(Part 1) 2014: Looking Back – Looking Forward

Posted on by Sudd

For the last several months, I’ve been contributing a monthly article to TV Bay Magazine in the UK. I enjoy these opportunities to write more generally about technology. This week, I’ve expanded upon an article that I sent them for their “Year End Issue.”

NOTE: Click here to read Part 2 of this article.


This is my favorite time of year – a time of resolutions and predictions. Resolutions are fun because they allow us to think of all the things we would like to have happen in the New Year — provided they don’t take too much work on our part.

While resolutions are personal, predictions are a group sport. Last week, on the Digital Production Buzz, I invited seven industry leaders – and Buzz regulars – to share their thoughts on the past year and the new one. Our guest list included:

I’ve included some of their comments in this article.

NOTE: You can listen to the entire show here – it is well worth your time. Click here.


NINE TRENDS

After another year writing about our industry and talking with the key movers and shakers, here are nine trends I expect to dominate our thinking in 2015.

1. Hardware and software will continue to become more powerful and more affordable. This mean budgets will continue to contract as clients perceive that high-quality work is, somehow, cheaper because the tools are cheaper.

Creative folks need to realize that budgets will continue to contract for the foreseeable future. This means that to combat “bottom-feeder pricing” we need to clearly understand and clearly showcase what makes our skills unique to our clients. However, something I’ve learned is that what we think is a unique strength and what clients think is a unique strength are rarely the same. The more you talk with your clients, the more good ideas you’ll learn from them on how to market yourself.

As Cirina Catania mentioned, “employers are finally realizing that they get what they pay for. Spending more for talent pays big rewards.”

To a US company, your ability to speak good English is expected. To a Chinese company seeking to broaden their market in the US, your ability speak and write good English is something they will pay extra for.

It used to be said that the key to success is: “who you know.” While clever, this has never really been true. It isn’t even “who knows you.” The secret is increasing the number of potential clients “who know what you know.” You may be known as “good old Bob.” But, “Bob” isn’t going to get nearly
the same amount of work as “There goes Bob – he’s an absolute After Effects wizard!”

Jonathan Handel made an interesting comment on The BuZZ when he said: “The industry thinks it’s more progressive then it really is. While it’s politics may be liberal, it’s hiring practices are actually one of the least progressive in America. The industry has a very poor record of diversity hiring.”

2. Editors that define themselves by the tools they use will lose work to editors that define themselves in terms of the results they help clients achieve or the stories they can tell.

You don’t hire a carpenter because he uses a Stanley hammer. You hire a carpenter who can build you a lovely new kitchen.

Computers and software are critically important in media today. But to choose to use, or not use, particular software for “political” reasons is akin to cutting your nose off to spite your face.

3. The trend to online delivery of just about everything will continue to accelerate. If you are not conversant in the web, you will be left behind. The new frontier is streaming live and recorded media via the web direct to the consumer.

Consumers are inherently lazy. It is becoming harder and harder to get them to go places and do things when, with a few keystrokes, just about anything can come to them. Businesses are not far behind. The rate of change today in any tech-related industry is so great that no one has any time to waste. Anything you can do to save your client’s time and decrease their stress will win you work.

4. For better or worse, production and post will revolve ever more tightly around The Cloud. The sad corollary is that hacking will only get worse.

2014 is the year that personal privacy died, Net Neutrality became open to doubt and the realization that if private data is posted to the web there are very good odds that it will “accidentally” become public.

On the plus side, creative teams no longer need to be located in the same geographical area. This means that you are competing with the world, not just the guy down the block. Broaden your marketing. Leverage social media. Think and market globally – work locally.

[ Click here to read the second part of this article.]


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