Definitions of Crossmedia
The term “Cross-Media” is often explained as something that includes the distribution of content (e.g. music, text, pictures, video etc.) amongst different media. One frequently used combination is television, newspapers/magazines mobile devices and Internet.

Crossmedia is usually seen as the use of traditional media along each other in an innovative way. However, the term can be used in a variety of ways; cross-medial concepts are not only formed by means of a commercial purpose (including marketing campaigns and broadcasting arrangements) but also depend on the personal lives of consumers. In the current media-landscape consumers control the use of media; they decide when and where they wish to access specific media and content. The crossmediasector itself defines the term as follows:

“The crossmedia-sector provides multimedia products and services by using radio, television, Internet, mobile devices, print and events simultaneously along each other.”

This implies that the cooperation between companies and specialists is part of the concept of crossmedia as well.

Technology vs Communicative Goal
In several sectors crossmedia is associated with innovation and technique. Publishers, for example, use the word crossmedia for database publishing; articles, designed for magazines, distributed amongst other media like CD or e-paper. This process of distributing the same content through different channels is also called multi-channeling.

The current tendency amongst production companies and broadcasting corporations, however, is somewhat different. More and more content is developed first, and changed afterwards, to suit different media. Examples of this are podcasts and vodcasts. This content can be downloaded to, for example, an iPod, and viewed or listened at any desired time. Users can rate the content, and additional related items can be recommended to them by other users.

This last example shows that a crossmedia-concept does not necessarily have to be linked to a technical concept. It shows that crossmedia can be used as a tool to achieve a communicative goal (In this case giving an opinion about a podcast). In other words, the term crossmedia is used to imply the communicative goal of a concept.

Another definition of cross media is given by Crossmedia-expert Monique de Haas:

“Crossmedia is a communication tool including a story that encourages you to switch from one medium to another, and back”

The result is added value to the concept in two ways: on the one hand the depth of the story increases (which leads to more benefits for the user), while on the other hand, the chance of making a cross-over to another medium is increased due to the interesting story.
Another important benefit of a good story is the increased possibility of successful word-of-mouth marketing (buzz); this way, the investment of a good marketing story can result in a huge amount of profits, within a relative short time-span.

Cross medial marketing involves the use of different media, based on their specific qualities. The main purpose of this combination is to increase the domain of a campaign. In other words: the mediamix has to serve the campaign-concept, in order to maximize impact on the target group.

The use of different media does not necessarily lead to a cross-medial concept. However, if the different media are used in such a way that their qualities are used to the fullest, and the possibility of participation of the target group is present, one could call it a cross-medial concept.

The cross-medial distribution of content is an efficient way to increase brand-awareness. Brand awareness is used to intensify the user-experience, for instance by placing the product into different contexts. A good example of this is a box of LEGO attached to a set of batteries. A webpage on the package encourages consumers to visit the website and buy more LEGO.

Source: Reynaert, Indira; Dijkerman, Daphne (2009) Basisboek Crossmedia Concepting. Den haag: Boom Onderwijs

2 Responses to “What is Cross Media?”

  1. 1 janthissen November 13, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    What is crossmedia?

    Crossmedia is sharing information and communication across multiple media and/or platforms. You might think about personal computers, mobile phones, internet, posters, Bluetooth, QR codes, RFID tags, television etc. Crossmedia consist of different levels. In total you have four levels of crossmedia;

    Level 1;
    Providing the same information ( or with minor changes) on different platforms.
    For instance the football score of today’s match on television and on your phone.

    Level 2;
    There is a content provided alongside a main production, delivered on platforms different from the main production.

    For example a story of a book which is turned into a movie and later into a musical. There is a lot of commercials for these production by posters, flyers, websites, ringtones, you name it.

    Level 3;
    This level of cross-media is to drive the audience to a specific action. After seeing this level of crossmedia the audience is driven to continue the journey. For example, a TV-show that suddenly ends and suggests you to visit an online website for more information about the show. The trigger is the critical component in motivating the crossmedia action.

    Level 4;
    This level of crossmedia is where the producers keep their hands off. They created an environment for the audience across many platforms in a non-linear way. The participants ‘live’ inside this environment and follow their own path and therefore creating their own experience. It is kind of a game but than in the real world.


  2. 2 inctrl November 23, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Hello group M4,

    First of all, I really like what you have done so far. The reason for such a late reply on your work, is that I didn’t know you switched from blogspot to wordpress. Maybe it’s a good idea to post a link to your new wordpress blog on blogspot?

    I have done a lot of reading and viewing this morning, and I must say that this blog is almost perfect in it’s navigation (I just can’t get it done myself). You’ve found a lot of great examples of CrossMedia, try to update it regularly since it’s fun to read.

    It is quite clear to me what theme your project will be based on, and to what “audience” it’s focussed. I can’t seem to find your briefing, so no comment on that for now.


    Jasper Gombault (inCTRL)

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