As more and more content becomes available on-demand and “everywhere” through TV, online and mobile platforms, content extensions that work like a “bridge” are becoming more important than ever.
Digital content has always been looked to, but not always effectively utilized, for incubating new stories for more traditional platforms -- from TV tie-ins to Web original series and social extensions that introduce a story, hoping to drive the audience to either a TV series or upcoming feature release.
Disruptive, social and recommendation technologies and platforms are how audiences are discovering new content, and for many TV and digital series, online is where engagement begins and ends.
Independent content producers have an edge as first adaptors, as they are leaner to push entertainment projects that embrace and encourage technology in the storytelling process, with established content providers and studios having the infrastructure.
And as digital platforms and devices like tablets become the entry point to content for the younger generation, independent projects like the “Lizzie Bennett Diaries” present the right way to build and cultivate a story online, with the potential to go cross-platform.
Another great example of digital storytelling that does not cannibalize the content, with an expansive “story build,” is “The Dark Knight,” with its “Why So Serious” campaign of a few years back. With an elaborate online viral campaign of 30+ plus interactive websites that stringed together a scavenger hunt and online challenge, digital was used to engage and introduce the back story of primary characters and create an immersive experience,
Building and introducing the story behind your content
Entry points to content through technology and digital platforms are evolving rapidly.
A good story and the quality of the content is what drives engagement. No matter how big the producer or provider behind the content, if the story does not connect, especially in the age of cross-platform convergence and ubiquitous social network platforms, it is hard to break through to a larger audience.
The challenge in the age of digital and interactive storytelling is to make sure the digital components of content mesh with more traditional platforms.
Content creators relish the opportunity to have their story or content, whether it is scripted or un-scripted, reach both a wider audience and get the viewer more involved and engaged on any platform through story and content extensions made easier by technology.
Studios and networks in the digital age have a huge opportunity to take advantage of SMART and “social TV” technology with regards to storytelling, with many already moving forward aggressively to retain younger as well as savvier viewers seeking more from their entertainment.
Building audiences and driving them to your content must not only be viewed as part of marketing, but as “ground zero” in the development of “next generation entertainment” that is evolving at a record pace.
Other important elements to building story online is making sure not to cannibalize a TV series while finding a way to drive interest, which is where plot and effective “story build” can work like a bridge before and after appointment viewing and interest driven by social TV.
Online TV innovators like Hulu, Amazon, YouTube, Netflix and Yahoo all have an opportunity to set the agenda for real “second screen” viewing for shows grown online, with an emphasis on taking advantage of revenue through international sales. Audiences crave more than just a half-hour, they want extensions and are willing and in need of more from their entertainment, further highlighting the importance of online and digital platforms in introducing the “next generation” of stories and entertainment.