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BET Networks Using Market7 Platform To Collaborate On Production Of Multiple Shows

May 21st, 2012 by Brian Baumley

Global programming provider leverages video.Market7 web software for efficient production and clear communication about content.

BOSTON – CABLE SHOW, May 21, 2012 – Market7, Inc., a provider of web-based software for collaboration around creative content, today announces extensive engagement with BET Networks, the leading provider of content to black consumers globally. BET uses the video.Market7 platform to access and communicate about content at various stages of production for multiple scripted programs, pilots and original movies.

“Market7 brings new levels of productivity and flexibility to BET’s production efforts,” says Sheila Cole, senior director of post production for BET. “Employees and partners of BET from anywhere in the world can immediately access content at any stage, from daily shoots to finishing edits, and communicate clearly about production efforts on the video.Market7 platform.”

Content of any length and in any common digital format can be uploaded to video.Market7. The service’s Annotative Player module offers secure browser-based access on multiple devices, including all popular computers, tablets and smartphones. Video plays at high quality, accommodating users in limited bandwidth access situations, with integrated commenting that can reference specific portions of the video timeline and screen dimensions.

“BET is using the full capabilities of video.Market7 to clearly communicate about content, resulting in quick shaping of team consensus and streamlined productions,” says Market7 CEO Seth Kenvin. “Working closely with global programming leaders like BET underscores Market7’s advancement as a provider of robust platforms for media production in fast-paced, demanding and dispersed production environments.”

BET is using video.Market7 to produce scripted programs and original movies that include The Game, Gun Hill and Being Mary Jane.

About BET Networks

BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the 25- to 54-year-old African-American audience; BET Digital Networks – BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company with festivals and live events spanning the globe; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET network programming for global distribution.

About Market7, Inc.
Market7 addresses needs of studios, agencies, corporations and other organizations as they produce media for a wide range of purposes, including entertainment, marketing and training. The company’s flagship video.Market7 service supports all of the collaboration between video producers, their clients and any other parties involved in the process. This includes features for overall project management, conceptualization, pre-production like scripts and storyboards, and footage review during post. More information is available at www.market7.com.

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VideoNuze NABShow Market7 Interview [Video]

May 18th, 2012 by Brian Baumley

Craig Heiting Talks With Will Richmond About Streamlining Video Work Flow

The Market7 team descended on NABShow last month. At the show, Craig Heiting, the company’s new VP/GM of media and entertainment, sat down with video biz guru Will Richmond to talk about momentum among the Hollywood set. Craig talks about why Market7 is perfect for studios, producers and talent that all need anywhere access to video, fast. And how Market7 makes that easy. Full interview below.

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Making Your Video Count

April 27th, 2012 by Brian Baumley

Flipping An Assignment On Its Head For A Unique, Engaging And Impactful Production

It’s easy to take production assignments literally. Even when we think we’re being really creative, there is usually lots of opportunity left to take risks and consider a project from a completely different perspective.

Consider filmmaker Casey Neistat’s take on an assignment from Nike. In his own words:

“Nike asked me to make a movie about what it means to #makeitcount. Instead of making their movie I spent the entire budget traveling around the world with my friend Max. We’d keep going until the money ran out. It took 10 days.”

Of course, this was all communicated in a video that quite effectively tells a story about making it count.

There are close to 5 million hits on that link alone. Throw in some YouTube dupe videos, views on other video sites, a front page Reddit story, etc., and it’s probably safe to say that Nike was happy with this result. Neistat could’ve made a really creative, glossy video that delivers big on the ‘make it count’ message. Nike would’ve probably been happy and the video would’ve found an audience.

In this case, the very essence of ‘make it count’ is at the core of the production itself. And it’s inspiring. Consider too that this video was shared enough that it made its way to my PC screen. I didn’t go hunting for Nike info. And I’m not terribly interested in sports. Yet it found me.

So how can you make your next video production count?

  • Think hard about the message your video will communicate and how you can embody it throughout every aspect of the production itself – not just the finished product.
  • If this is a recurring video assignment, take a new approach. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut. Think hard about how you can turn the production on its head.
  • Don’t necessarily produce what your client/boss/company thinks they want. Take risks to present them with a final project that they couldn’t have envisioned on their own.
  • Depending on your circumstances, get buy-in from your client along the way! Neistat is a well-known videographer and has the clout to turn in a final product like the one above. If you’re going to take risks, it might be much better for your career to make sure that your client is onboard from the start.

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Apple And Rich Media Production

January 31st, 2012 by Seth Kenvin

Some enticing tools for beautiful content, and some striking oversights

Apple’s launch of iBooks Author ups the ante for what’s achievable in content creation. It appears to be a fluid and elegant tool for bringing together text, animation, video, images, audio and interactivity. Certainly seems more fluid and elegant than my use of WordPress right now to craft this blog post. Providing environments for content creation, we at Market7 are pleased by enhancement of how people can extend rich, media-based experiences to other people. Yet, the iBooks Author launch also exposes several areas that could be improved:

  • There is the well covered limitation of distribution techniques via iTunes and to iPad devices for consumption. It is indeed ironic to leverage technological advances in order to elegantly bring multiple types of media together, and then unnecessarily restrict how the results can be consumed.
  • Collaboration is vital in bringing together substantial works, and especially in mixed media situations because of the varieties of skills and perceptions related to the different kinds of content, but currently collaborating on iBooks Author requires saving and sending files for teammates to work on in isolation.
  • While iBooks Author may be great for bringing media together, it’s more for high-level assembly of content built in other applications, and is not a comprehensive or consistent suite for the different types of content in isolation. Granted this is an unfair criticism of a new environment sure to take on more context and deeper functionality over time, but this tool coming from Apple does cast highlight on the fact that the same company has gutted its Final Cut franchise that had emerged as the leading environment for accessible work on video content, and that never seemed to benefit from the same stewardship prioritizing great usage experience that seems clear in the results of Apple’s newest applications.

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Doing It Yourself

December 22nd, 2011 by Brian Baumley

The Things You Can Learn From “The Thing”

Comedian Louis CK has been in the news quite a bit over the past couple of weeks. Not because he’s funny. Because he’s taken something that’s been around for decades – the stand-up comedy special – and turned creation and distribution of it on its head. Essentially, he did everything himself (with help, of course), cutting out the middleman and delivering a product directly to consumers. This successful experiment, which Louis affectionately calls “the thing,” is an example of how internal resources can be tapped and how you can evolve how you deliver a final product to your audience.

First, some background. Unless you go out of your way to avoid laughter, you’ve likely seen at least a stand-up comedy special or two before.  Chances are it was on DVD, Comedy Central or maybe a premium cable channel. Typically, these come about one of two ways. A comedian might take on the cost of production themselves and sell the special to a network, which will then find an audience for it and own all distribution. Or in other cases, a comic might just let the network handle everything and simply show up and tell jokes.

Louis CK did a few specials exactly that way. But never content to take the easy way out (after all, this is a guy who turns in a new one hour act ever year and edits his hit FX show Louis himself on a Macbook), he explored how constant advances in technology could help him do things differently. And so, “the thing” began to take shape. He took some AV classes in school so knew how to edit video. He had the money to invest in a camera crew and recording. He already had a fan base that he could tap. And bandwidth was cheap enough to economically deliver the special directly to each consumer.

The result? In just days after making the special available online, Louis recouped his investment (about $250k). And within a couple weeks, has already grossed more than $1m in sales. This whole thing is unprecedented in comedy. And there are much bigger names in the businesses (e.g. Rock, Seinfeld) that haven’t tried to pull off something like this.

So if you’re a business, what can be learned from this? Plenty.

  • If the old way isn’t working or feels stale, blaze a new trail.
  • Always be thinking what can you do yourself and what do you need to outsource?
  • You might have no idea what hidden talent is lurking on your team. Find out who can help you do something economically and effectively. Especially if it makes the difference between doing something or nothing at all.
  • Rethink your distribution model. How are you delivering content to your audience? Is it the best way to get it to them? Is it easy for them to consume?
  • Is there currently a middleman that sits between you and your audience? Does there absolutely need to be?
  • Keep your content fresh, set a high standard and people will come back for more. Or they’ll even proactively seek it out.

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Style Is Just As Important As Your Content

October 27th, 2011 by Brian Baumley

What Kind Of Image Are You Projecting In Your Corporate Video?

You have a message. You’ve decided that you want to use video to communicate it. After considering your audience and what will appeal most to them, you now have a very important decision to make. What will be the most effective style of video to communicate this message? These days, just about the only limitation impacting what a video can look and feel like is budget. It can be funny, sad, emotional and nostalgic. It can be driven by music, dialogue, animation and narration. Whatever style and tone you choose for your video, think about how it helps to carry your message.

We’ve found some great corporate video that pulls from many various style techniques. It’s hard to fit any of these into one specific genre, so we’ve simply included the video and some commentary on why we think each is special.

PwC

This video from PricewaterhouseCoopers leaves all the dialogue to Harry Nilsson’s great “Everybody’s Talkin’.” We see flashes of video from around the world, following PwC workers and those impacted by them. People are working, laughing, learning and enjoying life. Throughout the video, flashes of the PwC logo are seen swirling about, suggesting that all of these experiences are made possible by the company that can provide “a relationship you’ll value.” It’s a bit long, at 3:40 minutes, but that’s what good songs and compelling imagery are for.

DiGi

Communications service provider DiGi’s corporate video forgoes traditional video, opting instead for story-telling through animation. This will be a familiar style for anyone that’s seen their fair share of TV advertising over the past few years. Still, it is engaging and compelling. You’ll see that there are many, many messages communicated throughout the three minute run time. It doesn’t hurt that here also is a terrific song  that plays as you read about all the reasons why DiGi is “always the smarter choice.” Note that it’s a song you probably haven’t heard before, but it’s got a nice melody, a nice message and isn’t annoying at all to listen to. But since it’s unfamiliar, it’s probably not distracting either. If you haven’t picked up on the trend yet, note that good songs played in their entirety can help keep andaudience’s attention longer. In this case, more than three minutes.

AMG

AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group make their message about sustainable metal technology interesting through story-telling and compelling video that was shot at six locations across three countries. Throughout the video, AMG emphasizes its long history in the space, talking about accomplishments and showing black and white photos of early work being done by the company. Employees also get a voice, and they’re shown working toward a greater cause and market innovation. Finally, we see, what it’s all for: airplanes, buildings, bridges, everyday products. This video is more than four minutes long – our attention is held through captivating images, interesting information and a good story.

Barclay’s Capital

Barclays Capital kills two birds with one stone (recruiting and industry leadership) and grabs our attention with this video that is a bit out of character for the traditionally conservative financial services industry. By using humor, the viewer is surprised and compelled to watch from one shot to the next as strange things happen to the actors. Goes to show that you don’t always need to communicate in the traditional tone that your audience is used to hearing you or your competitors use. This video is timed perfectly: one minute. After all, there’s only so long you can watch people falling through floors and ceilings before you’re ready to move on.

Pay close attention when you’re watching these and other videos. And you’ll start to see some of the same tried and proven techniques used over and over again. The best part is that you don’t always need a huge budget to pull them off. How can you put these techniques to work for your next project?


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You Have Great Content – Get It On Video!

September 30th, 2011 by Brian Baumley

Using Video To Bring Existing Content To Life For Marketing

Marketing teams in companies of all sizes are faced with the constant challenge of keeping website content fresh, finding new ways to connect with and engage visitors, and creating recurring site visits.

There are some tried and true techniques, many of which focus on keeping content fresh. This often means creating newsletters from scratch, running a blogging program, writing white papers – you name it. But sometimes, getting this new content created can be a tall order. Usually, a team has to decide what the content will be, who will create it, what the messaging will be, deadlines, and on and on. This is a necessary evil in most cases, but it doesn’t have to be the only way content gets cooked up by your company.

Your company could well be sitting on content you don’t know exists. And video can help bring it to life.

Speaking Engagements

Companies of all sizes often participate as speakers at various industry events. A lot of time and energy is poured into creation of presentation content, rehearsing and travel. Only to have content reach the end of its life as soon as the event ends. To let the content live on and reach many more people, hire a local videographer to come record your presentation. Be sure to get the event organizer’s permission. Most will be fine with this or have their own videographer from which you can buy a copy of your session. Finding a local videographer is as easy as doing a Google Maps search. You’ll have many choices in most major cities. And you’ll probably only end up sending hundreds.

Customer Presentations

If you have a standard customer presentation that could translate well to your larger customer base, take the time to get it on video. Sure WebExes and in-person presentations are sometimes preferred, but consider whether the content you’re sharing could just as easily translate to a video session that can be shared with your customer. Keeping in mind how many times one company might give the same presentation over and over, what’s one more time to get it on video when you can completely control the message? Also great for certain startup fundraising activities.

Give More Context to Website Content

A white paper or brochure will serve its purpose, but consider the additional context you can provide by having a company exec introduce it with video. The video could also help to market the written content via YouTube, Twitter, in a company newsletter, etc.

Reach Remote Workers with Company News

This doesn’t really fit in the “reach your customer” category, but still makes good use of video for communication. Many companies, of all sizes, hold “all-hands” meetings to talk about major company initiatives, progress, challenges, etc. These companies also usually have scattered workforces who either don’t attend the meetings or are forced to listen in via teleconference, which is a less than ideal experience. Capture these meetings on video and stream it online in real-time or post the raw footage immediately following the meeting so remote workers can stay in the loop.

Customer Events/Parties

Many companies hold customer events or parties for customers. Want to help grow attendance? Capture some fun moments on video and create a montage that can be shared. Even if you’re not throwing Sean Parker-style parties, yours are probably still appealing to your base and showing them what they’re missing might help ensure they make it next time they get an invite.

Tradeshow Demos

It’s always helpful to be able to read about a product on a website. But seeing it in action adds a whole new level of understanding and engagement. When your videographer is done recording your company exec speaking at an event, have them head over to your booth to capture some live product demos that can be put up on the Web.

As always, not all of these ideas are for every company. But when you’re thinking about new ways to engage with customers or create fresh content, keep in mind that you may already have what you need waiting to be caught on video!

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Yes, You Can Do That With Video

July 31st, 2011 by Brian Baumley

We Run Down Some Of Our Favorite Unique Video Uses For Business

If you’re responsible for getting video produced for your company, chances are you’ve been involved in some very common uses: marketing, training, internal communications and TV advertising are a few. Video is tried and true for these distinct purposes. But what are some other ways that your business can use video that might not be immediately obvious? We pulled together an overview of some of our favorite unique uses gleaned mostly from conversations with customers and our own experiences with the companies that have become part of our daily lives.

Say Hello

In tough economic times, welcome receptionists may be a tough cost to justify. Or maybe your business is spread out across a campus with customers and employees coming and going in many different locations with no personnel to staff them. No matter what your situation, a video receptionist just might be a great fit. Your virtual receptionist can be programmed to place a call to a contact your guests are there to see, offer directions or simply fill in when your actual receptionist is out to lunch.

Say Thank You

Anyone who’s donated to their alma mater has received some form of thank you. Maybe it’s a bumper sticker. A simple thank you note. A pin. You get the idea. Harvard Business School recently decided to thank its donors with a 4-minute (really well-produced) video that detailed all of the advancement and progress it has  made, in part, because of its donors. (The video can’t be embedded, but you can check it out here: http://www.alumni.hbs.edu/giving/thankyou/thankyoudonors.html)

Offer Help

Ever spend way too much time staring at a diagram in a user manual that came with a product you own, trying to figure out what they’re trying to tell you? Even though a picture is worth a thousand words, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re always helpful. By using video to show your customers how to accomplish specific tasks with your product, you’re providing a positive experience that could make them a customer for life. And you might even be cutting down on calls to your tech support line too. It’s a win, win. Check out the Hobie Cat Company’s treasure trove of video owners manuals for its extensive line of kayaks: http://www.hobiecat.com/kayaking/spotlight/video-owners-manual/.

Show Them Who They’ll Be Working With

Recruiting probably falls among the least unique use of video for business. But this is really something that every company should be doing. Sure, you can attract resumes and make a hire with the typical online job ad. But you just might have an easier time finding someone that fits nicely into your company’s culture with a great recruiting video, like what Facebook created last year (see below). Want to make things even more interesting? Encourage your applicants to submit video resumes in response. InterviewClips.com is one site that offers this type of functionality.

Sell, Sell, Sell

A retail business we’ve been talking with wanted a better way to inform customers about product options in the store. By installing video-powered virtual salespeople terminals, customers with specific questions about products can get quick, easy answers. These terminals can be especially useful for businesses that don’t necessarily have room for a lot of product on the floor or deal in complicated subject matter that makes it difficult to train (or afford) a full sales staff.

How is your business currently or planning to use video in unique ways? Let us know in the comments!

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Creating Video for Multi-Screen Viewing

June 27th, 2011 by Brian Baumley

Know Your Audience (And The Screens They Use Too)

I spent time this month at the annual Cable Show in Chicago. This is where cable operators, programming networks, technology vendors and more gather to talk about the latest trends, issues, show new tech capabilities and more. One of most discussed topics at the event was the opportunity that exists to deliver content that meets multi-screen demand. Essentially, as more consumers walk around with video-capable smartphones and tablets, how will the industry deliver programming to these devices?

Along these lines, we’ve had more than a few discussions with customers lately about how they’re adapting the creation process to accommodate viewing that’s extending beyond traditional TV and PC screens, to mobile devices.  Here are some interesting takeaways:

More Devices = More Viewing Opportunity. Many companies used to justify a lack of video content by pointing to a small potential audience. As I write this, I’m surrounded by three screens (TV, PC, smartphone), all capable of competently displaying video content. So now, even on the go, my smartphone makes me a constant potential audience member. (And there are many more like me.) Ready or not, the audience is there, waiting to be engaged.

Different Screens Demand Different Content. Maybe you already recognize the opportunity to deliver content that can be viewed across a variety of devices. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should just repurpose all of your existing video for viewing on all platforms. When creating content, consider the size of your viewer’s screen when thinking about video length, shot composition and your video’s purpose. And think about the circumstances under which they’ll be viewing. For instance, a long training video might work better for TV or a PC during the workday. But a training recap or refresher might work better delivered to a phone for the commute home. Sure, anyone might be willing to compromise and watch Avatar on a 4” screen if they really want to see it at that moment. But will the same be true for your video? Make the viewing experience comfortable and purposeful.

Be Smart About Tech Requirements. We don’t want to get into a big discussion about codecs here, but remember that not all video can be displayed on all devices or with available bandwidth. For instance, if your video is set up in Flash, you’re going to lose iPad and iPhone users. If your file sizes are large and/or you’re not using adaptive bitrate streaming you’ll lose those that don’t have a good 4G or 3G connection. Pay attention to the browsers being used to access your site and prepare accordingly.

You have more opportunities than ever to reach viewers with video content. Use these opportunities wisely and watch your view count grow!

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We Can Pause At Comments For Your Focus On Them

June 9th, 2011 by Seth Kenvin

Market7 Release From June 5 ’11

Our new “Pause At Comments” mode for video in the Annotative Player allows users to direct full attention to the entirety of feedback on a video while seeing it in full context of the video’s play. One other aspect of it I’m just realizing I forgot to include in the demo — this new mode of play works with tag filtering too. So if a certain tag (or set of tags) is selected for filtering, with Pause At Comments selected then the video play will pause only on those comments that pass the tag filter selection. OK, here’s how the feature works:

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