The Multi Screen Consumer

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Your readers move from screen to screen - so should your publications!

90% of media interaction is now screen-based, and that accounts for 4.4 leisure hours per day. With so much time spent consuming media, it is important to understand consumption patterns and learn to implement a multi-screen approach to your publishing projects.

For readers, when choosing a device to interact with, context is key. Laptops and PCs are generally used to find information and keep up to date. They are a task-oriented screen. Smartphones are used for communication and entertainment. But they are used in short and many times interrupted periods. Tablets are entertainment devices which are also secondarily used as a communication tool. Use of tablets is leisurely and relaxed with a strong focus on the home setting. Already, we begin to see the importance of understanding screen usage and media consumption. Your content should keep such contextual consumption in mind. Get into the mind of your reader. Think about where they are likely to start their reading, and how the resulting flow would look from their perspective.

Consumers can multi screen in two ways- sequential or simultaneous. Sequential means moving from one device to another to accomplish a task. You can think about it like switching buses to get where you are going. Simultaneous is complementary interaction or multitasking. Using multiple screens at the same time to accomplish a task or consume differing types of content. Is your content optimized for sequential and simultaneous readers? Here's a tip to get you thinking- email or social media sharing options within the publication can kick start the sequential process, but can also allow a simultaneous consumer to view your content on a second screen easily.

Publishing for one platform is limiting. Imagine your reader starts on an iPhone, reading a magazine developed and published for that device. What happens when this reader wants to continue reading, or access content within this publication, from their second screen? This screen may be a PC. It could be an Android tablet or iPad. It could even be a TV. Today, we have to keep this in mind, and publish for the cross platform, multi screen-using consumer. And this is why a dedicated cross platform publishing software is indispensable to any business.