Pioneer Era — first-movers create their own technologies, e.g. Pixar, Amazon, Zynga;
Engineering Era — bottoms-up tools and middleware emerge to support overwhelmed engineering teams, e.g. Ruby on Rails, Stripe;
Creator Era — top-down tools emerge to support a much larger market of creators and disrupt many of the businesses of the prior eras, e.g. Adobe, Shopify, YouTube.
Prosumer technologies take centre stage
Enabling “prosumer” technologies are a key symbol of the Creator Era. Musicians are expected to expand beyond streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music to technologies that drive discovery on those platforms and empower them to connect with their fans.
We are also seeing a convergence of podcasts and videos; for example, OffCamera with Sam Jones, which records interviews with filmmakers then releases the audio as a podcast and the black-and-white video footage as an online TV show.
According to Bloomberg, YouTube is reaching out to podcasters and podcast networks, offering “grants” of up to $50,000 to individual shows and $200,000 and $300,000 to podcast networks to entice them to create video versions of their shows.
Are digital natives planning to take over the world? You may well think so if you look at the media technology industry, where trends support an increasingly digital-native economy, as outlined in Silverwood Partners’ Media Technology: Strategic Industry Analysis 2022.
Video Production in a Remote Working Era
The COVID pandemic jump-started an era of mass remote working, which meant that content creators — who rely on collaborative processes — struggled with video management: searching for clips, reviews and approvals, tracking assets, transcoding, etc. This accelerated technological innovation…as tech companies raced to meet the needs of a broad range of video creators and media companies.
The Streaming Wars
The confinement of people to their homes led to another disruptive influence: audience numbers for streaming content skyrocketed. En masse, viewers cut the cord with traditional broadcasters and turned their eyeballs to Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Hulu and other streamers.
Upsurge in Video Marketing
Throughout 2021 the demand for content seeped into almost every industry and, in response, the creator economy became more sophisticated.
We’ve seen a significant increase in recent years in the numbers of digital-native ‘influencers’ and professional video creators as they build their personal brand through video. Add to that the rise and rise of video marketing among enterprises, and you get the picture: technology had to ‘fly fast’.
So, it was time to wave goodbye to video files stored on hard drives and face-to-face teamwork —it was time to embrace the cloud! Remote collaboration became a reality and will need to be a key part of enterprise strategy going forward.
Enterprises and video creators are also operating in a very competitive environment. Broadcast-grade technology such as Overcast’s video management platform — which facilitates effortless collaboration and an efficient workflow — will be essential to their survival.
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The following is a brief introduction to our Zahra Case Study which can be viewed in full below.
Zahra is a full-service content agency with owned media in the Food and Parenting verticals. Their mission is to connect brands with audiences through the creation and distribution of purposeful content.
“The review and approval process within Overcast has made it a lot clearer for everyone who is working on the project: clients, videographer, our team. It’s so helpful being able to compare older to newer versions side-by-side using timecodes.”
— Alan Breslin, Production Coordinator, Zahra Media Group.
“Content was stored in multiple locations which meant that things were difficult to find. This wasted SO MUCH TIME. It made collaboration (within the team and with clients) difficult because so much time would be spent trying to transfer enormous files.
— Gina Miltiadou, Managing Director, Zahra Media Group
We needed a space that we could use internally and have versions 1, 2, 3 — and a place for continuing versions to be easily accessed by clients. If we are in a V3 stage and they decide if we want to use something from V1, we need to be able to access it.
— Alan Breslin, Production Coordinator, Zahra Media Group.
Overcast was able to help them with their folder management and metadata taxonomy. Then we trained up the various teams — client services, editorial, etc. — to show them how they too could manage the content in the cloud.
After a few weeks of adapting to the new workflows, more people have been able to become part of the video creation supply chain. Editors now get to spend more time working on what they want to work on — great content.
Perhaps the biggest surprise has been how it has helped client relations and experiences. By getting access to centralised content, an easy-to-use interface, semantic search and a well-defined audit trail, they are also able to engage in a clearer and more productive manner.
In this world of streaming video, the demand and opportunity for content targeted at global markets is continuing to skyrocket. But the total money available in those markets is lagging behind. A key challenge is the versioning and localisation of that content.
What do these terms mean? Most of the content produced has to be versioned for the various platforms and services on which it will be distributed. Most of it will also be ‘localised’ — that is, prepared for consumption in another territory — this can include adding foreign language subtitles and soundtrack, and re-editing to comply with regulatory and cultural requirements.
“The scale of the localisation process is immense. For every asset we create, we can have up to 16 different versions to cover all the regulatory requirements of our various markets. Now, across our consumer-facing international brands alone, we create thousands of hours of original content a year. Multiply that by up to the 16 versions; then multiply that by the number of languages, and then by the different audio dubbing and subtitling requirements. Add in the internal video editing that may be required to make the nuances of storytelling work in different territories: it quickly becomes millions of assets. And that’s before we get into promos and short form.”
— James Crossland, SVP International Operations, Warner Media.
So, what’s being done to address this immense challenge?
The roundtable generated the following three key insights.
1. Maturity in internal business relationships
There’s lots of content being delivered, but…oops!…it’s not compliant with delivery requirements. And…double oops!…it’s not suitable to be prepped for versioning and localisation. Is this because there are no clear standards for deliverables in the media industry? Well, partly, but it’s mostly because people don’t want to upset the apple cart among the creative and commercial teams.
Solution: Companies need to incentivise and build more productive relationships between different parts of their business.
2. Building trust into what we receive
We’re naturally inclined do business with people we know, like and trust. But when a piece of content is passed from one content provider to another, the receiving company may find that it’s technically inferior to what was promised. This means that even well-established, high-quality media companies don’t trust each other.
Solution: Use a cloud-native central library and agreed specifications for assets.
3. All content should not be equal
All content is, in effect, tiered at the point of commission. In the pre-streaming world of linear distribution, tiering was based on the schedule: ‘daytime’, ‘peak’, ‘post-watershed’, and so on.
In this new world of on-demand, tiering is more difficult to identify. But, in reality, budgets alone still create tiering.
Solution: Media companies should reflect the reality that all content should not be equal in the way they manage the onward processing of content. Some content is simply more valuable and should be treated as such.
DPP Tech Leaders’ Briefing
The who’s who of the media industry will converge on London for the DPP Tech Leaders’ Briefing. Overcast CEO Philippe Brodeur will be there on 13th and 14th November and is be delighted to meet you and illustrate how your company could save time and money on more effective media asset management and internal collaboration.
Why Meet With Overcast?
A) Cloud Native
We get it. You want your applications to run more effectively together. You want this workflow to elevate the productivity of your team. So you sign up with a cloud provider and use it to run your existing applications. Problem solved, right? Not necessarily — like content, not all cloud solutions are created equally.
So why is cloud-native important? Each part (applications, processes, etc) is packaged in its own container — this means your activities, actions and workflows are optimized for the cloud. And that ultimately means less cost and less time fussing about with legacy technologies.
SaaS, while it incurs a subscription charge, is significantly more cost-effective since you’ll save on hardware, licences, tech support, and scaling up.
(C) Tech-enabled services
On a cloud-native platform like Overcast, we segmented our application into microservices. This means they are significantly more agile and maintainable. Crucially, a tech-enabled service empowers you to redesign your workflows for speed and cost reduction. Oh — and it means you can pick and choose what you want so there’s no need to buy a whole tonne of software you would never use.
IBC 2019 is only a few weeks away and we are delighted to be attending as part of the Amazon Partner Network. Yes, that’s right, we’ll be on AWS booth 5.C80 from 13–17 September in Amsterdam. Click here to read an AWS blog post about the technological advances in video creation and distribution they will be showcasing.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are changing video workflows. Two of the key innovations that we’ll be highlighting with AWS are:
— Searching video clips for objects, colours, settings, events, words, sounds and facial recognition;
— Automating transcription and translation to generate captions, subtitles, and audio in multiple languages for live and on-demand streams.
At Avid Connect 2019 we launched the integration of our software with the world’s premier edit suite. Our presence there has already led to collaborations with some high profile Hollywood clients.
At NAB 2019, we spent an exciting four days on the Amazon Web Services stand. We were selected by AWS from technology companies worldwide as one of its 12 key tech partners for the event.
While in Las Vegas, Overcast CEO Philippe Brodeur was invited to be a panellist on IABM TV’s discussion about trends in content creation. Here’s what he had to say:
IABM TV Panel
About Overcast HQ Ltd.
Overcast HQ provides powerful video management solutions that streamline how businesses review, approve and collaborate on video using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Built on Amazon Web Services and integrated with Microsoft Azure as well as Google Cloud, Overcast is available around the world and delivers enterprise security, redundancy and scale. Overcast is offered as both a SaaS video and digital asset management service or as an OEM solution that can be integrated through its RESTful API directly into a tech stack.
For further information, please contact Philippe Brodeur on +353-(0)86-834-7881 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
At NAB 2019 and Avid Connect 2019, we rocked Vegas! Well, maybe not in the traditional sense but we rocked it our way since we’re not as famous as Celine Dion (not yet, anyway).
Avid Connect 2019
We were delighted to launch our partnership with the world’s premier editing software at Avid Connect 2019. Overcast’s Collaboration, Review and Approval application is now directly incorporated into Avid’s Media Central | Cloud UX platform and our presence at Connect 2019 has already led to collaborations with some high profile Hollywood clients.
From the Aria Resort we headed for the Las Vegas Convention Center, where we spent the rest of the week at NAB 2019. What a buzz! It was very exciting being on the Amazon Web Services stand, having been selected by AWS from technology companies worldwide as one of its 12 key tech partners for the event.
Building technology partnerships with two of the biggest media players in the world is central to Overcast’s global ambition.
After 8 days and more than a hundred client meetings, we left Las Vegas on a high. We can’t wait for next year!
If you can’t wait until then to find out how our video management platform will save you time and money, you can contact our CEO Philippe Brodeur directly on email@example.com. We’d be delighted to give you a demonstration of the Overcast platform.
101 companies lighting up the online video industry
Pop that champagne! It’s celebration time! Overcast HQ is proud to be named in Streaming Media Europe’s top 101 companies lighting up the online video industry: the 2018 Streaming Media Europe 101 list.
Who’s on the list?
Every year Streaming Media shines a spotlight on 101 trail-blazers i.e. companies they consider the most interesting, important and influential in online video. This list includes US-based companies that are active in Europe and also recognises European-based companies that are having an impact outside of the continent. It highlights the achievements of start-ups making an impact in Europe alongside established players within the industry, such as Google, Apple, Sky and Amazon.
Who is the awarding body?
Streaming Media is a diversified news media company providing global real-time news, resources and information to help foster the adoption of streaming media technology and applications. A team of writers and editors at Streaming Media judged that Overcast HQ merits a place on this prestigious list.
Why did Overcast HQ make the cut?
Overcast HQ’s innovative cloud-based DAM platform makes it effortless for companies to manage their digital assets, in particular video assets. Its video collaboration technology stack creates a streamlined, smart, easy-to-use video management experience for all of its clients.
Reacting to the industry endorsement from Streaming Media, Overcast HQ CEO Philippe Brodeur said, “Our recent launch of machine learning-based services aimed at automating mundane video tasks is changing the way the industry thinks and works. As we move into an era of Big Video — where every business needs to communicate through moving images — the time is ripe for disrupters like Overcast HQ to help standardise workflows, speed up delivery times, reduce costs and ultimately impact on increasing revenues.”
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