Written by Paul Whybrow
Looking at Creative Production
The advanced storytelling industry is made up of media, entertainment, broadcast, immersive experiences, events, sports, galleries, museums and publishing. Essentially this captures any business or organisation whose core purpose is about bringing human stories to life and is focused on driving digital approaches to deliver stories.
There is immense business pressure on the global media, entertainment and creative industries to remaincommercially viable and relevant in this dramatically challenging environment.
These industries are facing two worldwide seismic shifts at once.
They were already adapting to the rapid shift to the Advanced Digital Economy which has dramatically disrupted many media and entertainment operations, as audiences demand consumer centric services focussed around personalisation, instant mobile access across all devices, easy to access and use applications and charging models that are well below previous subscription monthly access charges.
The Advanced Digital Economy is supercharging widespread industry transformation around viewer expectations, cloud creative and distribution technology, 5G & mobility access and less physical equipment and more virtual flexibility.
This disruption has already challenged producers and distributers alike – it has spurned the demise of print, created powerful streaming players and challenged the very existence of most incumbents.
The 2020 pandemic crisis has delivered sudden unimaginable economic and consumer shock that has halted much of the world as governments and society grapple with both saving lives and saving livelihoods.
The media and entertainment industries have seen their world instantly turn upside down. Cultural and entertainment sites closing, most professional sport ceasing, viewing via tv and online exploding and, for many, advertising and subscriptions rapidly collapsing.
Operations have rapidly pivoted to less physical and centralised presence to a remote and de-centralised home-based workforce.
The Australian and New Zealand success in suppressing the virus and focus on rebuilding the economic structure and consumer confidence, is aimed to deliver a substantial bounce back differentiator.
The combination of the 2020 pandemic with the Advanced Digital Economy creates chaos and uncertainty across every economy and industry. So much is hanging on controlling the virus and managing the economic fallout, that predicting the media, entertainment and creative industry impacts are very risky indeed.
Although it is early days, the combination of both disrupters will be massive in magnitude: adaption and survival will be the major business goal for many.
Although there is no certainty it is likely that the big picture themes can include:
Seeking fresh and imaginative creativity – Global experience shows that whatever the global disruption, economic or military, there has been an upsurge in entertaining creativity that is adored by upbeat audiences. Post the second world war saw the amazing shift in audiences from movies to television, the rise of popular culture and pop music. We can’t be sure what the combination of digital innovation and a post pandemic world may bring, however it is certain the love of sport, news and entertainment will be as passionate as ever.
Our perspective at Bodyboard Immersive Experiences, is to look for a fresh view on the collective industries that is very holistic and provides a common framework for transformation, that could be equally applied to visual media (such as Free TV or OTT), audio (radio and podcasts) or Publishing (digital or physical) .
The Storytelling Cycle looks at the end to end supply chain for anything that is in a creative industry.
In broad terms the production and distribution cycle apply whether you are look-ing at a TV show or a digitally published article it will go through the same management cycle although the platforms and process may be highly variable.
The stage where content concepts are made, and commissions undertaken. Traditionally this the part of the business where content commissioners are looking to select the most appropriate content to either produce in house, source externally or create externally. This stage includes all the production process to design, write, produce, edit and craft the content across whatever media types are required, visual, audio and written. This stage includes all the distinct platforms, people and process to make distinct content that meets the audience, creative and budgetary needs.
The stage where content is refined and sorted, stored and becomes part of a product, service orpublication. Included in this activity is the digital and physical storage and management of all the contentand how it will be editorially presented to audiences.
This includes creating the sharing platforms, like TV channels, websites, mobile apps and products ready for distribution. This includes all the elements to content selection and placement, manage schedules, delivery timetables, budgets and rights management. This curation stage is also the driver for ensuring there are strong customer experience strategies and deliverable capabilities to drive exceptional and personalised experiences.
The process of distributing to viewers, readers or customers across the appropriate platforms both physical and digital. This includes all the multi-platform distribution required to meet the target audiences.For example, TV Playout, digital publishing, on demand OTT, radio and podcast publishing.
These set of process are very technology and operationally heavy, as they are ensuring the audiences are maximised foreach piece of content, along with driving advertising or subscription success to meet business goals. This essentially the delivery of all the activity in thecreation and curation stage finally to the people targeted in the first two stages.
The key stage of marketing, engaging socially, listening to the audience, learning and refining to improvethe ongoing creation decisions. The audiences will either enjoy or disengage with the content you have so carefully crafted for consumption. Engagement is a very interactive process and will occur before the content is shared through the marketing and customer expectations and will live during and past the actual sharing time.
Reflecting on the themes of the Advanced Digital Economy and post pandemic environment, there aresevere pressures. Pressures on costs, revenue retention and improving margin for commercial companies plus for tax funded organisations, the accelerated need to drive more with less, as governments manage pandemic debt reduction. This means rapid acceleration in fresh ways to operate which reduce overheads, link the production and delivery chains with greater simplification and automation.
By breaking down the traditional view of an end to end production and distribution approach into the storytelling cycle framework, gives a different way of looking at reshaping and redesigning your total chain to take advantage of technology transformation (cloud, mobility, AI, consumerisation), process reorganisation, team efficiencies, content and distribution opportunities and media creation, management and distribution.
With each stage the challenges and benefits of transformation can be looked in a holistic way that covers absolutely any content type you may create, rather than still looking at separate cycles for each type of media or each platform or each content source.
This period of recovery, reshaping and realignment is going to be challenging for all those involved in the storytelling industries, and it is likely that strategic realignment along with a very strong focus on creating exceptional customer experience could give you a good advantage.
We are a boutique business that helps leaders and teams in the Storytelling Industries turn the impacts of digital change into an advantage for their businesses through transforming capability – creatively, strategically and effectively.
We draw on a unique mix of trusted expertise to look at everything with a fresh pair of eyes, witha strong passion for people-centred approaches and a fun, creative and engaging style thatbridges the left and right brain style of thinking. We connect the dots to create insight, strategies and outcomes to embrace what the new digital economy offers.
The core of our approach is a holistic perspective built on the core industry expertise gained from working in the BBC, Channel Seven, Fairfax Media, Foxtel, Cognizant, Capgemini andTech Mahindra.
We have success stories from creating and presenting courses in Australia and New Zealand, asa Professional Credential Assessor for DeakinCo (Part of Deakin) University) and joint author of ‘The Changing Face of Work’ part of The Challenging Future Practice Possibilities book.
Our core expertise