Episode 99: Audience is part of IP, with Diana Williams

Our guest this week is Diana Williams, who, after 30 years in the entertainment media industry working on premier content like the Star Wars Marvel Cinematic universes, has founded a new company, Kinetic Energy Entertainment, focused on partnering with creatives to build new intellectual property (IP) for today’s rapidly changing media landscape. Starting with a clear and holistic definition of IP as being a story world with multiple points of entry for an audience, Diana sees this as a way to honor rich content by developing the ABC’s – Audience, Business, Creative – in tandem with specific media formats, thus building authentic engagement with the audience from the start, rather than marketing to them after a product is developed. We look at how entertainment revenue models have changed with streaming, and how business is struggling to change to fit that reality. Talking through one of her current projects, a PC game called Political Arena developed with pundit Eliot Nelson, we get a closer look at some of the strategies that guide this venture, and also the changing role of entertainment as a source of education. Without having the primary goal to educate, entertainment increasingly, if unwittingly, fills that gap, but does that make it a responsibility? While audience demand may still be dragging the legacy entertainment industry kicking and screaming toward changes in representation, that is the tide, and Diana is betting that building entertainment around audience truth is the way to develop solid and loyal fan relationships that will in turn feed into better content.

A full transcript of this episode will be available soon!

Here are some of the references from this episode, for those who want to dig a little deeper:

Diana’s company, Kinetic Energy Entertainment

More about the Peabody Interactive Board
And the inaugural Winners for Digital and Interactive Storytelling, which were announced on 3/24/2022

Some of the press coverage of Political Arena game:

Washington Post
The Times UK

Steam page, including the “attack ad” trailer for the game

Political Arena creator and HuffPost columnist Eliot Nelson (book, The Beltway Bible)

Science and Entertainment Exchange

Controversy over whether to recast T’Challa (Black Panther) in the MCU

For more on games-based learning, see:

Kurt Squire

James Paul Gee

Zoe Corwin

Katie Salen Takinbas

For more about building out story worlds, check out our previous episodes with Nonny de La Peña, Alex McDowell, and Ann Pendleton-Julian

We’ve also done several episodes about Transmedia Storytelling

For more on games-based learning, listen to our episode with Kurt Squire and Katie Salen Tekinbas.

… and for more discussion of Fast & Furious fandom, check out our previous episode with Sue Ding!

Share your thoughts via Twitter with Henry, Colin and the How Do You Like It So Far? account! You can also email us at [email protected].

“In Time” by Dylan Emmett and “Spaceship” by Lesion X.
In Time (Instrumental) by Dylan Emmet  https://soundcloud.com/dylanemmet
Spaceship by Lesion X https://soundcloud.com/lesionxbeats
Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0
Free Download / Stream: https://bit.ly/in-time-instrumental
Free Download / Stream: https://bit.ly/lesion-x-spaceship
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