Interview by SUDIPTO GHOSH.
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.
When the first Nielsen ratings for television were released in 1950, the television world accepted Nielsen as their rating standard and it became the basis for everything. Then, things changed. The same can't be said for the digital world, as there is no global reporting standard for the various forms of digital video measurement that companies are now using.
There are 2.5 quintillion bytes of data being produced from different sources daily — and software is being purchased on top of that data to help make sense of it. In order to demonstrate ROI, modern digital marketers are becoming incredibly creative in the way they position and leverage these insights to inform their campaigns, strategy and measurement.
If all efforts to stop the repeal of net neutrality are unsuccessful—and there are a lot of legal activities taking place—it will go into effect in a couple of weeks, on April 23rd, and the way we’ve grown accustomed to consuming the Internet may be fundamentally altered. With the repeal of net neutrality, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will have the power to influence loading speeds for specific websites or apps, and if it ends up being anything like that Burger King commercial portrayed it to be, many consumers will not be pleased with having to pay more to see their desired content.
You may be thinking about building an internal studio. As a guy who’s set up video studios for our company and client brands big and small, below are ten of my guiding principles. Things to think about before you hit go and simple guardrails + tips I’d recommend. The specific tactics, of course, will be different at every brand or agency: