While attending the conference I had the opportunity to catch the keynote presentation by Michael Rosenblum Founder & CEO rosenblumtv.com and the man credited with creating the video journalism model. An innovative way to field journalists with a camera (not a traditional pro camera) and a computer and send them out to get stories. Crazy because most stations would send out a producer, talent, videographer, and sometimes even an audio tech. Today we see local news reporters either have talent and camera person or the reporter does it all on their own. It’s very normal for us to see today but at that time there were still those that said the quality isn’t there, people won’t watch their phones or tablets and no one is going to subscribe to individual networks to get their content. Here we are years later and most of us have cut our cable out partially or completely and get our content via the internet and most of what we consume is subscription based.
I was extremely engaged in what Mr. Rosenblum was trying to get across to the room. To this day he gave one of the best presentations I have seen about industry missing the boat and that the internet (new way of doing things) wasn’t coming – it was already here and those that didn’t adapt quickly were quite simply dead. Through a sea of uncomfortable laughs and shifting in chairs, I could read the room, the notation of changing what we (media companies) have known to be a time-tested medium could only be experienced through a TV set, was ludicrous.
See what tends to happen is when something new comes along some people have the tendency to push it away or not show any interest in it. Fear of change or something new and different kills innovation. I myself had been trying for some time to get those in management to see the shift that was happening to no avail and now for a brief moment I’m sure several others including myself felt that we were not crazy! We needed to pivot to online and embrace streaming content that would be available anytime and anywhere. This was not an easy task to say the least. It would take a rethinking of process, production, and digital delivery. It was going to be messy but necessary to continue to reach out to our audience/customers.
The problem wasn’t that those of us in television did anything wrong or our work was somehow not valuable any longer. In fact, we’ve had done everything right. It was just that the medium in which to consume our content had changed. It really had nothing to do with us professionally or that our super expensive gear didn’t produce a quality video. In fact, the storytelling was very much the same but how and where you told those stories was going to be different and the equipment to produce the content was now a fraction of the price. I remember long conversations about how can these untrained people be shooting video on consumer cameras or phones? If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say, “The quality isn’t even close to what we can produce, this won’t last long at all, it’s just a passing phase.” I’d be pretty well off. For many the unfortunate realization was the camera quality didn’t matter, the large studios didn’t matter, the size of your crew didn’t matter. What many failed to see was we as an industry we not about putting our content in a box for people to see, we were in the business of telling great stories to share with the masses. This was just a new opportunity to reevaluate and re-envision how we would deliver our content in a new and innovative way.
I wish I could tell you that everyone jumped aboard and we created amazing things. For some that totally happened 😉 For others, it was a few years of riding it out before desperately playing catchup.
This topic is a key daily discussion for our team at VizVibe. Focus on the importance of always keeping our eyes on the pulse of technology and finding those areas of opportunity to create amazing interactive content for our clients, our AR LaunchPad Platform, and our partners. By understanding that the ways in which people consume content will always change (that’s a given) and how people interact with it will change over time as well. However, the key is people always seem to connect and love a great story and grow an emotional bond with your products, service, and brands. Welcome, that change with excitement and curiosity! Position yourself too quickly to adapt to changes in technology and be open to new avenues in which to create something amazing with it.
Thank you Micheal Rosenblum for inspiring this (younger at the time) media professional to embrace change and keep looking forward.