While our last blog entry dealt with what next generation storytelling is about and how it already changes the media landscape, we’ll now look at why especially publishers need to rethink their portfolio and consider new possibilities.

Digital Publishing

Let’s get straight to the point. If you want readers to be willing to pay for high value content, it has to meet current requirements. Readers want background information, context and storytelling with high quality visuals. Luckily, it has become extremely easy for journalists to create successful digital stories all by themselves. Next generation storytelling is one of the few ways to acquire revenue from editorial content through the digital market. That’s why multimedia storytelling is becoming more and more popular within the media landscape. The NY Times, The Guardian and The Washington Post are releasing multimedia stories on a regular basis and considering the reactions of their readers, it is a huge success.

 Publishers have unlimited opportunities

Next generation multimedia storytelling can be used in different scenarios. The three most important use cases are immersive stories, interactive infographics and digital magazines.

    1. Immersive Stories
      New generation multimedia storytelling is the key to create immersive stories. With the decreasing attention-span of online readers, long form journalism needs to be presented in reader friendly and engaging ways. By dividing a story into appropriate chapters, one can tell different aspects of the story in different media formats such as text, video, audio, infographic or via mini-games, depending on the individual topic. This will make the story an engaging experience.  A successful example of immersive storytelling is the recently published app EPOS, using a linear storyline to tell an interactive story (DIE WELT, Axel Springer).
    2. Interactive infographics & simple animations
      Interactive infographics can be included in all immersive stories, digital magazines and a news website. They help to visualize and simplify complex data. An interactive infographic at its best is an animated timeline, map or chart, where the user controls the data to be shown. This is a great feature to engage readers in multimedia storytelling. Next to complex infographics, one can also use simple animations to loosen up a static page. And while banner advertising mostly stays unnoticed on mobile devices, native ads with simple animations are engaging and therefore extremely successful.
    3. Digital Magazines for mobile devices
      Magazine publishers require a short turnaround time for new issues while delivering an advanced digital reading experience for key articles. There are basically two main options to publish a magazine as an app. Publishers can either provide a PDF-version of the printed issue or create a unique native app with animated and additional content. The digital magazine can combine the printed issue, immersive stories, infographics and daily news updates.

Technical realization of next generation storytelling

There are multiple facts to consider before planning an app. Devices, resolutions, navigation, online-offline support, formatting the content and so on. For a single issue it might be reasonable to develop a single native app with the help of a software company. But if publishers want to release the same story on multiple devices and update content on a regular basis, this option will be costly and time consuming. The other way to develop multimedia stories is with digital publishing suites which support every mobile operating system and web browser – and, just as important, your content files from Adobe InDesign or Photoshop.

This option allows publishers to create a story once and get the individual output format for every device automatically. Most publishing suites provide templates and features to simplify the process of development. With a digital publishing suite like Purple , it is easy and effective to produce stunning next generation storytelling.

Considering the positive effects of next generation storytelling, there is no excuse for publishers not to get started.