Archive for November, 2010

The AV industry in a 2.0 World

Social media, and Web 2.0 in general, is having an important influence in the world of business, displacing the old model where a clear border existed between producers and consumers. Business are incorporating social media strategies into their business models to make the most of the new context and to avoid falling behind regarding their competitors. Adapt or die.

The AV industry is being affected as well, in both a positive and negative way. The massive spreading of information make easier for consumers to learn and acquire skills that otherwise would just belong to the field of professional producers. Linked to this idea appears again the concept of prosumers (Sorry, noise for everyone!): Consumers directly competing against skilled professionals in the art of media production. Re-mixing their work, spending less money and time, decreasing quality, but after all succeeding! Is it fair? I suppose it depends on who is facing the question.

Having the whole world population as potential competitors must not be funny for big AV companies that enjoyed someday the privileges of exclusivity and monopoly. However, not everything is bad. Social media and media convergence, is bringing as well new opportunities. New market sectors to explore and expand themselves, as is the case of the increasingly popular short-form video content sector. The possibility of being ahead of the future success or failure of a production, by studying the latest social tendencies and opinions for similar products. Free marketing campaigns, specially important for small business which otherwise would be almost invisible.

On the other hand, in terms of AV creation, the so-called participatory culture associated to social media is bringing new waves of creativity in both its most beautiful and mediocre forms. Little contemporary art treasures hidden among incredible amounts of rubbish. Anonymous media content inspiring and being used in big AV productions without even realizing its original creator. Is this fair? I suppose it depends on who is facing the question…

Anyway, something is true: the modern AV industry is in everybody’s home. Quality content, in not many of them.

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A 30 seconds hook

Short-form video content has made his way towards the public’s heart, and… guess where advertising have their eye on! Their length perfectly fits in our fast lives. Long enough to entertain us, short enough to not distract us from the another thousand of fast online activities that require our immediate attention.

The amazing thing is that, for the first time, the use of video format for promotional aims, is not anymore the monopoly of big firms. What’s more, they have found fierce competitors in the so-called prosumers. The shift in audience’s preferences towards more casual, authentic and closer content have displaced bigger productions and its clear selling intentions.

This is the moment to admit it: I am not the owner of a big firm. I am just an audio producer about to be born. And when I think in the enormous popularity of short-form video content nowadays, the first word that cross my mind is “opportunities”. Mainly, opportunities of promoting myself as a professional in a medium where any fish could attract attention, not necessarily the biggest one.

The first important thing would be to decide exactly the target audience of the video along with the specific skills that I would like to highlight, in order to properly design the content and its form. But undoubtedly, the main emphasis would be put on creating some kind of real interest in the target audience.

According to the consumption patterns of short-form videos (pretty different of those related to traditional TV), there would be no point in creating a video just focused in selling myself at all cost. The audience would directly jump to the next video! The kind of promotion I am talking about would be based on establish a symbiotic relationship: My main effort would be focus on contribute creativity, entertainment, and maybe training (a video tutorial series focused in audio, for example). The audience, and social media environment closely related to short-form video content, would contribute in a massive spreading of my video, assuming that I finally achieved in creating meaningful content.

A really interesting thing about the sharing platforms where short-form video content is mostly distributed, is the possibility of monitoring and measuring the effectiveness of my modest marketing campaign, to find out as it goes along what factors are working and what are not.

Anyway, before I plan all the above, it could be worth to spend at least 5 minutes trying to discover the secret viral-video’s formula!

Brave new world

Dear Mr. Huxley,

I am writing you from the brave new world. Some changes did take place during the last years and I am sure you will be pleased to know them.

The apocalyptic message of the digital revolution prophets vanished in the air after all. They were rushed into thinking that the new media would kill the old one. Both of them are coexisting now, being their relationship complex and unpredictable. Maybe these prophets underestimated the power of the customs already stablished. Or maybe they just took into account the technological face of the change, which has been the trigger but not the whole.

Now, a new theory has born trying to amend its predecessor’s main failures. Convergence. A simple word to explain the conversion of the world I used to know into this completely unknown brave new world. A word to convey multiple ideas. The blurring of boundaries between different technologies, services, markets, mediums, means, media and minds. The technological, economical and cultural substratum where the change lies and evolves. The inevitable divergence associated to any convergence. To set an example, the divergence in the face-to-face interpersonal relationships associated to the convergence in social media based relationships. Collateral damages that we are forced to accept as the new way of happiness. (more…)

Seeds in the wind

Talking about intellectual property and copyright issues is talking about controversy. Controversy between those who understand art as seeds that must be scattered by the wind and those who understand art as an exclusive privilege just for those who can afford it. Controversy between genius and thieves of ideas. Between artists claiming for the money they deserve for their work, intermediaries who buy a new yacht every year and the public, who prefer not to pay for something when it can be obtained easily by free (illegally or not, that is another question…). No matter where you look at. There is controversy everywhere! Even in me.

A law which could comprehend all these controversies in a fair way seems to me really complicated. An impossible task, I dare say. Specially because we are talking about regulating a market of ideas, abstract concepts born in somebody’s mind. We are talking about padlocking an idea and spreading it at the same time. Difficult, isn’t it? (more…)