Distribution takes on many new and exciting forms in the world of 360 storytelling and needs to be strategically mapped, based on the specific needs of your story.  The bad news is, audiences will continue to fragment across an increasing number of platforms.  The good news is, the audience may be one of the best forms of distribution for your story through social networking and video sharing.  This factor becomes even more interesting, considering that 1/3 of all online videos get shared.

Traditional platforms like TV won’t disappear or lose out to online and mobile, but we’ll get to a point very soon when all these platforms hold an equal footing.  The distribution efforts of loyal fans and participants will become even more apparent in this transition.  Distribution channels in the 360 story environment may include:

1. TV
2. Online video portals
3. Social networks
4. Widgets
5. Interactive games
6. Out of home networks
7. Mobile applications

The many forms of distribution in the 360 story environment help you reach, entertain and retain the short attention span audience members who are pulled in every direction by the morass of content.  However, it’s important to note that one web widget does not a distribution strategy make.  You can have all the democratized access to free video portals and inexpensive technology in the world, but without 1) a well structured story customized for the 360 environment and 2) a complete understanding of how your story is executed within the context of these distribution platforms, these tools can prove useless and may even alienate some of your audience or clients if not utilized sparingly.  Let’s review:

1.  Your story is well crafted

2.  You’ve identified your audience

3.  You know how to communicate with them

4.  You know where your audience is watching

Now it’s time to engage and reap the rewards.  Remember: it always comes down to the emotional connection you are trying to build with your audience and doing so in an authentic way.   Because the tools in the 360 storytelling environment amplify messaging and allow your audience to co-create and control their experiences with the tools you give them, people become empowered and more willing to become distributors themselves.  There is no doubt we are all experiencing a new frontier in which the 360 storytelling experience will make for a truly platform agnostic experience where viewers will engage with entertaining content in ways beyond our wildest imaginations.

Photo by: EllynKocher