There was a great article this weekend from a MIPJunior panel about how the teenage market (or Young Adult market in publishing parlance) will drive transmedia storytelling implementation. These are the people that have grown up with digital content, mobile phones, and the ability to consume, produce, and distribute content on their own terms. Simon Pulman wrote a nice little analysis of the post as well; I recommend both as good reads.
“The shift is not on the TV content, but on the way they consume content. They prefer to watch it on-demand than on the linear broadcast. And they multi-task: they don’t just want to watch the content, they will probably be doing two or three other tasks too.” --Nuno Bernardo
The idea of teens as driving this industry is an interesting one for me -- they're certainly a primary target market for what I want to do, with my young adult novel writing background and preference. There are two issues that immediately jump out at me, though.
One is reaching them -- in a world so saturated with content, from social media to various forms of entertainment, to their own friends, how do you get your property to show up on their radar, over all the rest? The earliest adopters of things like Youtube vlogging and Tumblr may have been able to get a significant audience, but is that still true? Or will we have to be on the cutting edge of whatever's next?
Secondly, Brent Friedman pointed out a few weeks ago that the most lucrative market for entertainment is actually the 25-35 range -- those who understand the technology like teenagers do, but who also have disposable incomes, which teens often don't as much. So if teens are going to drive the industry, how do we make money from them?
Clearly, advertising is key here, I think -- something that costs the viewer nothing (at least monetarily) but which benefits from the proliferated eyeballs.
Another key may be microtransactions -- things small enough that teens will be able to afford them, and which aggregate with large audiences and over time.
But again, both funding options require a significant audience. Reaching them has to be the first priority.
Speaking of, Azrael's Stop, our project that returns November 1st, was partially designed to appeal to that market, with a 17-year-old protagonist. We're currently re-running the previous content at azraelsstop.tumblr.com. Check it out there, and also check out our Pre-Re-Launch Daily Quiz!