Democratizing the Media Industry

At Axle AI, we’re riding a massive wave: the emergence of video as a critical tool that plays a key role in the global economy. Over 500,000 teams worldwide already capture and edit video, a number that is expected to double to 1 million by the end of this decade. How did this happen, and why is it such a force to be reckoned with?

One or two decades ago, shooting and editing videos was largely the province of large media organizations – broadcasters and movie studios. Their distribution channels, likewise, were all geared for scale: terrestrial broadcasting, cable tv, and movie theatres. The only way to make money was to make content that appealed to large numbers of people at once, and the most successful content had massive production costs (think the Star Wars movies, or the Olympics). 

But since then, whole new ways of targeted watching and distributing video have emerged – ranging from TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, and Vimeo to narrowly-focused FAST channels and dedicated apps at events. What this means is that there’s much more opportunity for specialized content to reach its potential audience. The Creator Economy is real, and whether those creators are individuals or increasingly, growing teams, they are able to deliver and monetize high quality content much faster than ever before.

For example, we can see that in key media industries like sports, media production is decentralizing from solely being done by broadcasters, to the leagues, teams and even individual players taking control of their own content, and rapidly finding the best ways to distribute it. And at each democratizing step, the number of media production teams goes up dramatically. Interestingly, the amount of footage per team doesn’t seem to be going down; rather, it’s increasing, as the number of ways to capture HD and 4K video (phones, DSLRs, drones, GoPros) lets even small teams capture diverse camera angles of the same event. Even the recent writers’ and actors’ union strikes in Hollywood are feeding into this trend, as they will only accelerate the shift to a much more diverse range of sources for watched media… at least in the short term!  Fewer big-name movies, more documentaries and YouTube clips.

The challenges of managing, searching, repurposing and archiving large amounts of high quality media are now seen everywhere. Fortunately, some key technologies have matured at just the right time. For instance, powerful transcoding software lets you make high-res proxy media for browser previewing of all your media, and amazing new AI/machine learning tools let you tag, transcribe and search huge amounts of that media in record time. A good thing too, because publishing video to social media platform calls for quick turnaround, NOW.

Examples of the kinds of searches that are now possible: you can look for all scenes where a particular person appears, or the combination of that person with certain words being spoken, or even (in the example of sports footage) all instances of someone saying “goal” where a given sponsor’s logo appears in the clip. The possibilities are endless; and before the availability of AI processing for media, only the largest media companies, with dedicated teams for metadata tagging and search, were able to do anything like this.

If you’re finding yourself shooting and editing large amounts of video, we hope you can contact us to learn more about our Axle AI MAM software, Axle Tags AI/ML engines, Axle Connectr workflow automation and Axledit browser-based collaboration platform. Together, they give your team a powerful toolset that will revolutionize your media productivity.

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