The Arbour Media Blog

Thinking about media production

“The Web is Turning into a Video Medium”

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The New York Times covered the recent Digital Content New Fronts conference in New York city that major online video providers plugged new original programming designed to attract ad spending.

Watch the New York Times Times video.

It’s an on-coming trend that will establish expectations for audience that will be viewing your website and message.

Written by Arbour Media

May 7th, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2009 Film Industry by the Numbers

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We ran across this infographic online and thought it interesting.

Film industry by the numbers
Via: Online MBA

Written by Arbour Media

March 5th, 2013 at 10:52 am

The B-Words, or How to Ask How Much Making a Video Will Cost

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We often get calls from potential clients who want to know “about how much it will cost” to produce a video.

Our response to such inquires is is almost always “well, what are your business objectives for the project and what’s your budget?” Not infrequently there’s a pause in the conversation long enough to suggest that when we’ve uttered the b-words—budget and business objectives—we’ve broached an akward topic along the lines of politics or religion.

That pause is the result of a common misconception. There are those who feel that if they share a specific budget figure they are going to get a bad deal. “If I tell them how much I have to spend,” the thinking goes, “they’ll find a way to spend it all. If I don’t tell them how much I have to spend, maybe I can save some money.”

The fact is that we can’t give clients a good deal unless we know what their budget is because it’s the main factor in determining creative choices that can be made on a project. From our point of view, a good deal for a client is producing the most effective video we can with the resources available.

What’s an effective video? It’s a film that meets a client’s business objectives. Not infrequently, a potential client will ask us how much much a video will cost without a clear idea about what they want someone to do or think after they have seen it. A video is not an end in itself, it’s a tool to accomplish a marketing or advertising goal.

If we don’t know how much a client has to spend or what they want to accomplish any quote we provide is bound to be wrong.

If we could give our clients advice before they call to talk about a project, at the top of the list would be: have clear ideas about what you want a video to accomplish and be ready to communicate a reasonably firm budget. That’s information that will help any video producer get you the best deal possible.

In many respects, commissioning a video is like contracting to build a new home. It’s possible to get a lovely, livable home built for almost any price provided a plan is in place to make the most of available resources by guiding certain choices. Four baths or two? Wood paneling or drywall? Marble counter tops or laminate? Copper pipes or PVC? Architects help their clients develop a plan for the best house possible on budget by providing information to help answer such questions. Video producers help clients produce the best video possible in much the same way.

It’s very helpful when client’s can provide us examples of videos like the one they’d like to produce — something that’s easy to do today by linking to examples on YouTube or elsewhere on the Web. Review of such reference videos provides us with the opportunity to explain the kinds of choices that might be made and to explain their associated costs.

Written by Arbour Media

July 10th, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Long Form Video Begins to Take Off Online

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According to a new research report released by global online video service provider OOYALA, in the first quarter of 2012, half the videos watched online by their viewers ran longer than 10 minutes.

The firm found that people don’t seem to be changing the kind of content they are viewing “they are instead choosing to watch traditional TV and movie content on their new connected screens” such as iPads and other tablets, video-enabled phones, and TVs connected to the internet via gaming consoles and similar devices.

The report was based on video-usage data gleaned from over 1000 of the company’s customers world-wide and suggests the trend will continue “as more premium film and TV content arrives online.”

We’ve been interested in this audience statistic at Arbour Media, because we’ve been thinking about in the internet as means to distribute long form video programs we may produce independently or on behalf of clients. The OOYALA data suggest a lot people are now watching at longer programs online as part of their normal routine — that a first step toward acceptance of independently produced long form content.

According to the study, “‘typical’ TV viewing is shifting—and not slowly—from broadcast channels on a single screen to mobile, multi-screen viewing experiences.” OOYALA’s suggestion for video producers and advertisers: “if you don’t have a multi-device video strategy, get one. Fast.”

Because the long-form content viewers are choosing comes from TV networks and movie studios, a challenge for independent producers may be to match the production values of popular shows and films. Unfortunately, OOYALA’s work does not look specifically on the role production values have on viewer engagement.

Given the quality of work we see on Vimeo on a regular basis, we can’t help but feel that independent producers can efficiently turn out work for online distribution on an acceptable par with network and “Hollywood” production for smaller audiences.

Written by Arbour Media

June 7th, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Apple to Announce Operating System for TV?

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BGR reports exclusively that Apple will announce iOS for TV at it’s upcoming Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC).

BGR says:

We’ve heard Apple is actively trying to court manufacturers to use a new “control out” API in order for third-party manufacturers to make accessories that are compatible with the new Apple TV OS and the upcoming “iTV.” It’s said that by using the API, it will be possible to control any connected components all from the Apple remote (and the Apple remote iOS app as well, we’re assuming).

This would be a huge change in the home theater landscape, which has until this point relied on a mess of thousands of infrared codes and physical cables in order for devices to be interoperable, or Wi-Fi-controlled apps for each component and piece of hardware.

The control out API is said to work with all aspects of various popular components, even allowing control over things like program guides on a cable operators’ set top boxes and other hardware components.

More than a huge change in “home theatre” this could be a huge change in the motion picture distribution business and the cable TV business, maybe the end of the latter.

That cable box so many now have could easily be reduced to to a cable service app.  It’s a prospect that makes one wonder if cable service providers will be needed for anything else besides providing a data pipe, because the cable service app could as easily become a cable network app.

And if a cable network is just going to be a Apple TVOS app, it’s likely that there will be a lot more networks aimed at a lot more specialized audiences. Much depends on how Apple structures the process of allowing distribution entities access to iTV distribution.

Written by Arbour Media

May 30th, 2012 at 11:29 am

3 Billion Hours

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REEL SEO has published its latest review of the latest YouTube stats.

Among the statistical tid-bits: 3 billion hours of video were watched each month via YouTube in 2011, up from 2 billion hours in 2010. Think about the fact that YouTube is only 7 years old, and that’s an astonishing number.

Another interesting number: there are 600 million views on YouTube a day on mobile devices.


Written by Arbour Media

May 28th, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Posted in Audiences,Strategy

Why Hire a Professional to Produce Online Video?

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Because hiring a professional will get you online faster with lower costs in the long run and give you access to greater creative resources. But don’t take out word for it. ReelSEO provides an article with a nice overview of issues to consider when deciding between in-house and professional production.

Reel SEO’s bottom line:

There are really only three instances when choosing to self-produce is the best choice:

  1. When you actually have some video production expertise or talent yourself (or on your staff), or…
  2. When your budget simply leaves no room to hire a professional, or…
  3. The goals of your video actually require it to appear self-produced.

Outside of those three reasons, I would advise almost anyone to look for a professional.  There are fewer risks, and the potential for huge upside.  And if you value your time, then self-producing can often end up costing you more than paying even high-dollar video production firms to handle the project.  But I know that reason number two above is going to put a ton of you in the self-production column, just by virtue of today’s economy.

Written by Arbour Media

December 5th, 2011 at 10:42 am

Another Source of Legal Info About Images

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The commercial use of images constantly raises legal issues. The other day we ran across and liked it right away, a blog by Carolyn E. Wright and friends. Ms. Wright is an attorney who often handles legal troubles of photographers and she’s also an active and accomplished wildlife photographer.

On the blog you’ll find artifices of interest to anyone who needs to think about the legal ramifications of image use.

Written by admin

October 21st, 2011 at 9:06 am

Posted in Legal Issues

A Smashing Overview of Copyright and Licensing Issues

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Today Smashing Magazine (one of our favs here) has published an article that provides a nice overview of copyright and licensing issues related to websites and other online venues. It’s well worth the time to read if you’re not familiar with such issues, especially the newer Creative Commons licensing options that are more and more used ’round the Web.

Written by Arbour Media

June 14th, 2011 at 9:25 am

Posted in Legal Issues

Smartphones Outselling PCs

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An interesting article in today’s Guardian (London, England) muses of the rise of the smartphone and the implications of that fact for the future:

The change that smartphones bring is computing power in the palm of our hands or in our pockets. It is internet connectivity almost anywhere on earth. That’s going to have profound effects. Horace Dediu, another former Nokia executive who now runs the consultancy Asymco, says: “Besides being powerful, they’re going to be ubiquitous. Not only in the hands of nearly every person on the planet, but also with them, or by them, all day long. They will be more popular than TVs and more intimate than wallets.”

They’re going to do far more than wallets (although they can already serve that function: a system called NFC, for Near Field Communications, is being built into smartphones and will let you pay for small items with the press of a button). All the things you can now do with a smartphone would have seemed like science-fiction only a decade ago: translate signs, translate words, take voice input and search the web, recognise a face, add another layer to reality showing you the quickest way to a tube or restaurant or the history of your immediate surroundings, show you where your friends are in real time, tell you what your friends think of a restaurant you’re standing outside, show you where you are on a map, navigate you while you drive, contact the Starship Enterprise. Well, perhaps not the last one. Even so, “A smartphone today would have been the most powerful computer in the world in 1985,” observes Dediu. In fact, today’s phones have about the same raw processing power as a laptop from 10 years ago. And every year they close the gap.

The element of personalisation and intimacy takes smartphones beyond what we’ve had before. Our mobile phone used just to be a repository of our phone contacts, some photos and texts. Now it’s our emails as well, our photos, our Twitter and Facebook accounts (and, by proxy, friends), plus all those apps and games that we’ve downloaded to give it our own personal experience.

One of the reasons they will be more popular than TVs is that they’s have at least as broad access to motion picture content and will be, as in the case of the iPhone 4, generating video content, probably of pretty high quality.

Movie shot on iPhone 4 by Park Chan-wook to hit South Korean theaters.

Written by Arbour Media

June 5th, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Posted in Digital Revolution