Pulling the strings of transmedia tales

Conducttr helps producers develop coherence, control and intelligence in multi-platform narratives

By Rosie Lavan

Cross-platform narratives are about multiplicity, opening up both a story and an experience for users. However, their success lies in the structure and control of their design, and it is precisely this support and coherence which Transmedia Storyteller has set out to provide with its service, Conducttr.

Conducttr is the first service from Transmedia Storyteller, a company which provides cross-platform experiences and marketing. Described as “a pervasive entertainment platform”, Conducttr enables cross-platform, interactive social entertainment to be designed, managed, delivered and measured. Developed with the full range of companies and individuals working in this field in mind – from interactive agencies to independent filmmakers – Conducttr monitors content delivered online, offline and via mobile devices, feeding back to content creators about audience behaviour and preferences, and yet the audience never knows it’s there.

Each media in a cross-platform story should satisfy an audience, but the greatest enjoyment should come from all elements together, the Conducttr creators say

The subscription-based service invites transmedia creators to follow a three-step process: first, to create and describe their story as they would normally; then to plan the experience, scheduling dates for content to be published or linked to other events – essentially designing a calendar for Conducttr to follow. Finally, the story is published to Conducttr’s “story engine”, and the audience experience and the feedback process begin.

The benefits of the service, its creators say, are that technologically it’s very simple, allowing creatives to focus on their storytelling and leaving them in complete control of the narrative, setting the terms and conditions which Conducttr will follow. It is a quicker and cheaper means of putting together and implementing a transmedia story, and once one experience has been designed through the service it can be reused and built upon with subsequent projects.

Central to the Conducttr offering is a firm belief that “single-media entertainment is dead”. “In transmedia storytelling, engagement with each successive media heightens the audience’s understanding, enjoyment and affection for the story,” says the company. “To do this successfully, the embodiment of the story in each media needs to be satisfying in its own right while enjoyment from all the media should be greater than the sum of the parts.”

The founders, Robert Pratten and Alexey Ossikine, combine experience in the worlds of entertainment, social media and telecommications. After more than two decades in marketing consultancy, advising clients including Ericsson and Lucent, Pratten enrolled at the London Film School and subsequently produced two award-winning feature films. Ossikine, who launched a social networking site at the age of 14, is the Founder, Managing Director and Chief Technology Officer of Convasis, which specialises in interactive web applications.

The key attributes of Conducttr, according to Transmedia Storytelling, are its power and its invisibility: “it’s a secret command centre; a hub for controlling cross-platform experiences.” It stakes a claim for its service as the hidden force behind a new kind of storytelling, orchestrating and maximising audience experience as the creator intended. “Conducttr is the unseen puppet master or conductor coordinating and tracking media and the audience as intended by the author.”

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One Response to “Pulling the strings of transmedia tales”

  1. Robert says:

    Thank you very much for covering Conducttr – it’s much appreciated.

    One thing I’d like to add is that Conducttr allows interactive and event-driven content publishing such that, for example, you can ask it to monitor the views and comments on a YouTube video or listen for an incoming email or Tweet. When it sees or hears these events or “triggers” to use our jargon, that’s Conducttr’s cue to take action – maybe publishing new content to a blog, publishing a new video or perhaps sending a personalized email reply.

    Our goal isn’t to completely automate audience interactions but to automate those that can be so as to leave the transmedia creative with more time for the human touch.

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