Online Video Production with Stephen Webb

As part of our new series on the DBG blog – 10 Questions, we’re talking to professionals in the online industry to learn about their services, new technology and trends that may benefit you and your business. In this edition we talk with Matrix Multimedia’s Stephen Webb about online video production, television commercials and internet TV!

Question 1 – DBG: You worked in the Commercial TV space for many years. What did you enjoy most about your more traditional job and what spurred you to make the change to online video?

SW: I love television and always will. In fact I keep being dragged back into the industry to produce either TVCs, television specials or provide a freelance service in the areas of news (camera, editing or producing). I love the medium as a way of telling great stories – combining pictures, sound and people/characters to tell those stories – both in the areas of fact and fiction. My favourite TV show is Australian Story because of the way the program tells very powerful stories – direct from the people involved in the story. No journalist, no scripted voice-over, no presenter. It’s a form of story telling I try and implement into my online videos.

Question 2 – DBG: How long have you worked as a video expert?

SW: I established Matrix Multi-Media in 2008, after spending 20 years at Channel 9. In my time at Channel 9, I was fortunate to undertake many positions which included being a News Camera operator, Video-Tape Editor, Documentary and Program Producer, Newsroom Chief Of Staff, and News Producer.

Question 3 – DBG: What was your biggest challenge with starting the online video business?

SW: There have been many challenges with starting an online video production business. I think the main challenges have been learning and understanding the technology involved (and keeping up with the daily changes to the industry), as well as convincing business to use the service. Although there seems to be a lot of interest out there for online video (from business), there’s the perception thanks to YouTube, that they can produce online video in-house for next to nothing. Yes this is the case, but do you really want to risk damaging your business brand, your company’s images by producing something that looks amateurish, hard to hear, uncomfortable to watch with shaky hand-held camera pictures? Viewers today are savvy when it comes to video quality, and when something looks cheap, that impression stays with them and that of your business.

Question 4 – DBG: You must have worked with some interesting characters, what has been your most exciting project?

SW: After 3 years of working in online video production, we are finally starting to produce content and work for our target client base. Client’s which include big media websites like AdelaideNow (News Ltd), international websites like Routes Online and directory websites like Club KI. We are also about to produce our own video content which will be made available to media/entertainment based websites.

Question 5 – DBG: What do you think is the best benefit of online video for small businesses in Adelaide?

SW: There are many advantages and benefits of using online video for small business. Not only is it a great way to promote your business, products and service, but it also opens the front door to potential customers and clients, as they’re able to look through your business premises, meet you in person and review your products in detail. Online video also provides a great opportunity to communicate with your customers and clients – rather than blogging news and updates in a text form, today you can chat to them directly through a video you can upload and post anywhere online.

Question 6 – DBG: Where do you see the industry going?

SW: I think online video will continue to grow and get bigger – particularly with new technology coming on to the market, such as Internet television (tv sets that can display Internet video without the need of a computer or online connection), Telstra’s new T-Box digital set top box and TiVo. Soon the choice of video entertainment and information content will be endless – and all accessible on your big screen TV.

Question 7 – DBG: What are your goals for your business?

SW: Our business goals are based on this new technology coming onto the market place, and as a result, we are now working towards becoming a major provider in high-quality (local) online video content in the areas of news, sport and entertainment. We have experimented in this area in the past and are continuing to do so, by producing niche web TV programs. In 2011, we will be producing a number of web TV products which will screen on some major entertainment based websites.

Question 8 – DBG: Do you think that many business owners quite understand the power of online video with today’s tech savvy customer base?

SW: As I mentioned before, I think there is a lot of interest out there by business in online video. However, from what we’ve noticed this year – is that the cost seems to be a factor. It appears that businesses doesn’t want to spend the money in investing in professional video production, rather they’d like to have a go at producing their videos in-house, which I believe is fraught with danger. In fact, we’ve had clients who’ve had a go at producing something themselves, only to return to us and ask for help to salvage their project and re-produce their video for them. In the end it cost them in more ways than just money!

Question 9 – DBG: YouTube gets over 2 billion visitors per day, and is now more popular than Google, that should say something! Your thoughts?

SW: I think that it shows most people today use the Internet to watch video in one form or another, either for entertainment, to communicate with each other or just seek information, you can do all that on YouTube. In fact, when people seek information, I believe they’d rather watch a video about a particular subject than read pages and pages of text. I know that when I’m looking for a certain product, business or destination – the first website I turn to is YouTube – and then Google.

Question 10 – DBG: Is online video suitable for every business?

SW: I believe that online video is suitable for every business with any message.  Video appeals to most people, it easy to watch, easy to consume, it helps sell products (US research shows this), it introduces you to potential customers and clients and it’s an easy way to communicate and promote your business.  Best of all it’s not expensive compared to the cost of TV advertising.

Want more information?

Stephen runs a website called My Town Adelaide, showcasing a selection of videos produced for local Adelaide business. To enquire about online video for your business visit www.mytownadelaide.tv or the Matrix Multimedia Facebook page.

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