Currently hosting an estimated 3 million weekly active users, Episode is a mobile platform for interactive stories told through mobile devices. One such series includes a strategic partnership with musician, Demi Lovato titled Path to Fame—a story that puts users in the spotlight as a musician on a quest for stardom. Along the way, users must balance friends, family and fame with guidance from Lovato, herself. The first two installments of the series earned a combined $13 million in revenue, 225 million episodes viewed and 20 million unique viewers.
The third installment, Path to Fame: Confidently Me, is available now through Episode and continues the musician’s journey when a record label gives them their own tour. Demi Lovato is currently on her US Future Now tour, so the timing of this third Episode installment has proved timely. “The tour plays a significant role in this story,” Jameel Khalfan, head of IP partnerships at Episode told [a]listdaily. “While creating this story, we worked closely with Demi to learn more about what her life on tour is like. We tried to capture all the ups and downs of that and work them into the plot.”
Episode prides itself in storytelling, so writing Confidently Me was more than repeating previous seasons. “The focus for Episode has always strong narrative,” Khalfan explained. “In everything we do, we want to be sure that we’re delivering the best possible stories to our audience. We did some new things for our audience like making the first two seasons free for fans so they got excited about season three.”
So, what’s it like to really work with Demi Lovato? Khalfan says that the partnership has been a positive learning experience. “We have learned a ton since we started working with Demi,” he said. “For example, it’s really important to our audience that they have a choice in the story—what they wear, who they date, how they react and are able to connect with their character in Episode. There are some constants too—it’s as true now as it was a year ago that the story should have as much Demi as possible.”
To market the new story, Episode takes full advantage of Lovato’s fan base. “Demi is a huge star with tons of fans, so partnering with her has been a great way to introduce Episode to more people,” Khalfan explained. Perhaps the most powerful marketing comes from word of mouth, however, as users share stories with their friends. Harnessing the power of consumer-to-consumer marketing, Episode started a new influencer program called “Episode Tastemakers.”
“We work with fans of Episode and help them spread the word about Demi and Episode in general,” said Khalfan. “They’ve been really terrific about making cool things like Let’s Play videos and memes to share with fans. We’re so excited to be working more with the Episode audience, they’re the best community in the world.”