Centrally Managed Video Production is Over. Now What?

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So you think you have a handle on all the video production activities taking place within your organization? You may want to think again.

The age of centrally managed video production in the enterprise is over.

Certainly, organizations will still employ video professionals to produce key events. You always want the CEO and top leadership to look good on online video webcasts. Video production professionals help make that happen. That said, the center of gravity for video production in the enterprise is shifting.

Consider the following results from Wainhouse Research’s Enterprise Web Communications Survey of 1,007 corporate executives. In this survey, conducted in the fourth quarter of 2013, executives were asked to identify the primary locations for their organizations’ webcast productions. Almost 10% of respondents cite a “studio” as the primary site for video webcast production. Another 15% said most of their organization’s webcasts originate from a theater or large presentation hall. Put it together and you have one-quarter of organizations saying that their online videos come primarily from the venues where video production professionals play a big role managing the creation of video content.

The other three-fourths of organizations say most of their webcast production activity comes via venues where presenters are usually on their own — typically working without the safety net of a video production professional to help them.

The video creation venue of choice for many organizations is the corporate conference room. Thirty-nine percent (39%) of respondents from companies using webcasting say that most of their content originates from conference rooms. Another 24% reports primary webcast production takes place at employee desktops, and 12% say that mobile devices (such as smartphones and tablet computers) are now the most widely used devices for webcast production.

All these totals should not be taken to mean that the amount of work for video professionals is shrinking. For now, this is clearly not the case. The cumulative number of video events and on-demand content being produced for online viewing has never been higher.

Over time, however, we can expect professionally produced video content to comprise a smaller and smaller share of overall video usage within an organization. As webcams on the desktop, video-enabled tablets and other video capture devices proliferate, the fundamental nature of corporate video implementation will evolve. Along the way, the role of video professionals within the enterprise is likely to change, as well.

Video remains the most powerful, engaging communications venue that a corporation can put to work. Good video can produce an enormously powerful positive “halo effect” for a company’s brand image. Likewise, bad video can tarnish a corporate image.

In short, video experts no longer have control over the bulk of video-enriched content that organizations are creating. No matter how good you are at lighting a stage or editing a video package, it won’t make a difference. Some joker with a webcam in the marketing department now has the power and reach to make your entire organization look like a bunch of videohayseeds.

As a result, it is very likely that we will see the role of video production professionals evolve over the next several years — at least at companies that use video webcasting extensively. Rather than focus exclusively on creating content, video pros in the enterprise will generate their most value by teaching their co-workers how to best use video. That means you will make your biggest impact coaching others how to do video better.

Information that is basic to a video production professional can go a long way in enhancing the quality of content produced in non-traditional video venues.

Simply training employees how to set up backgrounds for video shots or minimize outside distractions while taping a video, for instance, can improve the look-and-feel of videos produced in the conference room or at the desktop.

All these improvements add up to a better video image for the entire organization. If a video expert can help an organization develop basic production templates and easy-to-understand best practices for creating videos, that will do more than anything else to raise the overall quality level for all video produced by an organization.

As video continues its corporate sprawl — enabled by the wider adoption of video-enabled digital devices — video professionals have no hope of polishing every piece of content that employees create on their own. That ship has sailed. The volume of content is simply too overwhelming.

Still thinking about how to make yourself a central part of your company’s video efforts moving forward? Begin casting yourself today as your organization’s “video advice guru,” and you will be valued member of the team for years to come.

Steve Vonder Haar is senior analyst with Wainhouse Research and can be reached at svonder@wainhouse.com

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