Multi Screen Content

October 29, 2009

Now that we know that the battle of the screens isnt a battle anymore, how is life for people who create content is changing?

Creating multi-screen content has been a discussion for quite some time. We all realise that it is much more than just the screen formats or the quality/ resolution of the picture that differentiates the content on these 3 screens. But what we have very little of is the understanding of how audio visual content consumption differs on these 3 screens.

We can have a point of view on what type of content is better suited for mobiles consumption versus big TV screens. The obvious conclusions, my fear is, might be simlistic and around duration of the content. Bite or snack sized consumption versus feature length viewing, etc. But what happens when the first “direct to mobile” movie is released? The phenomenon obviously is a response to not just video consumption on mobile, but a certain type of consumption on mobile. There would also be obvious points of on big screen versus small screen versus very very small screen viewing. The bigger the screen, the better the detail and impact of visual effects.

Would there be any other differences apart from that? Or are we in a position to answer the question of “What type of stories are better told on one screen versus the other”?  Answers that would help us create content specifically for consumption on a certain type of screen?

Does somene has access to online video data, mobile video consumption data, and set-top box data for us to be able to do some analyses? Or any interesting insights to share? Please leave your comments.

5 Responses to “Multi Screen Content”

  1. Joe Szabo Says:


    Really digging your analogy of bite sized vs. snack size consumption of video; you can compare the way we’ve seen the adoption of RSS for controlling signal to noise ratios, how blogging has gone to micro-blogging, and how everything is going to real-time, right time activations.

    Over the years, I’ve been fascinated by mobile:

    According to Nielsen’s Three Screen Report from Sept 2009, the number of people watching mobile video increased 70 percent, from more than 9 million to more than 15 million in the last year. The report also found Americans are increasing their overall media consumption.

    Read Write Web put it this way:

    One exabyte is a billion gigabytes. It’s one quintillion bytes. And yes, “quintillion” is a number so large, it almost seems made-up. But that’s how much online video will be consumed by 2017, according to new reports from U.K.-based research firm Coda.

    I was lucky enough to get a copy of Morgan Stanley’s Fall 2009 Economy + Trends from last week’s web 2.0 summit in San Francisco. In it, they predict that:

    1. Mobile Internet Usage Is and Will Be Bigger than Most Think.
    2. Apple Mobile Share Should Surprise on Upside Near-Term.
    3. Next Generation Platforms (Social Networking + Mobile) Driving Unprecedented
    Change in Communications + Commerce.

    You can download the report from my site.

    Online video consumption is growing even faster; I can’t remember the last time I watched “TV”. And ever since I run Boxee on my Apple TV, I’m discovering new “bite-sized” content when I’m in that frame of mind.

    So, yeah, bite-sized content is the future based on the trends I’ve seen in the last 2 years of internet. The key will be understanding how to write for snack-sized consumptions and how to produce it.

  2. Asad Rehman Says:

    @Yasir the best measurement in online video is The stuff these guys do is incredible. Much better and very close to a something that should be an industry standard.

    There is usership data, but not deep enough to analyse the behaviour of viewership on all 3 screens. Offline or downloaded video viewing is also not something that gets measured properly.

  3. Asad Rehman Says:

    @Joe I completely agree. I am wnodering if we can dig deeper into some of the existing data and answer that question. I.e. How to write for snack-sized consmptions. Or what is it that makes these things successfull.

    Long live the short-films. The most under-rated but highly demanding genre of film-making will soon hopefully get the recognition it deserves.

    Another question also is: How do we make existing formats consumable in bite-sized chunks. How can you structure “Episode 1” such that it has “10” 5 minutes chapters… all pretty much consumable on their own…

    Exciting times.

    • Joe Szabo Says:

      The art of writing for snack consumption is not a new one: BITE TV is a local television station in Canada airing short bursts of content aimed squarely at people with ADD or some form of web-alternate.

      Their format is pure TV, but taking this format could work very well in the mobile space (devoting 5 minutes of time is easier than 20).

      However, Apple has made the 22-minute episode downloads available in Canada for $1.99. So if my commute takes 3o minutes I can watch in the train instead of nodding off.

      Taking 90 minute movie feature formats will be trickier indeed.

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