the problems of budgeting for video, bear in mind that extremely low production values can actually be exploited as a unique selling point in their own right… if you’re not afraid of people calling you out on shameless altermodernity, that is.