The present and future of post production business and technology | Philip Hodgetts

Archive for October 2009

On last night’s Digital Production BuZZ, host Larry Jordan quizzed me on why I thought advertising was doomed and what would replace it.  I’m including the 6 minute interview here because it extends the thinking in my previous post on What will replace advertising? from a couple of days ago.

Philip Hodgetts on how branded media will replace advertising.

Update: Larry Jordan continues the conversation with his post: Where Are All the Ad Dollars Going.

Over the last two years I’ve been thinking extensively, and speaking on, about funding new media. (Want me to come speak on the subject at your group – email me!) It’s become increasingly obvious that advertising probably isn’t the way the majority of media will be funded in the future.

In the (relatively brief) period of mass media – Television, newspapers, magazine and radio – the publisher or license holder built an audience and then sold that audience to advertisers to push unrelated products and services to the audience who mostly didn’t care. With 70% of Americans desirous of paying to avoid advertising (counting me among them) you have to wonder how long the tedium of irrelevant advertising will be tolerated by audiences.

Even the web is a horrible experience unless you are smart enough to enable ad blocking and Click2Flash (Flash blocking in webkit displays system wide – OS X only afaik). With those two add-ons enabled the web doesn’t burn my eyes with the pain of flashing, jumping, irritating distractions. If my failure to ruin my experience of a site by blocking the ad sends the site off the net, so be it. I didn’t ask for the advertising.

Technically, of course, it’s not all advertising that’s horrible, just irrelevant advertising. Like watching a 45 minute show on Hulu and seeing the same fabric softener ad five times!!!! And Hulu has the temerity to complain that I’m using ad blocking! People don’t really mind relevant advertising, but so little of it is! In fact, for me about 99.9% of advertising is irrelevant. In maybe 200-300 hours of in-car listening to KNX1070 (LA News radio) I’ve heard one ad that was relevant (Windscreen chip repair). That is the only ad that doesn’t carpet KNX wall to wall! (Figures!)

So, I have a fairly hard-and-fast rule that I don’t buy from anyone who advertises to me. Send me junk mail, go out of my purchase consideration list.

Anyhow, I’m not alone. Not only is advertising losing its effectiveness, it turns people off (and yes, I have references for every assertion I make, I just don’t want to clutter the blog) and that’s just not going to be a way to build an audience.

But there’s a much bigger problem. There’s not enough advertising for any “new media” and “old media” is losing advertising support in dramatic amounts.

But most relevant of all. Advertising in someone else’s show makes no sense. The biggest advertising brands would be much better off with branded entertainment, where they would pay for the content and integrate the advertising. American Academic Mark Pesce, now at the Australian Film, TV and Radio School, coined the term “Hyperdistribution” where a single sponsor integrates ads relevant to the show’s audience and in the style of the show, and then it’s distributed anywhere and everywhere it can be. P2P and Bittorrent distribution is welcomed!

My friend Cirina Catania worked on a very successful series of branded media (online video) for Chivas Regal and I believe that this is the direction of the future: useful, interesting content that is, in some way, relevant to the brand and hooked back to the brand. Why torture audiences with irrelevant advertising when you can entertain them and still get the brand message across in a relevant way?

I’m clearly not the only one that thinks this. I recently found a great presentation called (correctly) The Audience is always right. Check it out and then make a comment.



What is drop-frame Timecode?

Although I come from a country where we count frame rates in whole numbers and, therefore don’t need to skip frame counts in the timecode, I thought I understood it at least as well, or better, than “NTSC natives”. That is, until I really, truly had to understand it to ensure the reported time counts in Sequence Clip Reporter are accurate.

Well, it took three pieces of additional information before I truly understood it: Rainer Standke’s insistence that “frame is a frame is a frame”; the realization (although known) that 29.97 is actually slower than 30 fps with the consequence that each frame runs slightly longer than at 30 fps; and that the correction can’t be applied evenly.

At one level I knew all of these things, but it really all came together when I got the “right” mental picture. Since I could not find any illustrations that showed why the skip-frame timecode (a better term than drop frame imnsho) needed to skip frames, I decided to create this one. It’s licensed with a Creative Commons – Attribution license. That means you can reproduce it, or use it for any purpose as long at the attribution to me remains.

Not shown on the image is that the 2 frame skip-forward happens at every minute, except ever 10 minutes. There are other parts to the pattern as the timescale gets longer.

Click on the image to load the full size.

Click on the image to load the full size.



Snow Leopard Compatibility

I’m very happy to announce that all of our Assisted Editing software is now Snow Leopard (a.k.a. Mac OSX 10.6) compatible.

Even better, along with the speed improvements from running on Snow Leopard, Greg also improved the XML parsing speed so all the apps should be very noticeably faster.

These updates are free and can be downloaded from within each piece of software, using the built-in updating framework, or you can simply download the current version from Assisted Editing and overwrite the current version.

October 2009
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