This chapter will present a broad overview of the larger industrial and cultural configurations that encouraged what is now called transmedia story telling. This will help to show the broader context within which trans­ media storytelling first took shape and evolved as part of the economic fab­ ric of twentieth­century American media industries. For as I argued in the introduction, only by looking to the past can the contingencies of the present be more richly understood. And this means re­understanding transmedia storytelling as the result of different industrial and cultural determinants of the past; it means reframing historical media forms in order to illuminate or even to challenge our understanding of the present media moment.