Storytelling in the second screens age

If the first decade of the 2000s was the age of the web, then perhaps this decade is the age of the second screen.

A recent Google study found that our second-screening habits can be defined by two modes: ‘sequential’ and ‘simultaneous’.

We move seamlessly between devices when sequentially screening – perhaps we’ll start a search for product information on our smartphone on the train in the morning, then do some research on a PC during the day, before finally completing the task by making the purchase on our tablet at home in the evening.

In contrast, whilst simultaneously screening – we use multiple devices at the same time. Using a second screen on the sofa to share an entertaining live TV show on social media, is the obvious example – but the possibilities to explore beyond these boundaries are truly inspiring for every sector.

Think of learning – in the classroom, in the space of just a few years, we’re moving from the blackboard to interactive whiteboard to an iPad at every school desk. Imagine being able to tap into the naturally intuitive way that children master and navigate second screen devices. Learning for them is about immersive and simultaneous storytelling.

We’re currently developing apps that know where you are and can place you in that context to learn. Whether it’s at a famous historical battle site or discovering more about the wildflowers and animals at a local nature reserve.

It’s about delivering the right content at the right time, in the right context. Where are we and what do we want to accomplish?

At Group Dane, we love stories. We are all born to tell and share them. They are what inspire us. They are the narrative arcs that curve and shape our lives. So whenever we approach a project, using the power of a story to harness action is a key principle for us. It’s not the device itself or the software platform that matters, it is the connection we make to a story that truly moves us.

If your customer is second-screening content, how does your story continue? How does it engage the customer in the competition for attention? Does your content expand and complement the experience or deliver a compelling standalone idea?

We’re optimists, and believe that the challenge of radical, disruptive ideas can be met with new solutions.

So here’s to the age of the second screens and the exciting, optimistic changes it will bring to storytelling!

Andrew Corbally is Digital Manager at Group Dane.

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