MarTechSeries: Interview with David Mason, CEO and Founder, StudioNow

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Tell us about your role and journey into technology. What made you start StudioNow?

I have been an entrepreneur for the past 25 years. Along the way, I have dabbled with having a normal job here or there, but always found that my passion was to create ideas and companies from scratch. My key ingredients have always been to identify a large-scale trend (internet retail, WiFi communications, digital video, etc.) and then create a new business model for that industry that utilized technology to disrupt the status quo. I started one of the first internet bookstores in 1994, which later became Buy.com, which was then sold to Rakuten. I started StudioNow in 2007 because I was taking a ton of birthday and vacation pictures of my five- and two-year-olds at the time and never got around to doing anything cool with that content. While thousands of these pictures and videos were clogging up my hard drive other and more experienced individuals with film school backgrounds and editing software were uploading funny and entertaining videos to YouTube and generating millions of views. My original idea was to create a marketplace where less experienced individuals (people like me) could be matched with video experts to turn their pictures and videos into something that was worth watching. StudioNow 1.0 was born and on the first day, we had about 80 video professionals sign up to be part of the StudioNow Creative Network. Fast forward to today, and we now have over 10,000 creative vendors from mom and pop creative shops to some of the largest, high-end production companies in the world. We stopped making video content for individuals in 2008 and our software platform now manages the video creation process (vendor sourcing, bidding, project management, contracting, payment, etc.) for some of the largest companies in the world, including Coca-Cola, P&G, HP, Bridgestone, etc.

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How do Marketing and Advertising Professionals Feel about the Rapidly Evolving Video Landscape?

Today’s video content landscape is rapidly evolving, and marketing and advertising professionals need to keep up. But how do they feel about the changes, and what effects are they seeing as a result? writes, David Mason, Co-founder and CEO, StudioNow

It’s no surprise that the way marketers and advertisers reach their audiences has dramatically shifted over the last few years – just look at the influx of new video content channels and tech advancements. Now we have brands trying to reach the eyes of their target consumer on TV, on their phones, on their tablets, in their apps… the list goes on.


I was curious to find out how these industry professionals felt about the evolving landscape. Have they faced new challenges as a result of new technologies? Have they seen an increase in demand for online video content vs. TV ads? Do the same processes and economic models that they have been utilizing for years still work for today’s needs?
StudioNow surveyed our network of video production and marketing professionals for their perspectives on these kinds of issues, and here is some of the data that I found most interesting:

54% of survey respondents believe there needs to be more transparency in the bidding process for creative work.

After the DOJ’s investigation into bid rigging practices, it’s imperative that the industry be committed to transparency, price efficiency, data aggregation and scale. Brands are spending significant budgets on creative work, but the current bidding and sourcing model is too opaque, broken and outdated. In the more technically advanced media buying space, there has been in place for years a fully transparent process and technology suite where the selection of vendors, pricing, contracts, payment and best value are revealed in a trusted manner by independent third-party providers. This technology and process support over $1 trillion in advertising spend…the same should take place in the creative space.

45% of survey respondents have seen brands’ budgets for producing marketing and advertising video content decreasing in 2018, but the demand for video content remains on the rise.
Brands want video content and they need to create more content to reach audiences in new ways, but they are finding themselves with less money to make it happen. Several years ago a Fortune 500 Brand would work with their creative agency to produce 5-10 TV commercials. Today, that same brand needs to create 500 or even 5,000 pieces of video content to support their digital, social, hyper-local, etc. type campaigns. Brands and agencies are having an extremely hard time creating all of this content.

78% of survey respondents are seeing brands invest more in online and digital video ads compared to traditional TV spots.

As more content is consumed via mobile phones, tablets, and laptops, it's not a complete surprise to see this shift in focus for content on smaller screens. What is surprising, however, is that so many industry professionals are seeing this trend all at once, instead of a slow migration away from TV ads.
Nearly half (49%) of marketers believe that stories on Snapchat and Instagram present a challenge when featuring marketing content on social media.

Social media is a huge part of society today, so it’s no surprise that the latest social trends represent a major channel through which marketers and advertisers can reach consumers. As different ways to interact through these channels are created – for example, through these shorter, disappearing stories – professionals and brands alike will need to figure out how to create quick turn and cost-effective content.

In summary, digital transformation is well underway and there is no turning back, but brands, agencies and production companies have not changed or innovated within the creative space to address the big issues of scale, cost, and transparency. The creative side of the $1 trillion advertising market has never been fully integrated into the ad-tech stack and remains a highly manual, inefficient industry.

While I think these are some of the key insights that came from StudioNow’s Pulse of Video Industry survey, you can find additional data included in our infographic.

This article was originally posted here.

David Mason
ABOUT THE AUTHOR | David Mason

 

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