Outside the Frame, Vimeo’s signature event for video innovation is just around the corner on Sept 26, 2023. Without a doubt, you will learn to stand out in today’s content-saturated climate using new products from Vimeo. What’s more, innovative marketing and creative strategies from globally renowned speakers:
Vimeo’s annual, online event gives attendees the opportunity to unlock skills in video storytelling, incorporating AI, and honing your creative process. In order to remove any doubts, check out the full agenda of the Americas Region. Not to mention: Outside the Frame is completely free!
Vimeo has lined up some impressive speakers, spanning all areas of the creative process. For this reason, Outside the Frame consists of three tracks, or as they call them, content focus areas:
Simultaneously, each content focus area will have educational talks, mini-master classes, and networking opportunities. By all means, you are still free to hop from one track to any other and create a personalized agenda.
Are you ready to hear talks on new marketing trends, AI advancements, and creative tactics in a half-day event? Sign up today and we’ll see you there. After you register, contact us. First, we can coordinate our itineraries for the event. With this purpose in mind, we will cover as much as the action as possible, across all three tracks. Finally, at the conclusion of the event, we can re-connect and compare notes.
An online video ad platform, such as the one offered by JW Player, provides a quick return on investment and impact business, especially in the broadcast industry. For years, if you wanted to make money from online advertising you had to shop for an online video platform (OVP) first. Then you would find an ad network. Lastly, you would hope the two played nicely together. Thankfully those days are long gone.
In the last ten years, or so, the OVP industry has seen a significant increase in feature sets. This has been through organic development and also through partnering with complimentary service providers, such as ad platforms. One example is JW Player, a “one-stop-shop” for web video publishing, video content management system, and online video ad platform. They worked with a leading industry analyst to get data to support their commitment to this philosophy.
Case Study in Broadcasting highlights the impact of an Online Video Ad Platform
Broadcasters have felt the impact of cord cutting in the past decade. Consequently, they have embraced the old mantra: “If you can’t beat them, join them.” Implemented properly, web video impacts Broadcasters in a positive way. For most broadcasters, a complete replacement of legacy systems is necessary. However, in the end reducing operating costs and producing more inventory directly adds to the bottom line.
Given the current climate of eroding MVPD carrier fees and increasing competition from direct-to-consumer streaming services, Broadcasters are looking for gains across all areas of the business. For cable channels that own their content, the web can provide additional revenue streams. For all broadcasters, economies of scale efficiencies offer increased profitability.
JW Player, a leading web video platform, recently commissioned a Forrester Total Economic Impact (TEI) report, specifically targeting the broadcast industry. To demonstrate their findings, the two firms co-hosted a webinar. Let’s explore some of the highlights.
JW Player commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study and examine the potential return on investment (ROI) broadcasters may realize by deploying JW Player
THE TOTAL ECONOMIC IMPACT™ OF JW PLAYER FOR BROADCASTERS A FORRESTER TOTAL ECONOMIC IMPACT™ STUDY COMMISSIONED BY JW PLAYER JANUARY 2023
OVP and Regional Sports Network Knock it Out of the Park
The subject broadcaster, SportsNet New York (SNY), is defined by key characteristics that should be pointed out when analyzing the report results, including:
Majority of their programming is live sports
They are a Regional Sports Network
Gained increased viewership in 2022, thanks to a championship caliber regular season from the NY Mets, their flagship programming property
Understanding these characteristics individually is essential to providing context for the TEI results. One of the most compelling was highlighted in the report: 2022’s performance by the NY Mets. Unfortunately, given the webinar’s schedule constraints, there wasn’t sufficient time to cover all of these. Let’s address each of them.
Live events, in a category with few rivals
First, SNY relies almost exclusively on live sports, pre/post-game coverage, and programming around their flagship vehicle, the NY Mets. Consider that live sports is often considered the “last stand” for linear broadcasting. Parks Associates report, Insights into the Evolving US Streaming Landscape, found that “live streamers” subscribe to more services and spend more than “non-livestreamers.” If you are a broadcaster that does not own rights to live content, your mileage may vary on the results of this report.
When it comes to Local, Less is more
Second, regional sports networks are able to sell directly to local advertisers, as well as national brands. The ability to target a small, serviceable audience is worth a significant premium to media buyers. On the other hand, national broadcasters may only have the option to participate in ad networks. As a result, ad revenue streams are at the mercy of bidding algorithms.
Hit Show Halo Effect
Lastly, the season long performance of the marquee programming attraction. Yes, the Mets are under new ownership and should have a sustained run for the foreseeable future. Sports seasons are subject to:
individual performances, anyone can have a down year
plain old luck
Specific numbers have to be properly contextualized based on these factors. Forrester’s TEI report does calibrate what was a breakout season for the Mets in 2022. Broadcasters have to consider the halo effect of similar “hit shows,” or lack thereof, with respect to their web video’s ROI.
What is Web Video’s ROI for Broadcasters?
After interviewing the SNY team, Forrester’s TEI came away with three major findings. The areas with the greatest return on investment (ROI) were:
Ad Revenue: if you own content, monetize it! JW Player’s online video ad platform allowed SNY to unlock the maximum revenue potential of their inventory.
Time to Market: Using the JW web video platform SNY is now able to produce 30 videos per month. In contrast, their legacy system created only two in the same production window. Additionally, JW’s end-to-end workflow has a modern user experience and requires less internal resources.
Video Production up time and Service Request Response: no more slow-to-load video players or viewer abandonment. A state of the art video platform means video playback starts well within the consumer’s expectations.
Let’s dive into each one in more detail.
How does an Online Video Ad Platform Impact Revenue?
Direct sales is the name of the game when it comes to ad revenue. To that end, migrating to JW’s platform gives SNY access to audience demographics and the ability to create ad rules. This new capability provides their media partners with needed data to make profitable, lasting partnerships work. The webinar goes into a good amount of detail on how JW web video impacts broadcaster ad revenue.
How does Web Video Impact Time to Market?
JW’s optimized OVP workflow saw SNY cutting production time from 30 minutes to 2 minutes. Savings like this in video edit time and coordination allows SNY to meet the increasing demand for in-play clips. Additionally, internal resources are now free to work on in-studio programming, increasing owned and operated content inventory.
According to Parks Associates, TV remains the top device for OTT services, despite its consistent decline over the past years. Consumption has shifted to mobile devices, now the second most popular device among consumers. Web video omni-screen strategies allow broadcasters to maintain their foothold on large screens, while simultaneously serving the mobile market.
How does Web Video Impact Production and Service?
First challenge for broadcasters looking to make an impact: get visitors to your site. The second is keeping them on your site. And finally, the ultimate goal is having them watch videos to completion.
One of the best ways to achieve that goal is to update the back-end production system. Not only will your content look and sound better, but it will also see a boost in:
faster load time, reducing bounce
higher viewing completion rates
service up-time: just like sports, the best ability is availability
All of these add up to better user experiences for the consumer and less service calls for you.
How will an Online Video Ad Platform impact your Bottom Line?
Web video impacts broadcasters, but it can help businesses large, medium, and small. Now is the right time to modernize your audience’s web video experience. We understand that internal resources are limited and that is exactly why we offer web management services. Our expertise will save you time, money, and allow you to allocate precious resources to your core business.
Are you ready to replace your legacy video system? Contact HSV Innovations for a free consultation. Once we identify your use case, together we’ll find the correct web video solution to meet your budget and schedule to begin impacting your bottom line.
Streaming studios is a new option for anyone who wants to digitally deliver a theatre productions. In a recent article, Playbill wrote about several Digital Streaming Platforms that have emerged to fill the gaps created by COVID-19. In addition to MTI, which I mentioned in an earlier post, and On The Stage, the Playbill article highlighted another alternative. Up to this point, we’ve discussed solutions for theatrical groups with existing access to a physical performance space. If you fall into that category, digital platforms make it easy for take your production and put your show online.
On the other hand, if you do not have a dedicated space you can now rent one. This also applies to you if you are an individual performing artist, not only theatrical groups. In response to the current climate, there are several theater companies converting parts of their theater to streaming studios. Renting these streaming studios, you can capture a play, reading, or even a short film. While fairly new, they already span from California to New York:
One director, Ralph B. Peña, explains how he came up with this idea provide a way for artists to create. More importantly, a way to keep performing artists employed. And, last but certainly not least, to keep performing artists in NYC, an important creativity hub. You can watch Ralph give an overview of Ma-Yi Studio in the video, below.
Theatrical licensing agencies, including MTI and Concord, have secured rights to live stream select musicals, comedies, and dramas. This has occurred all in the last month as a direct response to COVID-19. During this quarantine period, schools and theatrical groups cancelled performances. These licensing houses had no choice but to seek alternatives to stay in business. Live streaming to the rescue!
An Example Close to Home
Here in NY, I know of one community theatre group that is conducting outdoor, socially distanced rehearsal. And the demand was great! They purposely chose a show that has
a small company, with no ensemble
a simple set, keeping stage crew to a minimum
a short runtime
Their expectation is that in another month’s time, restrictions will allow large enough groups to gather indoors for performances. However, the musical in question does not include streaming rights. For this reason, backup plans for the culminating performance include:
limiting the show to a selection of songs
a suitable outdoor venue
My expectation is that this proves you can produce live, stage performances; musical, comedy, or drama; in a safe manner as we reopen. If you are a theatrical group exploring this new delivery mechanism, let’s take a quick look at some factors to consider.
Licensed Productions: The Plays the Thing
It all starts with the license. Your theatrical group must sit down and decide what kind of production you want to run. Then, you review the list of available shows and select a suitable match. On the other hand, theatrical licensing agencies I have spoken with assure me they are continuing to seek out rights holder to partner with and grow their existing catalogs. For that reason, bookmark the plays and musical catalog sites. Check back frequently as the list of shows with streaming rights should be updated constantly.
Rights can vary in a few ways. While I’m biased towards live streaming, some shows only allow scheduled streaming or on demand viewing. Furthermore, rights to a particular show may limit you to a school or kid’s edition and not the full version. In those cases, agencies may only grant the rights to a school.
In the example above, the play choice had a small cast and minimal sets. Focusing on the sets for the time being, they have two main aspects: structural and labor. For safety reasons, your theatrical group will want to keep staff to a minimum. Here is where live streaming has a major advantage: digital scenery.
completely virtual, move and transition with just clicks
less crowding backstage
frees tech staff up for other task
Depending on your theatrical licensing agency, these may be included for certain shows. Most likely, backgrounds and drop will add cost, but a fraction of physical sets. On top of that, your budget may even allow for more locales than you originally planned, when considering storage is now hard drive space not a warehouse.
Theater Crowd Control
Last but not least, special consideration must be given to the audience. When considering safety, the critical factor will likely be restrictions on large gatherings. In my opinion this should be the deciding factor to live stream or produce a virtual event (pre-recorded, remote productions, et al). Similar to keeping backstage at a low occupancy, the house should be empty of patrons.
Prior to going live for a “full house” your company should get used to the technical aspects. A few of the theatrical licensing agencies allow dress rehearsals and the ability to offer complimentary tickets. As a result, you can test your show to make sure it looks the way you want. Afterwards, you can open it up to bigger audiences.
An exclusively web-based audience now provides your theatrical group with new possibilities. With a firm grasp on the technical side of the house, you can sharpen the live streaming costs and find sweet spots for:
budget, in comparison to renting a larger theater
My hope is if you are a theatrical groups that previously had to rent an outside space, you can re-purpose your budget, or a portion, into offsetting the live stream costs. And if you own your own space, live streaming will allow larger audiences beyond your usual capacity. Lastly, in both cases, as you get comfortable with the technology, the streaming budget increases, improving production quality.
Standing Room Only
This is by no means a complete and comprehensive guide to producing a musical or play during a pandemic. One glaring omission at first reading this should be: I don’t mention video requirements. In my experience, many theatrical groups have a house videographer or often work with a video production company. But, there are many other considerations, that video will not solve. Just to name a few:
testing or screening of cast, crew, and staff
socially distancing rehearsals and blocking
disinfecting rehearsal spaces, costumes, and props
From a technical perspective, take a look at my gear page for ideas on what you will need to live stream your performance. Depending on your level of comfort and expertise, a mobile device may be all you need. But you will need to convert the video into a web friendly format. You can use software or dedicated hardware. Just like set, costumes, and props, you may choose to buy or rent.
Once your show is on the web, you need a video player for your audience to watch. Again, theatrical licensing agencies are delivering turn-key solutions that offer virtual:
theaters, including lobbies
Make sure to contact your licensing agent and find what show options, technical capabilities, and customer support they are offering. We are in a pandemic, but the show must go on!
In addition to state of the art 12G-SDI inputs and a brighter, high dynamic range (HDR) screen, some key features to allowing for uninterrupted, long form recording include:
Dual, hot-swap capable Sony L- series battery slots
Dual, hot-swap capable SD card slots
USB‑C external disk recording
While it’s not on our gear list (yet), if you are considering shooting in RAW or archiving a live event and need help setting up monitors, video, or audio recorders, contact us about getting one up and running on your production.
Below is a studio produced IBC lead-in video. It’s queued up to jump ahead and begins at the 9:50 mark, right as they dive into to listen to all the new Video Assist highlight. Stream On