Journal of
Media and Communication Studies

  • Abbreviation: J. Media Commun. Stud.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2545
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMCS
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 226

Full Length Research Paper

An exploration of the limitations of transmedia storytelling: Focusing on the entertainment and education sectors

Young-Sung Kwon
  • Young-Sung Kwon
  • Brain and Humanities Lab, Seoul National University, Chief Researcher, Sexyzoo Inc.Seoul, South Korea
  • Google Scholar
Daniel H. Byun
  • Daniel H. Byun
  • Department of Film, TV and Multimedia, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, South Korea.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 24 January 2018
  •  Accepted: 03 April 2018
  •  Published: 30 April 2018


Transmedia storytelling is a concept emerging in the field of communication and media. The concept was first popularized by Jenkins. He defined it as a representation of a process in which integral elements of given fiction are disseminated systematically through multiple media platforms. Even though many researchers have studied the concept, not enough studies have been done with respect to its limitations, especially in the context of the entertainment and education sectors. Therefore, this research study was meant to explore the limitations of transmedia storytelling as it relates to entertainment and education. Hence, the researcher sought to achieve two objectives: to explore the limitations of transmedia storytelling in the entertainment industry and to explore the limitations of transmedia storytelling in the education system. Qualitative research methods were preferred for this study. An exploratory research design was employed, with interpretivism adopted as the research paradigm. A purposive sampling technique was used in selecting 13 people to participate in this study. The methods of data collection included semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions (FGD). The data that were collected were analyzed using a thematic approach. With regard to the entertainment industry, this study showed that the limitations included difficulties in collaboration between different media platforms, failure to take into account consumers who were not interested in more than one media platform as a source of various story elements, and inconsistencies regarding co-creation. In relation to education, the limitations included the fact that transmedia storytelling ignored the issue of cognitive maturity, ignored the credibility issues regarding various media platforms being sources of accurate academic knowledge, the slow pace at which transmedia projects are developed, and the disadvantages to learners who are neither able to access appropriate technologies nor able to use them.

Key words: Transmedia, transmedia storytelling, media convergence, new media.