A seller’s market for creatives: how media organizations can retain top talent and protect revenue

December, 8 2020

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The new normal means talent can work anywhere in the world, for any organization; providing cutting edge remote and collaborative workflow tools helps you tap this global pool and prevent your top creatives from jumping ship.

The early scramble to get teams working from home has settled into the new normal, which few people expect will end anytime soon. And while the media industry has gotten back on set to some degree - with strict health protocols in place of course - crews are much smaller, and those who can work remotely are expected to. Executive teams are urgently building a long-term strategy around displaced remote video editing teams and the initial goodwill period - where most companies were happy to be merely up and running - is waning. There are some very difficult investment choices ahead.

The media businesses who adapted the fastest, evolving with the changes imposed by lockdown, have been the most resilient. Some, like  WarnerMedia, Sky, and Sesame Street, have even thrived under recent conditions. For those lucky few, it proved to be relatively easy to transition and replicate a remote virtual studio or office with collaborative software, notebook, camera and mic. But the reality of laggy VPNs and slow, congested home Wi-Fi have sapped the goodwill of the home-working teams. This is especially so for most media professionals, with the extra demands that remote working imposes. 

The reality of the situation is this: the greatest benefits of this new remote culture are also your greatest threat to revenue. It’s true - you no longer need to rely on expensive A-list talent in NYC or LA for video work, you can tap exceptional talent from anywhere in the world for typically lower costs. But on the flip side, your creative talent is no longer tethered to a geographical location or studio; they can work anywhere in the world. If they feel conditions in their working environment are lacking, they can easily find another organization

Exec Report

A media business is only as valuable as its top talent 

So, the honeymoon is now over, and you need to retain your talent. It’s a simple truth that if you don’t empower your teams with the right technology you risk losing your most valuable asset. 

The professional expertise and the creative skills of your employees are the engine driving the success of your organisation. None more so than in the creative industries where we know that without that talent, the quality of our content takes a nosedive. And whether bad or indifferent, poor content is still the ambassador for your brand, and nobody wants their reputations to dive as a direct result of losing key creative players. 

Let’s be clear about the impact of poor quality content. Nobody watches. So advertising revenue - already shrinking across the industry - plummets. This is a clear and present risk. 

In order to keep your talent working hard for your brand, creating content that builds revenue streams, you need to consider how to keep them safe and feeling fulfilled - and remove any barriers to productivity and creativity. 

Talent is no longer tied to a geo location 

The new normal is here, we’re living it. The reality of that normal is remote work; talent is no longer chained to the opportunities in their specific geographical location. These creatives can quite literally work anywhere in the world for any organization they want. On one hand, this provides an opportunity for smaller production hubs, like Atlanta and Miami, to expand their talent pool beyond the limits of their geography - which has likely already been exhausted. Instead of relying on who’s nearby, media businesses can select talent by the merits of their work. On the other, your current talent pool has more opportunity than ever before for the same reason -- it’s a seller’s market for creatives. In both cases, the risks can be mitigated and the benefits fully realized by your organization by an investment in remote-native tools.  

It’s the perfect time to make a virtue out of a necessity and give employees what they require. To keep creative professionals happy, they need a remote working solution that integrates with their existing tools, gives unimpeded access to rushes and archives, and enables collaboration like they’re still on prem. They know this because they’ve been doing it the hard way for decades, using hybrid workflows where editors rely on home broadband for file delivery to and from a Media Asset Management system (if they’re one of the lucky ones).

Post production traditionally requires high-performance servers and workstations to deal with the processing power, data rates and storage required by high-end video assets. Replicating this remotely, at scale, isn’t viable for most organizations; nor does it represent the best ROI.

One enabling tech running like a common thread amongst all the solutions is the baked-in adaptability of cloud editing workflows. 

With cloud integration you can now access full remote editing power without the need for an expensive suite, workstations and infrastructure. The ability to work from anywhere with internet access is liberating. With MAM tools like IPV’s Curator, editors can work within the familiar Adobe Premiere Pro environment, and still have instant global access to content libraries and archives - even if the archive in question is offline. 

No surprises here, but creatives like being creative. The less time spent on menial and repetitive tasks that take them away from the storytelling, the better. Your talent needs to feel valued and the best tools will attract and retain talent. Get it right and everyone can work more effectively while limiting business interruptions and risks to the bottom-line while also tapping an entirely new pool of talent at a better rate. 

Lose your top talent and you’ll lose your top ad revenue   

To avoid this risk you need to understand the drivers of your creative team members. Your top talent takes immense pride in producing the best possible product, both as an end in itself and also towards building a portfolio. Think about why you hired your talent in the first place. What established your creative job candidates as a potential asset to your brand? Odds are it was a portfolio of engaging content. Creative professionals want that portfolio to be excellent, and certainly not stagnant.

Building an effective portfolio creates a legend that has transactional value amongst peers and potential employers. It is the principal way of communicating creative professionals’ value.  Freelance or staff, you’re only as good as your last gig, and poor quality content hurts revenue (however you measure it). Top talent is rare. In spite of massive job insecurity during the pandemic, it’s a seller’s market for the most talented professionals. If you’ve hired the best, give them the best tools to work with. 

If you fail to provide the right technical solutions (especially since remote working is set to become the norm beyond COVID) you are making the job of your creatives unnecessarily difficult. See where we’re headed? If your tech choices get in their way, they’ll leave, not wanting your investment decisions to jeopardise their careers. How do you retain your talented teams? Equip them with the best tools that let them revel in their passion for storytelling. 

Tightening budgets: why compromising on tech investments will cost you

With the shift to remote working, in order to deliver top quality content and business resilience, there are technical, logistical and HR challenges that need to be addressed and embedded in a long-term strategy. 

The reality of deep budget cuts across all departments and all sectors continues to challenge the primary aim, which is to keep production values high. Audiences expect it. And high production value directly translates to the values viewers, sponsors and advertisers associate with your brand.

High quality content retains and protects your advertising streams as discerning commercial partners will only invest in content that delivers the best return. If you lose your talent pool you can’t create the content that will attract audiences and advertising investment.

Compromising on tech is a short-term solution with a long-term cost. If your creative team isn’t delivering the best possible content it’s a valuable drain for your organization and for the individual talent involved. To create any advantage over our competitors we need to facilitate fast turnaround of high quality content. That's the goal we’re all working towards. But that can only happen with tools that continually innovate. Production teams deserve a dynamic toolset capable of adapting to the uncertainty we’re experiencing. 

Beyond the technology… 

We’ll admit, our area of expertise lies with the technical side of content creation, but providing exceptional tools and technology to help retain talent - especially when working remotely - is just one part of the equation. Top notch tech may not be the answer to every single talent and workflow conundrum but it does provide the necessary foundation on which to build a successful media business. 

Questions? Let’s chat!

We want to get to know you and your business needs. Book time directly with Gabrielle below to see how Curator can help you take control of your video assets and produce quality video content faster than ever! 👇👇👇


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