Content Consumption on Mobile is Non-Linear
Whether you’re watching your favourite show on television or reading a book, the stories and content used in these traditional channels follow the same pattern. I.e., the content is “linear”.
A book, for example, is made up of Chapters. The story works best when you read the entire piece cover to cover, from start to finish.
While your binging shows on Netflix, you’ll notice each show is made up of a Series, and each Series consists of a sequential number of Episodes. Again, the stories are designed to work best when watching an entire series from start to finish (and let’s face it, in lockdown who didn’t!)
All of this content follows a linear pattern. That is, the content is designed to do one thing – keep you engaged. Publishers of magazines will call this “dwell time” and boast it to advertisers as the length of time someone will spend on average going cover to cover. In their business model, the longer, the better.
This linear content experience (reading, watching, viewing or browsing – whatever you want to call it) has been significantly disrupted by mobile.
Mobile technology has created a completely different dimension. Platforms are a space for content curation.
In this space, it is the consumers (or users) who drive the technology forward. Not the Publisher or Media owner.
The brands leading the way for advertising on mobile accept that mobile is a free environment over which they have little control (compared to their users). Their content is structured to allow consumers to move back and forth through it quickly and easily.
I.e., it is “non-linear.”
For example: Imagine a story where;
- Chapter 3 does not have to follow Chapter 2.
- Episode 9 still makes sense if you haven’t seen Episode 8.
- & Series 2 can be watched and enjoyed before you’ve even seen Series 1.
That’s non-linear content and storytelling. It’s not easy to get your head around. But that’s how I win on mobile.