Editing Is the New Coding

One of the first movies that really left a mark on me was WarGames. It was the summer of 1983. I was 8 years old and was already what can probably best be described as “an optimism fundamentalist.”  So, instead of focusing on the dystopian reality that the threat of nuclear holocaust was going to be a permanent cloud over society for the rest of my life, what struck me was the exciting realization that computers were going to play a far bigger role in people’s lives than simply making it easier for them to delete misspelled words in a document.

Even though I was still a decade away from thinking about things like careers and life-callings, I realized then that if I stayed close to technology I would have opportunities to do interesting things in my life.

Across my personal circle of influence, and across the nation writ large, millions of kids were being inspired and directed like me. It would pick up steam in the 90’s as the internet became mainstream, and, for the next 3 decades, the constant theme of advice was that anyone who was interested in technology should consider being an engineer. As communications moved onto computing platforms, the people capable of helping that advancement would never want for work.

In the 80’s, there were only a handful of software engineers in the US. But by 2002, that number had grown to 677,000. By 2013 there were over 1 million. And that figure is expected to continue growing at a rapid pace, with 22% annual growth expected over the next decade. The folks who predicted during my youth that engineers would have a rosy future pretty much nailed it. But labor markets will always evolve, and while many new jobs are being created, others are being eliminated. So my question is this: can we learn from the rise of computer technology and the associated growth in software engineering jobs in order to predict future areas of the economy poised for similarly explosive growth? I believe the answer is yes.

Today, the medium of communication is shifting once again.

For tens of thousands of years, our ancestors communicated verbally. Sure, there were markings and early writings, but the primary thrust of communication was the spoken word. This changed with the advent of print thanks to Gutenberg, and, for over 550 years, text and static imagery have dominated human communication.

It was a good run. But it’s coming to an end.

Everywhere you look, you see screens. Screens at the gas station pump. Screens at the dentist office. Screens in the back of taxi cabs. And, most importantly, screens in your pocket. Increasingly, if a company has something to say, they’re going to say it in video.

How significant is this shift? Well, think of it this way—at the beginning of 2015, there were 50 million companies using Facebook pages. By September of 2016, that number had climbed to over 60 million. That’s 60 million companies choosing to use a platform to communicate with their customers—a platform that is very publicly transitioning to a video network. And as communications, in general, migrate from static means (text and imagery) to moving imagery (video, AR, and VR), those 60 million companies won’t just need a small handful of video advertisements per year. This may have been the case a decade ago for the Fortune 500, but it doesn’t hold anymore. No, they each will need hundreds, if not thousands of videos per year. Remember, it’s not just advertising that’s changing. It is all communications.

But here’s the kicker as it relates to job creation in this field. We are simultaneously shifting from a world where scarcity ruled in video content to an era of abundance. It wasn’t long ago that distribution was choked, and where it was available, it came with costs. Channels were relatively finite. As a result, quality demands were forgiving. If you had distribution, you basically just needed to fill the pipe. Today, video exists in abundance. Distribution is effectively free and infinitely scalable.

Now, more than ever, quality matters when it comes to video communications.

If you’ve ever read a script created by an algorithm or watched editorial pieces made by any of the myriad algorithmic editing tools, you’ll realize that we’re still a very long way away from having emotive communications created by anything other than a human being. So, if the communications have to be good in order to be effective, and to do so means that they have to be made by people, just how many jobs are we talking about creating?

Between advertising, hiring, internal communications, and general social marketing, I’m going to assume that the average company will need 10 videos per year. Keep in mind that many companies will need literally thousands of pieces of video content—social advertising is quickly evolving into a model where companies should never create a single ad, but rather create many ads and test them all (more on this in another post soon). But if you assume 10 as a good blended average, that means 600 million pieces of video content will need to be created per year in the near future. If the average creative can make 5 pieces of quality video content per week, that means over 2.3 million editors will be needed to service this coming demand, just from the companies that are currently on Facebook. You can quibble with me over the exact numbers, but not the scope and scale of the coming video revolution.

As with coding, there will be a wide range of job types and compensation structures that come along with this era of scaled video production. But make no mistake about it, in an environment of abundant video, the folks who can create emotionally resonant moving communications will be in high demand, and they will be well-paid by any standards.

Does this mean that engineers won’t be needed in the future? Of course not. All of the key disciplines associated with creating and maintaining the technology that forms such an important part of our personal and professional lives will remain attractive careers for many.

 

But when you hear people complain that technology is taking away all of our jobs, know that this is no truer today than it was when the same fear was voiced during the Industrial Revolution, or in the early days of the computer age for that matter.

The need for people who can create quality video communications will grow dramatically in the next few decades. Guidance counselors of today can still push certain kids into considering engineering paths. But for countless others who thrive on creativity, who understand communication at its root level, and who have a knack for visual storytelling, a huge new window of opportunity is about to open up. And when we say we’re out to create a million jobs, you better believe we mean it.

Highlights from Our Creator Meet & Greet in LA

Earlier this week we invited a group of our LA-based creators to swing by our new office in West Hollywood and get to know some of the VidMob team. We feasted on hearty barbeque and sipped on cocktails, as we learned more about the talented people that make up our community.

We were blown away by the enthusiasm and above-and-beyond dedication of our creators. Their excitement and passion for what we’re building, their insights for how to grow the platform, and their down-for-anything hustle meant so much to hear in person. We’re so lucky to have them on our team!

It was also great to see both old and new faces alike—from those that have been with us from the very start and those who’ve recently joined the ranks. Providing an opportunity for our creators to meet in person and get to know one another was a fantastic way to not only learn more about the similarities and differences, but also to foster our growing creator community.

Even VidMob West’s office pup, Burt, got in on the action.

Many thanks to all who attended! We feel so lucky and energized after meeting with our community. We learned a great deal by getting everyone together to share their stories, discuss how they use the platform, and get to know one another. We can’t wait to announce some of the exciting updates we have coming your way as a result of this event, and we look forward to hosting our next meet-and-greet!

Stay tuned for our next creator mixer, which will be held at our headquarters in NYC. Want to attend? Reach out to us at support@vidmob.com to get on the invite list and receive event updates. 

VidMob Celebrates Video at VidCon

VidMob headed out to Anaheim to attend VidCon, the world’s largest video conference. It’s a pretty spectacular event that brings together creators, industry leaders, and communities (thousands of screaming teens) to celebrate…video! For the over-30 set, it can be a daunting experience with mobs of fans, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since N’Sync’s No Strings Attached tour.

VidCon is officially the start of summer for hundreds of thousands of these teens, replete with Ferris wheels, food trucks, and pop-up concerts. ferris-wheel-vidcon-vidmob

VidMob, and most fully grown adults, stuck to the industry panels and keynotes. Here are some highlights from the team:

WHAT TEENS WATCH: From Tubular

The ah-ha and oh-wow moments from Tubular’s presentation:

Teens Don’t “Watch TV” Anymore—They Just “Watch”

What happens when a panel of teens share their views on television? Well, for those younger than 15, the TV-as-device simply isn’t considered when it comes to consuming video. YouTube and Netflix on the other hand? Major players, with teens subscribing to an average of 23 channels on YouTube alone.

Every Moment Is a Video Moment

What happens when a Gen Xer asks a millennial how many hours a day they spend online vs. offline? You get a confused look and a shoulder shrug. What is offline? These teens wouldn’t know because they’re never offline—it’s not a state of being. It’s not a thing. The proof? Over 1 trillion video views per month are now consumed online.

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YOUTUBE’S VIDCON KEYNOTE

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki delivered an unconventional keynote as a Q&A with comedians Rhett & Link (of Good Mythical Morning). Here’s what stood out:

Tube Shots & Big Views

In between test tube shots of “gross things,” they grilled Susan about VR, YouTube TV, and new original series. Not sure which was more impressive, the stat that “1.5 billion logged-in viewers visit YouTube every month” or that Susan actually drank beetle juice.

The Future of VR Is Here

VR was, not surprisingly, the main highlight from the discussion. Susan announced that YouTube and Daydream have worked together on a new format, VR180. That, and new cameras from LG, Lenovo, and Yi will be on the market soon to let the everyday consumer capture 3D and 180-degree footage. Get ready, because VR is making strides.

Algorithm Advancements

YouTube also announced an algorithm update for video. The new algorithm will dynamically modify video to optimize presentation across desktop and mobile, enhancing the consumption experience no matter where you prefer to view.

A Dozen New Series for YouTube Red Originals

Last, Susan let everyone know that YouTube TV is expanding markets and growing the YouTube Red Originals slate with 12 exciting new series. Woohoo! Another great excuse to indulge in binge-watching.

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FUTURE OF FACEBOOK VIDEO

Video is all the rage on social, and product director Daniel Danker came to VidCon to share his point of view on how Facebook will lead the way. These are the noteworthy takeaways:

The Facebook Video Trifecta

Daniel explained Facebook’s approach to video as a three-pronged framework: Foundation, Community, Storytelling. Plus, the tools to go with it:

1) Foundation – These new tools will include the monetization of ads and branded content, DRM, and data insights—all important features for advertisers trying to gain a deeper understanding of their video fundamentals.

2) Community – Community sits in the center and is the ultimate priority and end goal of Facebook video. As such, these new tools will broadly include chatting with friends, creating pages for groups, and viewing video together (virtually speaking, of course).

3) Storytelling –  Storytelling is all about enhancing the experience of photos and video through better cameras and tools that transport and connect—like their new Creator App, which gives users the simple tools to create videos about your everyday. There are stickers, frames, and pre-canned intro/outro options to stylize your video, too.

Evolving the News Feed: VR & New Series

Fidji Simo, Facebook’s Head of Video, also gave a great talk about how they are pairing video with social functions. The News Feed is becoming more immersive as it has evolved from text to photos to videos. How will Facebook keep that evolution moving? Next up will be VR and Facebook’s move into new originals. They are financing new shows to understand how Facebook can bring communities together through original series. 

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INNOVATION SHOWCASE FROM DIGITAL CONTENT STUDIOS

VidMob visited with top new digital-first studios including Vice, Full Screen, New Form, First Look, Jaunt, Mythical, RYOT. The common underlying video theme is a move away from “view count” toward quality and depth of engagement—which poses an exciting opportunity for video creatives to really flex their artistic muscles. Coupled with the bulk of content out there and the challenge these companies now face (i.e. how to help consumers find the best stuff to watch), the goal now is to simply start creating worthwhile content.

Edit Suite Update: Now, Mobile-Friendly!

For many of our editors who’ve been with us since the beginning, the request for an easier way to communicate with clients while on-the-go has been imminent. And we’re excited to say that day is now here…

The Edit Suite Mobile Site!

We built the first installation of the Edit Suite mobile site with quick access to projects and mobile communication in mind.

1) Check In on Projects from Your Phone

Need to double-check a due date? Keeping an eye out for time-sensitive messages? Easily locate all of your active projects via the mobile site’s home screen, to see where things stand.

2) Access Chat while On-the-Go

Before today, the Edit Suite wasn’t optimized for mobile—which often made timely communication tricky for editors who rely on their phones. But now? Our chat feature on the mobile site is as familiar and seamless as sending a text. So you can stay on top of all client communications in order to provide the best possible VidMob experience.

Let Us Know What You Think

Seeing as the Edit Suite mobile site is still in its early stages, we’d love to hear your feedback and feature requests on how we can make future versions even better! Write to us at support@vidmob.com.

Editor Update: What’s New in 2017!

Hello, editors!

We have several big additions to our Edit Suite so far in 2017, and we want to take a moment to explain each of them:

Folder Support for File Management

We now support folders in a project’s source media. This will simplify how media is organized and transferred while maintaining the original file structure. You can then batch all of the media together into one zip file to quickly get started on your project.

Pro Tip: If you choose to put everything together in one zip file, we highly recommend using a download manager like Chrono Download Manager for Chrome or XDM. If your internet connection gets interrupted, you will be able to easily resume the download from where you left off. If you have any troubles, please feel free to reach out to support@vidmob.com.

Hours Per Draft

Now, when you upload a draft, you’ll be prompted to input the number of hours you spent working on that draft. This will not replace the end-of-project survey, but ensures that we have more accurate information on the work that goes into different post-production services.

Final Assets

On the Completed page, you’ll find the Final Assets button. Clicking this will prompt you to add any project files (ex. .prproj, .aep, etc…) and any additional source media found from the Source Media tab. If a client prematurely closes out a project only to realize they need changes when you’re unavailable, having these final assets allow for the client to easily make any changes.

Improved Source Media Bundling

You will now have a status indicator letting you know how far along you are in the process of bundling your source media. You can also see which zip each individual file is in and the ability to bundle any new files that have been added to the project. If you receive any errors, please reach out to us at support@vidmob.com.

Non-Video Drafts

You can now upload non-videos, such as .gifs and music files, as project drafts. If you have a few pieces of music you want the client to sample or a first pass at a particular graphic, you can now upload the music or image files directly to your client’s project for review. These will not count toward the draft limit on a project and are a great way to ensure that you’re on the right path.

If you have any questions about how to use these new features, please reach out to us at support@vidmob.com.

Keep cutting, editors!
Matt

 

WE’RE HONORED TO BE A SNAPCHAT PARTNER

If you know Snapchat, you know there’s nothing quite like it. What started out as an image-sharing app, popular just among young teens, has now blown up into today’s most influential and buzzed-about video platform. With 10+ billion video views a day, Snapchat is a powerhouse that is just getting started.

If you know VidMob, you know how much we believe in and celebrate the power of video storytelling. We built VidMob to meet this shifting content demand—to equip video creatives with the tools they need to succeed and thrive in an ever-changing media landscape. So whether you’re an editor looking for cutting-edge jobs in the industry or an agency looking to provide your clients with the most effective Snap Ad creative, we want to help you get in on the action. Which is why we (as we write these very words!) have to pinch ourselves:

Snapchat Partner BadgeWe are humbled to announce that VidMob has been named a Snapchat Partner.

While this is a major milestone for our company, it’s also an even bigger moment for our community of video editors. It both validates the hard work they’ve put in to make this partnership possible and affirms their dedication, quality, and capability as innovative talent in the video space. So while we absolutely have Snapchat to thank for this one-of-a-kind opportunity, we also have our editors to thank for helping VidMob earn this sought-after spot in the first place. Editors, this one’s for you!

So here’s to the future—to the future of an exciting partnership with a true front-runner in the emerging video frontier and of the inventive and exciting content we’ll be able to create together as a result.

Snapchat, it’s an honor to be working with you.

Editor Update: Access Our Stock Libraries from the Edit Suite!

We’ve made an exciting update to your Editor Resources tab, located under Work in Progress.

Previously, this tab only linked to our external stock libraries, but now, we’ve included a powerful search tool that allows you to  locate media from all four libraries at once, directly from the Edit Suite!

Watch How It Works:

Or Read about it here:

To access this new feature, you’ll need to have a project in the editing stage. If you open the project and click on the Editor Resources tab, you’ll see the new set up:

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In the top left you’ll notice the “Keywords” box. Here you can search for any type of stock media assets from our libraries. Simply type in what you’re looking for, select either Audio, Video, or Graphic from the “Media Type” drop down menu, and hit “Search.” Depending on which media type you select, you’ll also see a series of optional filters in the middle of the tab. If you receive a large number of results, you can use the “Text Search” on the right side to search within your results.

From your search results, you’re also able to preview and download as many pieces of media as you’d like, and if you click on the star icon next to “Download,” it will instantly be added to your Favorites List. After favoriting a few assets, click the orange “Favorite” button to see everything you’ve favorited, regardless of the media type.

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And that’s the basics!

Here are a few more tips to optimize your search:

When looking for music, try searching for the instruments you are looking for. Instrument data is embedded in each track’s meta-data, so this will help you find the specific music you need.

Many of the tracks are labeled based on their mood or genre. By searching things like “upbeat” or “simple,” you’ll find results that closely fit those feelings.

Keep in mind that your Favorites List is reset every time you leave and re-visit the editor site. Each project is so different, which is why we didn’t want to weigh your Favorites List down as you take on more and more work.

When previewing a file, note that you’ll see watermarks on any image or video assets. Upon download, the watermark will promptly be removed.

If you have any feedback on the current system or ideas for how we can improve in the future, please reach out to support@vidmob.com.

Keep cutting, editors!
Matt