Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Once upon a time, they used to say content is king, and then we got hypnotized by social media metrics, follows, likes, digital influencers, and unfortunately, due to these distractions, the caliber of the content became second, on some level. Well since Covid-19 has shaken up almost every corner of the planet and our culture, so has it to the content game.
“Media consumption is increasing. Nielsen studies show that home-bound consumers have led to a 60% increase in the amount of video content watched globally. As each country is at a different stage of their COVID-19 response, TV engagement is varied, but one thing is consistent; time spent per viewer watching news and entertainment is going up as the spread of COVID-19 worsens.”
The 2020 World Economic Forum Report also announced “Demand for content has sky-rocketed since the start of the outbreak. Two-thirds of consumers worldwide are watching more news coverage and half are watching more video content on streaming services”
Due to the phenomena of the century, Covid-19, demand and viewership of media and digital content have drastically increased, whilst access to film and television production, international travel and film crews, has greatly reduced.
This has now been exasperated with the immense rise of the creator in 2021, thanks to NFTs & Blockchain. (If you don’t know what NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) are yet, you are behind the game, start your Google Search and self-education journey today for much enlightenment). Read NFTs are the Victim of Non-Friendly Terminology for a basis on how to get along.
In 2017, I co-founded Tech Talk Media, a US TV and film production company, with my cousin and digital entrepreneur, Ronald Hans, in order to provide the best-in-class edutainment (educational-entertainment) using our unique access and knowledge of the latest cutting-edge technologies, markets and content. All produced to a high level and distributed to Tier 1 Broadcasters across the globe, with superior production timescales, flexibility and rights. Since 2020, the company received 16 International Film Festival Awards for our Original Productions.
As a team of diverse entrepreneurs, innovators and problem-solvers, we have always pioneered ways produce content, and revolutionise the media space, and this was no different when it came to continuing our television and film production throughout the awful pandemic. “It wasn’t my first rodeo, and as an experienced entrepreneur, its normal to meet challenges and hurdles along the way. COVID-19 was just another difficult hurdle that we needed to learn how to work with” commented co-founder, Ronald Hans.
“Partnering with Temi Robots, and others in the space, the team would send in semi-autonomous robots, with minimal film crews, where locations allowed. The Executive Producer/Director would then logon to the robot, or just via Zoom or Facetime to “remote Direct” our shows. Often, we would film in open-air environments to be safe, and then send in a robot to film the b-roll indoors, accompanied by one masked and fully vaccinated cameraperson. Our biggest hurdle was often the most basic, obtaining strong enough Wi-Fi, which was difficult even at NASA’s locations!” continued Hans.
Tech Talk Media just released three new finished productions for distribution and broadcast in Q1 2022. Two of these, Inside Nasa’s Innovations (6 x 60min Episodes per Season) and The Rise of A.I. (6 x 30min Episodes per Season), will premiere with Discovery Asia in January 2022. Both TV Series have already been awarded multiple International Film Festival Awards and highlight revolutionary new technologies and innovation in the Aerospace and Artificial Intelligence markets, which are a huge part of our evolution.
Our team has been fortunate to have unparalleled access to NASA’s behind-the-scenes tech innovation and development, as well as leading players in the A.I. space, aligning with leading organizations and think-tanks, including Samsung, Microsoft, Cornell Tech & MIT. Filming was never ‘easy’ however, and we had to think outside the box on how to achieve what we normally would with a larger team and the producer present.
Tech Talk Media’s third completed production due for release in Q1 2022 is entitled “Last Man Standing: The Chronicles of Myron Sugerman”. A true-crime feature-length documentary, showcasing the factual life story of Myron Sugerman, a member of the Newark/New Jersey Mob. Myron’s father, Barney Sugerman was a lifelong partner of Meyer Lansky, Benny “Bugsy” Seigel, Lucky Luciano and Joe “Doc” Statcher. Myron is the last standing original gangster from that iconic era and the Sugerman’s were the largest manufacturer, importer and exporter of illegal slot machines, pinball machines, jukeboxes and cigarette machines from the 1930s onwards. Distributing contraband to more than 80 countries worldwide, Myron’s endeavours span all four corners of the globe. After fighting against the onslaught of fascist violence in the streets of New Jersey & New York from the Nazi Bund Party, he adopted a taste for Nazi hunting and soon after made strategic ties with Simon Wiesenthal, the famed Nazi hunter, and together they located the notorious Nazi scientist Dr Joseph Mengele, which apparently led to his early demise.
It’s a fascinating story, one of our best pieces to date, and an iconic piece of US history. Unbelievably, in the creation of this masterpiece, as Executive Producer & Director, I never personally met Myron throughout the whole shooting of the show, I directed the whole production almost entirely remotely, through video conferences, with minimal team on site, and the assistance of autonomous devices, which is entirely characteristic of our company’s post-covid work methodology.
Conversely, for our newest production, NFTme, I travelled all over the world with my 2 vaccines and a booster in order to create the production with that personal interaction. NFTme profiles the meteoric rise of NFTs, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. By explaining the unfriendly jargon, showcasing the technologies, opportunities and creators, NFTme highlights how this new market and social culture has developed a creative revolution unifies innovators, creatives and pioneers across this newly created and highly immersive ecosystem.
NFTme featured guests, Levina Li (ex-Christies Hong Kong) & Frank Smits (a veteran Art Collector) launched a brand new 9,888 piece fine art Collection called ‘The Meta Art Club’ this month on the largest NFT platform, Opensea. After being frustrated by the rate of development and change in the traditional art market, Levina and Frank were quick to adopt NFT technology and art on the blockchain. “NFT’s are the game-changer that the world needs, enabling creators to produce and distribute their content in a heartbeat and with no traditional barriers to entry. “The Meta Art Club was a blessing for us, to be able to curate 35 leading artists, and to produce thousands of pieces of fine art in record turnaround time, and represent the artist and artworks for sale, without any barriers, committees or galleries to get through.” Commented Levina Li.
After being featured in Vogue Singapore, The Meta Art Club sold hundreds of pieces in its first hour live as the market thrived on the exciting access to pre-vetted and curated NFT artists. As part of the unique drop, Levina and Frank ensure the artists are compensated fairly, the art is protected, the collector gets what they pay for and then money is also given to charitable causes and to develop awards and opportunities for new emerging artists. By adopting NFT technology and markets, Levina and Frank were able to accelerate release of this project, and ensure the process was smooth, professional and uninterrupted by Covid-19. NFTs undoubted provide a seamless stream for the distribution of more digital content. And moreover, they never once had to travel or meet in person to get it done.
The need for content is much on the rise, even more so today with the blockchain and NFT revolution, and the worlds access to TV & Film production, has been more difficult since Covid-19 hit our streets.
Tech Talk Media has seen fast exponential growth in the production of content, this however, is the stark opposite of most production houses across the world who have suffered with lack of access to production, whilst the appetite and requirement for fresh content has soared.
“Like every other sector, the media industry is feeling the impact of the virus. While there is a lot of turmoil, there are also opportunities emerging and the crisis is likely to spur some creative innovation.” reported Willis Tower Watson. “As the COVID-19 pandemic changes the way the world works, broadcasters and media companies are having to adopt radically-different approaches to creating content.”
As a leading podcast production company ElectraCast Media has also expanded its media catalogue over the last two years as other companies see a marked decline in production. “When Covid hit, we had to either embrace the situation or be gutted by it and stopping wasn’t an option. We are able to put together remote teams and work via the Internet to continue development and production.” commented Peter Rafelson, Co-Founder and Producer at ElectraCast Media, who is also renowned for writing Madonna’s “Open Your Heart” Number One Hit Song. “Engagement is off the charts, and although we are always evolving and enhancing our shows; remote work, Covid-19 and a change of social mannerisms and conduct has been the cause and spike in demand for our content”, continued Rafelson.
As we’ve seen over the last 24 months, nothing is for certain or guaranteed. With a fast-changing global environment it certainly pays to be agile and to adapt, as hurdles are met. In my life, I work on three principles to get to success, Passion, Determination & Resilience. With passion, your product/service/design will be flawless, with determination you will make it through to the end and meet each goal one by one, and with resilience, you will never ever give up, no matter what hits you.
In the words of Nelson Mandela “Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” or the Great Winston Churchill “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm”.
There is no doubt that a blow such as Covid-19 and the ongoing pandemic is vast and problematic, however with the right mindset and adaptability, there is an incredible opportunity for any creator who is able to continue to build during this exciting time in digital history.
If anything, my key takeaway on how to progress during these changing times, is taken from this simple mindset of achieving no matter what and seeing hurdles and challenges as part of the normal course of our lives.
With the right passion, determination and agility, 2022 will be the making of the Content Kings and Queens.