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Audiences Engagement and Participation with Series 'The Witcher'

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Words: 1078 |

Pages: 2|

6 min read

Published: Feb 11, 2023

Words: 1078|Pages: 2|6 min read

Published: Feb 11, 2023

Table of contents

  1. Context of Production and Use
  2. Interactive Features
  3. Making an Impact
  4. Conclusion

This case study will examine how audiences engage and participate with a multiplatform product – The Netflix original series, The Witcher, 2019.

'Why Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned'?

Multi-platform television, alternatively recognised as multiplatform entertainment or transmedia storytelling, is a method of storytelling that is streamed across manifold entertainment channels and bestows audiences with a substantial selection of opportunities to engage with a story world through content, products, activities and social spaces on a vast variety of social media platforms. The dispersal of both live and on-demand content to connected devices including but not limited to: PC’s, tablets, smartphones, gaming consoles and connected televisions. The augmented competition instigated by the escalation of technological convergence and digitalization has formulated media institutions to reposition television as an active medium to enable audience interaction with content producers and other audience members through an interactive secondary screens, such as social media and promotional events. Conventionally, the remote control was the only interactive feature utilised by passive television audiences. Now, audiences can effortlessly access a second screen device to dynamically engage and interrelate with media producers and other audience members.

Context of Production and Use

The Witcher series operates under Netflix Inc, which is an American media-service provider and production company. The company's primary business is its subscription-based streaming service which offers online streaming of a library of films and television programs, including those produced in-house, in over 190 countries. As of April 2019, Netflix had over 148 million paid subscriptions worldwide, including 60 million in the United States, and over 154 million subscriptions total, including free trials. Netflix utilises the term “original” to delineate between movies and series that are exclusive to its platform, and those that are aggregated from other studios after first being made available elsewhere. Original can refer to content such as ‘The Witcher’ that are self-produced, programming like Narcos that are licensed exclusively from other studios and branded as Netflix originals, or licensed content such as ‘You’ and ‘Riverdale’ that may air on TV in some markets but stream first on Netflix in other parts of the world.

Interactive Features

Spectators are encouraged to utilise interactive technologies to enrich their experience within the fictionalised universe of The Witcher and other broadcasted series. Netflix has publicised a synergistic map of the setting of The Witcher, better known as ‘The Continent’. The site is packed with extracts of surplus information that enhance the characters' back stories and allure you further into the realm of The Witcher. Nevertheless, the key element that makes the site so enticing is the visual presentation. The site is a treasure trove of beautiful design components, clever and engaging interactivity and CSS animation, all of which conglomerate to convey a storytelling experience of the highest order. Viewers of the fantasy drama can utilise the map to trace the timelines of Geralt, Yennefer, and Ciri, as well as outline all of the notable events in The Continent’s history, including the war of Nilfgaard and immense turning points for subsidiary characters such as Jaskier and Calanthe. These four separate timelines make it simple to comprehend not only where all the major events in our heroes' lives occurred within The Continent, but also when they took place in relation to other characters' milestones. The Witcher's 'Map of the Continent' website is a perfect example of how to bring dissimilar media together to create an absolute and compelling storytelling experience.

Moreover, a fan of The Witcher generated an incredible augmented reality filter for social media, including Instagram and Snapchat, that features Geralt, the protagonist of the series. Fans have come out in force sharing their creations, with another fan creating a snapchat filter that he called, ‘Witcher Eyes’, it became popular with players of the game and fans after the release of the Netflix series. Several hashtags also trended on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, since the release of promotional content prior to the show airing. Henry Cavil, whom plays the leading role of The Witcher himself, began posting exclusive teasers and snippets on Instagram in July of 2019, the most popular hashtags consisted of: #TheWitcherNetflix #TheWitcher #Witcher #GeraltOfRivia #WildHunt. Hashtags create immense visibility for a campaign, and help to reach the target audience by applying relevant hashtags that the spectators are already following. When used to promote an event or series such as The Witcher, the hashtag not only connects the product with the followers, but the followers with each other.

Furthermore, Netflix delivered a full Witcher celebration to Los Angeles fans for a one-night-only event on December 3, prior to the series release, called ‘The Witcher Fan Experience’. The Witcher Fan Experience allowed fans to see the series before it hits the web. Prior to the show, viewers came into ‘The Continent’ for a big fan fest with photo ops, trivia, interactive stations, giveaways, and a walk-through experience that will put them directly into Geralt of Rivia’s intricate and perilous world. Correspondingly, ‘The Witcher School’ is a real life adventure inspired by the Witcher, there have been 29 organised events, 2150 trained Witchers from over 52 countries since the launch. Fans have been purchasing tickets and travelling to the Polish wonderlands to engage in the festivities. The partakers eat, sleep and train in a real castle turned into a true Witcher’s lair for the duration of a week. Classes with professional tutors teach participants archery, sword work, blacksmithing etc, they are then sent on quests and face enemies in combat. These interactive features allow audiences to indisputably engage with the realm of the Witcher and form connections with people with similar interests.

Making an Impact

The impact of such inclusivity and participation allows the audience to immerse themselves within the fantasy world and connect with the story along with each other.

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Conclusion

The extent to which audiences engage with multi-platform television profoundly relies on the audience role, content genre, and media platform characteristics. Audiences are able to connect with multiplatform television through several techniques such as spectators, consumers and fans. Despite mixed reviews from critics, Henry Cavill’s ‘The Witcher’, series is scoring big with audiences, The Witcher was the third most in-demand original streaming series in the United States between December 18th through December 24th. The show currently has a 56% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes among critics but has a 93% approval rating among audiences based on over 12,000 votes. These numbers also seem to reflect audience engagement with the series as it is superficially one of the most viewed series of 2019. The Witcher’s use of multiplatform television has enabled audiences to shift between  

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Prof. Linda Burke

Cite this Essay

Audiences Engagement and Participation With Series ‘The Witcher’. (2023, February 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 17, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/audiences-engagement-and-participation-with-series-the-witcher/
“Audiences Engagement and Participation With Series ‘The Witcher’.” GradesFixer, 11 Feb. 2023, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/audiences-engagement-and-participation-with-series-the-witcher/
Audiences Engagement and Participation With Series ‘The Witcher’. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/audiences-engagement-and-participation-with-series-the-witcher/> [Accessed 17 Apr. 2024].
Audiences Engagement and Participation With Series ‘The Witcher’ [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Feb 11 [cited 2024 Apr 17]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/audiences-engagement-and-participation-with-series-the-witcher/
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