Live from #MediaInsight: Breaking Down Syfy's Defiance: A Deep Dive into the Groundbreaking Transmedia Experience

Sara Moscowitz, SVP, Strategic Marketing, SYFY and Jon Giegengack, Principal, HUB ENTERTAINMENT RESEARCH explain the impact of the first true transmedia experience

Syfy is focused on "reinventing storytelling" by involving consumers with live viewing experiences, extended/adjacent storylines, and activating a social feedback loop.

Defiance was the first jointly developed TV show and game - designed to be consumed together but able to stand alone. There is frequent crossover, where a plotline that happens in the game is picked up in the next episode of the show.  

When Defiance was released, it became NBCU's biggest day-and-date launch of all time.  But the question was, how much did the transmedia experience factor into this?

To answer this, Syfy first looked at the response to the concept - and found that 75% of people were at least positive to the idea of a game and show co-existing.  

This co-existence also helped to bolster awareness of the property, which ultimately resulted in 85% of viewers watching the premiere and 66% of gamers pre-ordering or purchasing the game at launch.  

People who both played and watched had a more valuable experience - 70% said they enjoyed Defiance more once they started both playing and watching.  

People who watched and gamed were also more apt to look for other opportunities to engage - such as visiting the website, watching YouTube videos, heading to the Facebook page, etc.  

Almost half of the people who both played the game and watched were NOT regular viewers of Syfy - the transmedia experience helped the network appeal to a new audience, and also provided a completely new platform for advertisers.  


Ben Proctor is Insights Strategist at Miner & Co. Studio, a New York-based consultancy

Ben Proctor

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