What’s Your Total Cost of Video Ownership?
uStudio | Data & Analytics
So that makes it a good time to look at assessing the costs associated with producing, using and managing that video. Most vendors in the video space have taken the traditional approach by looking at the cost of video production alone. But we’d like to look at it a little differently. We believe the right way to assess your cost of video is to look at the total cost of video ownership (TCVO). For those old enough to remember the important TCO conversations of early IT (hardware, software, maintenance), you’ll find familiarity in our approach. In short, there’s a whole lot more to consider than just the cost of production. Here are some of the questions you should ask when calculating your TCVO.
1. Where is your video going? You’ll want the flexibility to go anywhere and everywhere your audience goes. But delivery comes with a cost. Sometimes it’s bandwidth and streaming, often there is formatting for destinations, sites and devices. Plus, it requires technical know-how – about codecs, bitrates, containers. Expertise here can cost upwards of $200 an hour. If you only produce 12 videos/year, you can end up spending close to $5,000 on just formatting. Cloud-based video solutions that do this technical heavy-lifting can save you not only time and money but future-proof your overall strategy as well. Since formats change all the time, such solutions take the onus off of you to keep up. Don’t let the future lock you out!
2. How am I managing my video library? Many organizations keep their video files stored in file sharing apps, on external hard drives and on individual desktops – an inefficient way to store, organize and manage your video asset library. It’s a time and money sinkhole; you’ve invested in producing those videos, but a search-and-seizure approach to video asset management is the same thing as a library whose books are catalogued haphazardly or not catalogued at all. Where’s Waldo? Who knows?
3. How efficient is my workflow? Does my video team work together like a well oiled machine or are hand-offs clumsy and time consuming? Since people’s time is the most expensive factor in your video value equation, ensuring timely and smooth team sharing, reviews and approvals, especially in today’s world of geographically dispersed teams, is required.
Workflow relates to video management. Video’s large file size adds to the challenges of collaboration, since it is hard to store and share through standard business tools. Are you implementing the right tools to manage important functions like rough cut reviews, final approvals, and publishing to the various destinations where your videos live–whether embedded players or platforms like YouTube, FaceBook and mobile apps?
4. Can I optimize my metadata strategy? Audience discovery of your video relies, among other things, on metadata- the information you associate with your video file: the thumbnail cover image, title, description and keywords. Can you easily catalog, find, reuse and optimize the metadata you’ve created for your videos? It’s important, so, hopefully, the answer is yes.
5. Is my video strategy future-proofed? If its heavily skewed toward one video format, player technology or destination, then you’ve self-limited your success. As already noted, formats change, new devices emerge, go-to sites pop up faster than you can say Pinterest. Be sure you’re not locked into any technology or approach that is grounded in one size fits all or forces you to invest more in new resources to simply deliver your files where they need to go.
In the end, video leaders rise and fall on managing the return on their video strategy. Included in this equation are always the “hidden” costs the questions above seek to expose. Minimize your TCVO and you’ll increase your chances for maximizing return.
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