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

Archive for June 24th, 2010

My friend Terry Curren and I get together for lunch periodically. Last time he was trying to convince me, among other things, that Apple will drop Log and Capture from the next version of Final Cut Pro. I resisted the idea until I realized that not only was he right, but that Apple should drop Log and Capture. Here’s why.

Tape is deadish now, will be more so in 2012.

After revising the HD Survival Handbook last year I realized that HDV and tape in general was dead. HDV was the last tape format for acquisition and that too is now (according to me) officially “dead”. (Not that it’s out of use, but that it’s unwise to invest further in that format.)

So, given that I have considered tape to be “dead” for a year, how dead will it be in another 18-24 months? Very dead.

Sure, there will be people who need to capture from tape and output to tape. Output is already handled by Blackmagic Design and AJA with utilities that ship with their hardware. Blackmagic Design’s version includes capture.

Rewriting Log and Capture will waste engineering resources that should go into an improved Log and Transfer.

If tape capture and output is a third party opportunity (and both Blackmagic Design and AJA utilities are better at accurate insert editing than FCP is itself) then the engineering resources could go into improving Log and Transfer: speed and metadata support could be beefed up.

Dropping old technology and moving to new is in Apple’s DNA

We’ve dropped the floppy disk, ADB, and a host of other technologies. In the iDevices, Apple have frequently used the latest and greatest technology, so it’s much less likely they’d invest the resources that would be necessary to rebuild Log and capture.

So, I’m convinced: Log and Capture must go. Even though they have Cocoa code in the HDV version of Log and Capture I can’t see the benefit when the vast majority of FCP users in 2012 so it has to go. Leave an opportunity for third parties and move FCP into a newer, modern future.

Updated: Matt has a point in the comments that I should have addressed: tape will be with us for quite a while and I made almost all the same arguments to Terry before becoming convinced I was wrong.

Beside, tape is dead according to this image from Chris Roberts of a Copenhagen shop window:

Tape could well be dead.

Jun/10

24

File-sharing has weakened copyright and helped society.

File-sharing has weakened copyright—and helped society http://bit.ly/bcwl1W

Copyright is about creating incentives to create. It is not about protecting the business models of entrenched players.

Given that there is currently zero evidence that file sharing has hurt any music performer or TV/Film producer (and the US GAO says the “studies” by the industry (ie IRAA MPAAP are not factually based) and that performers still perform and creators still create, there seems to be no evidence that society has been hurt by relaxing copyright. In fact there’s a lot of evidence that weaker copyright has made society stronger, while not harming any industry.

Now, specific sectors, like CDs may have been hurt, overall the music industry is up 5% since 2007. What we’re really looking at is a business model problem from the Record Companies and studios, who are trying to get their dying business models entrenched in law by outrageous lobbying (and the congrescritters listen without brains turned on) regardless of what is good for society as a whole.

There’s just so much great content in this article at Ars that you really have to read it all.

Oberholzer-Gee and Strumpf presented a recent paper at a music business conference in Vienna that tried to answer this question empirically. By charting the production of new books, new music albums, and new feature films over the last decade, the authors tried to see whether creative output went up or down in correlation with file-sharing.

“Data on the supply of new works are consistent with our argument that file sharing did not discourage authors and publishers,” they write in their paper, “File-sharing and Copyright” (PDF).

“The publication of new books rose by 66 percent over the 2002-2007 period. Since 2000, the annual release of new music albums has more than doubled, and worldwide feature film production is up by more than 30 percent since 2003… In our reading of the evidence there is little to suggest that the new technology has discouraged artistic production. Weaker copyright protection, it seems, has benefited society.”

 

5 Media Relations Tips from Boston Globe Columnist, Scott Kirsner http://bit.ly/90HTGV

Scott’s been on both sides of the interviewer/interviewee equation so he knows his stuff. (He knows his stuff anyway!)

  1. Be Open!
  2. Be Seen
  3. Be an unselfish resource
  4. Create a dialog not a press release and
  5. Never call to ask if a press release was received.

These are great basics for dealing with an interview and certainly parallel what I’ve been teaching in my various seminars.

Jun/10

24

Hulu’s Views Are Up, But Its Audience Isn’t!

Hulu’s Views Are Up, But Its Audience Isn’t http://bit.ly/c0hjqb

It’s a very interesting graphic/statistic. Apparently the same viewers are going back to Hulu more often, but it’s not growing the total numbers of viewer anywhere near as quickly.

It’s hard to interpret other than that some people have really gotten into the Hulu Habit, watching a lot of their TV viewing there, while it’s not catching on beyond that core group. This could simply be “early adopters” and it won’t be until it moves more into the mainstream that the unique viewers will go up. Viewer numbers have actually dropped a little since last year.

Hopefully they will, or Hulu’s problem in brining in sufficient revenue from the service for its Corporate Masters will be exacerbated. Advertising more to the same people isn’t going to fund growth at Hulu.

Hulu had 43.5 million unique visitors in May, which is just barely above the 40 million unique visitors it had a year ago. It’s down from Hulu’s peak which was 44 million last December.

Why Buying Audience Directly Is The New Black http://bit.ly/ducSsp

Why should a brand rent someone else’s audience (on a network or website) when they can make direct connections with the audience through their own (branded) media.

This movement from buying audience indirectly to buying audience directly represents the effective merging of marketing and distribution costs. Rather than making one set of investments in marketing content and a different investment in distribution (through revenue splits), combining these costs into a single budget can yield substantial savings. This is why the costs of direct audience acquisition cannot be compared side-by-side with traditional marketing or distribution costs individually. The more that the costs of production, marketing, and distribution can be looked at as a whole with their cumulative impact on margin the better new methods of audience development can be assessed.

Add a story to a near worthless trinket on eBay and it sells for more! http://bit.ly/dj5JAe

A great followup story to the earlier post today on Paypal and the future of Media this study shows how attaching a “story” to a near-worthless trinket increased the value significantly. They got higher bids on eBay than other similar items.

This is a near-perfect analogy of how giving fans a reason to buy (something) using the infinite digital good (the music, movie or TV show in download form) works.

The “story” was given away for free, but the object cost money. What those involved in the project quickly found was that these worthless trinkets were suddenly selling for a lot more than their nominal “price.” It was a perfect example of how an infinite good (the story), when properly attached to a scarce good (the trinket), can make that scarce good much more valuable. This is a point that many have trouble grasping. They think, when we discuss the economics of infinite and scarce goods, that the price on scarce goods always remains the same, and never seem to take into account how a connected infinite good can greatly raise the value and the price of a scarce good. A hit song (infinite) heard by millions increases the price of a concert tickets (scarce). A brilliant blog post (infinite) can increase the price of a consultant (scarce) who wrote it. A sterling reputation (infinite) for an automobile company can increase the price of the cars (scarce) they sell. It goes on and on and on.

27 Benefits of Online video to a company http://bit.ly/aHTvPH

One increasingly popular part of social media is online video. Not only is video being used for marketing, but it’s also becoming a common method of communicating and sharing. I recently started experimenting with online video for my own business blog. Although I’m only a few videos in and have a lot of room for improvement, I can already see some encouraging benefits.

And then the author follows with 27 good reasons to use online video. For producers and production companies this is your marketing plan!

I’ve certainly noticed a trend in tutorial production. I maintain the BuZZdex for Larry Jordan and the trend has been away from the text-plus-images tutorial to more video.

Everything you need to know about SEO http://bit.ly/bPtdEt I shall be working through this tutorial myself!

Search Engine Optimization is one of the key topics in both my “Grow you Business” and “Grow and Monetize and Audience” seminars. It’s crucial for being more visible on the Internet. Most SEO optimization is relatively simple. You can get 80% of the benefit with relatively little work, or you can spend a lot more time to optimize that last 20% if you desire. (Personally I’m an 80% guy with stuff like this: I’ll put the extra effort into great content, itself very good for SEO optimization.)

This free tutorial cov ers every thing you need to know to get started improv ing your search engine rank ings in the major search engines. Put sim ply, this is the resource I would have kicked a fool in order to get my hands on when I was first div ing into the wild world of SEO.

The guide is the result of hun dreds of hours of research and includes chap ters on all of the following topics:

  1. How Search Engines Operate
  2. How Peo ple Inter act With Search Engines
  3. Why Search Engine Mar ket ing is Necessary
  4. The Basics of Search Engine Friendly Design & Development
  5. Key word Research
  6. How Usabil ity, Expe ri ence, & Con tent Affect Rankings
  7. Grow ing Pop u lar ity and Links
  8. Search Engine’s Tools for Web mas ters Intro
  9. Myths & Mis con cep tions About Search Engines
  10. Mea sur ing and Track ing Success

Jun/10

24

How Paypal Can Help Save Media – and itself

How Paypal Can Help Save Media—And Itself http://bit.ly/ddotgG similar to Techdirt’s CwF+RtB=profit. (Probably a truth if from 2 sources)

The essence of the article is that:

I wrote recently that there is an easy formula for consumer spend on media:  
Desire + Relationship + Ease = Spend

What struck me with that was the similarity between Ben Elowitz understanding of the future of media and that at techdirt.com. Techdirt expresses it as:

CwF + RtB = profit.

Connect with Fans (build audience/followers) and give them a Reason to Buy and they will buy stuff.

The ease of purchase is of course what we were trying to achieve with klickTab/Open TV Network: one of the easiest ways to get media is via RSS and we added in a commerce engine to make the process of paying for digital downloads much easier. Maybe PayPal can make it easy enough.

With ad revenues going less far to foot the bill for published content, making media profitable will increasingly mean turning to consumers to pay for content and experiences. And consumers open their wallets in proportion to how badly they want it (desire); how well they know the other parties (relationship); and how little work it takes (ease). This is why there is such a strong future in bite-size media consumption: for all the talk about paywalls and subscriptions, it is far easier to get payments of a buck or two. Apple (NSDQ: AAPL)demonstrates the value of bite-size with hundreds of millions of dollars of revenues from apps alone, far exceeding any leading online publisher’s subscription programs.

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