Over the past few years, the entertainment and media industries have been grappling with the fact that it is nearly impossible to garner 100% of someone’s attention. With the full adoption of smart phones and tablets, the attention span of our population is getting shorter and shorter. It’s not that people are disinterested, we have just come to believe that by leap frogging from device to device (and activity to activity) that we are maximizing our time and efforts.
Regardless if you agree with this concept or not – it is becoming the norm. (Think about how often you text or read articles while you’re watching a TV show.)
Many in the media industry see the increasingly divided attention of viewers as a challenge, but in reality it offers a unique opportunity to engage viewers in more meaningful and relevant ways. The idea of Transmedia has been around for a few years now, but there has not been a breakthrough example of a scale-able solution to date. But one agency has developed what might be the first real public facing transmedia platform.
Rides TV, developed by Fourth Wall Studios, is a unique platform that mixes TV quality production values with effective multi-platform storytelling. Using an episodic storytelling approach, viewers are able to move from being passive observers to active participants in the story. By integrating emails, text and other platform-specific communication into the story line, the viewer is asked to jump around from device to device. By leveraging the natural activity of viewers, Rides TV is able to continuously engage viewers across various platforms with the same content batch. Check out this short explanation video:
While this platform is fairly new, they do have a growing catalog of shows that you can engage with – the most robust being the series “Dirty Work.” For us at the Public Interest division, innovation in this space is exciting. Having options like this will allow us to engage audiences with video-based storytelling in a more integrated manner. So go check Dirty Work out and report back on what you think! And if you happen to find other examples of powerful storytelling please pass it along…