Ever since the new Creative Cloud subscription and the new Final Cut X debate settled, there seem to be way less posts on the COW. Premier Pro is pretty busy and the Business one here, but seems like generally traffic has slowed....anyone else seeing this? Just curious if anyone has their thumb on any theories...
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
TRAFFIC is UP, and rather considerably up in fact, but yes, posting is down a bit. For now.
Like pretty much everything else in life, traffic to forums like the COW is driven by product upgrade cycles. New computers, new software versions, new cameras -- all of them bring new problems. ? But in fact, those things are all coming farther and farther apart, so there's not as much to talk about. We had a major uptick around Apple's laptop event, and once NAB gets started, we'll typically have five times as many people here a day as NAB will have all week.
(That is, they're getting around 100,000 total attendees at the last few NABs, and we'll do around 500,000 people a day at the COW.)
The dynamic driving TRAFFIC (people reading, even if they're not posting) is that the industry as a whole is growing like crazy. Not so much in the model that so many of us like you and me, Rich, or the old guard here in our 50s and 60s came up through -- traditional post, traditional owner-operator/small "do it all" shops -- but a ton of work in-house. Agencies, corporate, broadcast, proAV, and yes, the FINALLY, at long last, long-ballyhoo'd but only now arriving explosion in growth in TV series production (455 scripted series in the US in 2016, expected to top 500 in 2017).
This has been great for business. I was up until 2AM last night loading up new ad campaigns in the COW, have been working on new ones all day today, have 4 RFPs that I'm replying to this week -- I literally can't keep up with the demand. It's why I so rarely post anymore. There may be other parts of the web where ads aren't working, but our customers are telling us that advertising in the COW is working just fine, thanks.
Of course, one other dimension affecting POSTING is that, my joking about new problems notwithstanding, most new stuff works a whole lot better than it used to. How many questions is anybody gonna have about the AJA FS-4 or the Blackmagic HyperDeck? Crazy advanced technology, super capable....and damn near bulletproof. Same with storage, software, cameras --- pretty much everything used to be a crisis, but really, most cameras record in formats that most NLEs can read, that most storage can play just fine. This most definitely used to NOT be the case AT ALL.
So it's inevitable that when upgrade cycles get longer, and new releases are more affordable, more reliable and easier to work with in ways that drive industry growth, that you'd see exactly the dynamics that we are in fact seeing: fewer new posts, but more new traffic.
I could go into some more detail, but that's the picture in broad strokes.
Thanks for being around long enough to live through this transition, and caring enough to notice. ?
[Tim Wilson] "So it's inevitable that when upgrade cycles get longer, and new releases are more affordable, more reliable and easier to work with in ways that drive industry growth, that you'd see exactly the dynamics that we are in fact seeing: fewer new posts, but more new traffic."
I was thinking about this some more, and came up with an example of what I'm talking about. Imagine what the TV commercial landscape would like if new car models were introduced once every 3-4 years. (It's been 3 years since the last Mac Pro, 4 years since the last major HP Z series workstation upgrade.) No new car models means no new commercials about those models, but also no new JD Power surveys or commercials based on them.
But in fact, car models continue to do what computers USED to do, which is to predictably turn the crank at very measured intervals, with lots of rippling effects across multiple adjacent industries as a result, all the way out to folks like us who are making spots like those.
This has also led to a flattening of NAB. The show has meant less and less over the years as there's less and less new stuff, which has meant for the vendors who ARE going, it's harder to rise above the noise. Tradeshows like NAB have mastered the art of obscuring the difference between signal and noise of course LOL -- it's nearly all noise anymore, but we're meant to believe that it's nearly all signal -- but the crowds keep appearing because the industry is growing so fast.
But the real energy has pushed out elsewhere. There were far more consequential announcements at IBC, largely driven by Adobe and the European camera (and even moreso, LENS) community, but smaller shows like CineGear in Los Angeles are also picking up as a number of camera companies in particular that had formerly bet big on NAB are now realizing that they can make a bigger impact by going to camera-specific shows like this one, and spending a lot less money to do it.
Even more interesting to me is what Blackmagic is doing. They had a YouTube livestreaming press conference last month to roll out their 2017 broadcast announcements, and one in a few minutes from when I write this to roll out their camera and DaVinci Resolve news. THAT's how you roll in the new world: go direct with your message to people who either weren't coming to the show anyway, or who'll now be more motivated than ever to see this new stuff in person.
After all, even though they're going direct to The People, BMD is still going to have the biggest booth at the show. Why do just one or the other when you can do both? 😎
I think it has another effect which BMD might or might not have intended, which is to throw people with similar products into a bit of a tizzy. The bar has been set! There are guys who exhibit in the North Hall who have already spent the past month feeling their ulcers expand. Watching this unfold is absolutely enthralling to an old industry-watcher like me. Bring on the popcorn!
Anyway, things are changing, but people are looking for information. They have questions, even if they're not personally typing them out, and are coming to the COW for answers. And from a business perspective, we remain gratified that they're clicking on our ads and spending money with our sponsors.
Good points Tim and glad to get some of that "inside baseball" peek inside the machine.
I appreciate the COW for the participation not just the inherent traffic. It used to be a daily exercise to peruse the various well traveled forums and post comments if I had anything to add etc, but although traffic may be up of people looking in, what seems to be down is the participation of the various discussions compared to what it used to be. I was curious if it was trending this way for a reason, and you have provided some deep insights.
Anyone else seeing/feeling this and have any ideas how the industries changing landscape can be affecting this kind of forum based traffic? Maybe Mark Suzko's long posts intimidate people into thinking they have to write a lot to participate in our 140 character abbreviated world!
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage