Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Director of Video Production—Your Newest Hire?

No, this has not turned into a blog about television or video production. It’s a story about how if your station or group is not using video to your advantage, well, you are at a great disadvantage.

As I write this I am returning from a road trip, and like most trips my plane ride includes a cover-to-cover reading of USA Today. Today was no different. Usually I find great tidbits to share—sometimes it’s a great human interest story, other times it's some obscure sports stat, or maybe something in the Life section; as was the case today.

The latest from the Pew Internet and American Life Project reported that 48% of all adult internet users have visited a home made video-sharing site such as You Tube. That’s a 45% increase in just the last year and no doubt will continue to grow at breakneck pace. More men vs. women, higher percentage of younger people vs. older…that’s normal, no surprise there. Perhaps somewhat of a surprise was that Latinos had a much higher viewing level at 55% compared with whites and blacks 45% and 46% respectively. No Asian data was made available. More than 2000 adults 18+ participated in the survey in fourth quarter 2007.

I see opportunity! A major opportunity. And from multiple angles—listener produced content, station produced content, and event content. Many are already doing different things that include video and that’s great! There is so much more that can be done that will pay dividends in the form of listener interest, ratings, and revenue. Get creative! How can we capture our listener’s interest? Turn that interest into a better relationship with your listeners and viewers.

Sell your concepts to your best clients who might be interested in being a part of the fun. How about product placement in a station produced piece? What about a campy, not so subtle walk-on appearance by a famous spokesman well known in the marketplace? Hey, I am not a salesperson, but I do know we have to better monetize our new media endeavors sooner rather than later, so let’s get moving on that too. Nothing like being at 37,000 feet and getting fired up about this stuff.

Go where your listeners go, do what your listeners do, and most importantly try to anticipate what they might be doing next and get there with them. What do we like to say in radio—this ain’t rocket science, right? Right now homemade on-line video continues to blow up and with the ease of creating these imaginative masterpieces they won’t be going away anytime soon.

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