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Online content more plugged in than TV

The Digital Production Partnership (DPP) has published a survey of the working culture of producers of non-broadcast content. DPP Survey Report: New Content Creators draws on in-depth interviews with over 30 non-broadcast production companies and their suppliers. It presents a culture that’s distinctively different from the world of independent television production companies, including far more direct relationships with all parts of the supply and consumption chain.

This survey is published by the DPP in association with DPP Member company Vizrt.

“There is now more audio-visual content created for non-broadcast than broadcast distribution – much of it very high quality,” says DPP MD and author of the report, Mark Harrison. “We were keen to find out if this non-broadcast content world had a way of working that was different from broadcast. And the answer, resoundingly, is that it does.”

The recurring theme for these new content creators is directness – in four areas:

  • The creative process: teams tend be small, highly dexterous, with a wide range of tools, and tend to make short form outputs at great speed that appear quickly.
  • The relationship with their audience: content is published rapidly and easily, and feedback from the audience is immediate
  • In their business process: there is a high use of metrics, which enables producers to focus on the algorithms for success
  • With their enabling technology providers: internet-native producers are supported by a growing range of internet-native tools and services that have been tailored to meet their needs

Two key questions are raised by these findings. The first is whether, as the online video space becomes increasingly mature, and increasingly contested, it will begin to develop some of the more heavily mediated structures of television; or whether, as television producers access new sources of distribution online, their culture will also start to become more agile and direct.

The second question relates to suppliers. It is striking how well suppliers to the non-broadcast community understand its needs and challenges. Will we see an increasing range of production and distribution tools emerge which focus more on business need and less on feature-sets?

“Non-broadcast content creators are an important new market for us. Vizrt has developed tools which can enhance their very specific workflows as well as provide new, easy ways to publish to any channel, including social media,” says Dr. Stephan Würmlin Stadler, Chief Commercial Officer for Vizrt. “We are convinced that by engaging with this sector, we can take the lessons learned from the broadcast industry and build agile creative workflows which benefit traditional broadcast producers as well as new content creators on the horizon.”

“It’s important not to romanticise the non-broadcast production environment. They grapple with plenty of problems – like trying to get good connectivity – just like TV producers,” says Mark Harrison. “However when you look into this world it is clear why it would have appeal for upcoming creative talent. And that alone should give TV pause for thought.”

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