NARR8 is a platform that provides an alternative way to enjoy the reading, watching and listening experience. Some have called it the next evolution of the motion comic. The Russia-based company recently passed the 1 million user mark and their Managing Director, Maxim Matveyko, kindly agreed to talk to Geek Native about the company’s growth and plans for the future.
An interview with Maxim Matveyko, Managing Director at NARR8
NARR8 has been covered before on Geek Native, the platform is now up to 1 million users and you’ve just launched a web browser based option. For our readers who’ve not yet heard about the system can you describe it for us?
NARR8 is redefining the way we read, create and share content by creating an engrossing 15-20 minute reading experience complete with animation, music, and sound effects, plus interactive features that let readers become a part of the story itself. We are on all mobile platforms for readers to enjoy, along with Facebook, and now our recently released web version lets computer users use NARR8 via browser. NARR8 has original content as well as third-party, user-generated content for readers to enjoy. The app is totally free to download and use, and has about 30 different content series, including comics, sci-fi, horror, and nonfiction. Every series is episodic and every series has free episodes; users can unlock more episodes by regularly using NARR8.
How has your growth looked? Has reader recruitment been a steady and smooth curve upwards or have you seen big spikes in conjunction with new titles, new regions and media coverage?
We have 1 million users who have installed and use NARR8 on their devices. We’re growing rapidly, having already reached top positions on the Russian and US Apple App Stores. We’re also very excited about launching the web version—we’re sure that it will bring us a new audience as well.
QNARR8 has a “Users’ Stories” section where writers can submit their own creations and a StoryBuilder service for people to make their own stories. This could be a fantastic way for roleplaying game publishers to submit, share and sell fiction based in their fantasy or sci-fi worlds or a way for all those graphic comics and motion novels created to support Kickstarter campaigns to broaden their reach and earn some cash. Is this the sort of thing you’d like to see? Is Narr8 talking to any games companies?
We absolutely welcome this. In fact we work with our sister company Game Insight on ideas such as these. And in the near future, we’ll be releasing the “Pro” version of StoryBuilder, which will include heavy-duty content creation tools for serious creative looking to create professional-quality interactive content.
Who are you talking to? Any interesting names or projects you can share with us?
We are working with publishers, authors, and some well-known companies as potential partners. At this point we can’t name any names, but you’ll see big changes in 2014, particularly in our educational content for younger readers, as well as in user-generated content once StoryBuilder Pro launches.
What’s the biggest challenge in creating an interactive story or motion comic? Should more publishers give it a go?
Creating a compelling story with strong art direction is going to be a function of one’s own creativity and commitment, but the nuts and bolts of incorporating that writing and artwork into NARR8 is surprisingly easy. And with our upcoming StoryBuilder Pro, users who are serious about creating top-notch stories with dynamic interactive elements will be able to create series that are every bit as good as NARR8’s exclusive, in-house content.
We absolutely feel that more publishers, and more creatives, should give NARR8 a try, particularly when StoryBuilder Pro is released.
What’s your user base like in terms of technical demographics? Are iPhone users bigger interactive entertainment fans than Android? Is the iPad the unchallenged king?
iPad is still king, but other platforms, such as Android, Amazon, and Windows, are also doing well. We’re also very excited to have recently launched on Facebook, what with the social network’s 1 billion+ users, and we hope to see even more people enjoy NARR8 via web browser.
Which is your favourite story on NARR8 so far?
At the moment, my favorite series is The Secret City. It was the first licensed, third-party intellectual property NARR8 landed, and it was penned by bestselling author Vadim Panov. It’s an urban fantasy story that tells a tale of New York City—by day, a normal enough place (if you can call New York City normal!), but by night, a secret battleground where ancient creatures such as werewolves, vampires, and dark elves continue to fight an ages-old war just beyond the sight of mankind. It’s a very cool series and I highly recommend it!
What’s next for NARR8?
We are actively working on updating the app’s layout and visual design to make it more user friendly. We’ll also be making updates on payment solutions as well. In addition, we’re already working with some very well-known, very exciting publishing partners who produce traditional books and comics (sorry, I can’t name any names) to help make their content come alive with interactive features and get them published on NARR8. Now that the web version is available, our next major milestone will be StoryBuilding Pro, which will be the next step that will take NARR8 towards our goal of being the most powerful and most easy-to-use digital content publishing channel for mobile (and our other platforms) around.
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