This story appears in the December 2017 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

For 2018 trends, we asked an expert on what entrepreneurs can expect this coming year in storytelling. 

Understanding your audience matters. It always has, and it always will. In that way, storytelling never changes. But technology and consumer behavior are changing faster than most existing models can keep up with, and 2018 will be an extremely interesting time for entrepreneurs who are in the business of storytelling — or, frankly, who are just looking to tell stories about their business.

Related: The 5 Elements of Storytelling Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know

A lot of this is driven by new platforms, which are ever hungry for great stories to attract new users. This will be the year consumers discover how delightful augmented reality is, and how it can be a game changer for entertainment. (We’re betting Apple and Google will hook people in.) It’ll also be the year high-quality immersive VR content will finally reach a large number of consumers in the U.S. and Europe — first at venues like the Void and VRX, and then the home market will follow. Live events will also increasingly become important; they’re places where fans can gather in person, as if huddling around a campfire to tell stories.

Related: From Bedtime to the Boardroom: Why Storytelling Matters in Business

And then, of course, there’s video. There’s tremendous opportunity for entrepreneurs to provide extremely high-quality original content to an ever-wider array of social media platforms and subscription video services. Inside this, we’ll see creators play more and more with viewing length — creating long-form and new, shorter formats. The film world will also go through major shifts, and we foresee a billion-dollar business developing in how what’s known as “PVOD windowing” — that is, premium content that’s behind a paywall for some time and eventually is made available to all — changes the way feature films are produced, marketed and delivered. In sum, it’s never been a better time to be a storyteller. 

— Clint Kisker, president and co-founder of Madison Wells Media, which recently announced the rebrand of its company and divisions under one brand name, MWM.

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