Time is money. Save time = save money!

Streamline your media team's workflow and free yourself up for more content development and media production. No one can prepare your content and produce your media the way you can. It is the one thing you cannot outsource.

Easier said than done, right? Developing fresh content and producing great media is time consuming, we all know that. Your media team has a point in asking for more time to produce. Grant them their request! Free up their time, release them to create, to be productive, and increase the output of new media on a continuous basis.

This requires to turn off all avoidable distractions. Such distractions can often be well-meant and good-sounding projects, such as researching for new tools and alternative solutions for the website, or to build new systems around the website. Have you experienced how a new media-rich website can become a hole in the wallet, a delay factor on the schedule and the greatest enemy of moving forward with other pressing projects.

Don't let your website and in-house research, web- and app-development become a drain which delays projects dear to your heart, or delays projects that are higher on your priority list.

The key is: (re)search less, produce more!

Now, most of us in media and technology (us here at Lightcast included) just "looooove" our tech stuff and we want to create and be valuable. We also love (re)searching, digging, reading about technologies and new tech tools, don't we? It's an inner drive which can be valuable when channeled/managed correctly.

The challenge is that research work can be expensive to our employers, but go widely unnoticed, because it is a type of work which can be hard to detect at times. Research work can quickly become a time- and resource drainer, as it can blur the line between what is necessary and what is fun, curiosity, a strive to become valuable or a result of other motives. Researching is not free - not even if the motive is to make things "cheaper" for the organization. From the employees perspective - finding "free stuff" and building things "in house" may be free, or cheap. But from the employers perspective it is anything else but free - it costs real money in form of monthly salaries or hourly payments and very often the organization hardly ever recovers from those costs over the years. These costs have to be factored into the streaming, media delivery and website expenses.

In the end a self-knitted patchwork website or streaming media setup with live streaming, on demand videos individually embedded, third-party statistics in different places for live, VOD, mobile and SmartTV publishing, event management, count down, payment forms, chat tools, TV apps, mobile apps, and other media tools patched together from numerous different vendors, is a very expensive way to get things done - not only the required research and increased implementation costs up front, but also the increased continuous maintenance expenses.

Here is a story as an example.

A highly talented media producer was recently hired by the organization and has to prove himself valuable. He really loves the organization and wants to contribute as much as he can. He doesn't do it for the money, but for the cause. He could easily earn more elsewhere. As one of his first major acts on the job, he would like to roll out a new website for the organization and in the process integrate various new media services. He favors a certain video sharing platform which is pretty cheap. He researches on various live-stream services and different video players on the market. He researches on how to create thumbnail galleries and integrate media libraries and live-streams. He researches on chat-tools for the live-stream, on a variety of payment services, solutions for event management and countdowns, and on sofware which allows for website users to register, create profiles and perform certain services in the member area. He also has to figure out how to transcode for maximum device compatibility, and find vendors who build mobile and SmartTV apps which can integrate content from his other video hosting service. He also has to research on a smart way to upload and integrate audio and how to publish to iTunes. All of this can be done in a number of different ways. He searches for the cheapest vendor for each area. He opens over a dozen online accounts in the process and selects passwords he remembers.

He ends up keeping 7 contracts with different software applications and media services for the website, with monthly expenses of $30 for VOD hosting, $20 for Audio hosting, $150 for solid and ad-free Livestreaming, $25 for the Chatservice, $150 for Hosting on Roku, $30 for Website Hosting, $35 for the Event Management System + $300 per month for ongoing in-house labor he needs, because the self-made system requires additional weekly tasks. The total costs moving forward will be $740 per month. Not too bad.

The research took over 3 months and then the development and integration another 3 months. He also had to involve another staff member part time in the process. 5 of the 6 months could have been saved with the right OVP and Development Partner with a package solution.

These 5 months cost the company $18,000 of net-time worked on research and implementation of multiple different online services, plus $3,000 in app development. The company has to recover over the years to come by savings through the self-made patchwork setup over a package solution of an OVP and Development Partner. In order to save $500 per month to allow for a recovery over 3.5 years, the in-house solution has to be compared to an OVP solution of $1,240 per month.

What if you could get all of it and much more done with the right package solution of $600/month and save over 50%? In addition the organization would have also saved several months in lead time for research and increased implementation work and set the media team free to produce more media content or to get other things done in the meantime.

It is the same old principle: not everything which looks "cheap" at first glance will save you money in reality. Never underestimate today's challenges with streaming media technologies, the learning curve and research time your staff will need if they want to use multiple online services to patch together their own setup. Chances are that it will take longer than originally anticipated and time is money - your money, the organization's money, the donors' or the clients' money.

The recommendation of the day: use an OVP package solution instead - especially if your OVP partner can also provide app or web development - and use the saved time for more important things, such as producing fresh media content!

Keep on producing! Don't let avoidable research and development tasks hold you up. There is a world out there waiting to see your content!

Your Lightcast Care Team