This article, written by Ed Laczynski, originally appeared on The Broadcast Bridge.
Today’s fast-moving technology, changing viewer demands, multichannel distribution and increased competition means increased pressure to be efficient. Media companies, or any enterprise that is leveraging video in a meaningful way, now have intertwined functions and processes, including business planning, content creation, distribution, sales, marketing and customer engagement.
In response to these challenges, I see a new role emerging that serves as the command-and-control manager over cross-functional operations in video streaming. Sometimes called a product manager, GM or business manager, this important role in video-centric companies deserves its own designation — the VidOps manager.
So what does this person do? Simply put, these people lead teams and align successful video product go-to-market programs and operations.
With cord-cutting now mainstream, content production and distribution companies have more video product and service opportunities than ever before. However, they know today’s viewers demand and expect a seamless entertainment experience. Audiences want quality video content from the brands, talent and topics they care most about, and they’re willing to pay for it.
Therefore, audience growth, engagement and retention performance can rise and fall based on the ability of an operator to provide a high-quality experience that is quickly responsive to audience needs. Video product teams must ask themselves: Does our content align with our business objective? Does it load and render properly across all devices and platforms? Is our video content available both live and on-demand? Is our customer experience seamless? Are we optimizing and simplifying our customer engagement to fully monetize our content? Do we have the data needed to make informed decisions based on these key questions?
This paradigm puts mounting pressure on all aspects of video operations, but especially technology workflow. Fragmented and disjointed workflows are no longer an option.
A recent Zype survey found that 67 percent of respondents had complex and disconnected workflows that impacted performance. If video product teams were working in silos, products were delivered slower and teams were less efficient and business objectives were less likely to be met.
Based on our learnings and experience, Zype developed VidOps Framework, a way to connect video product teams with the rest of the business. Borrowing core principles from IT and business success strategies like Agile and Lean, VidOps promotes collaboration, visibility and shared goals.
Introducing the VidOps Manager
VidOps managers are responsible for the coordination of cross-functional teams according to the tenets of workflow: to improve the speed of delivery, quality and value of premium video content. This person coordinates the creation, delivery, user management and monetization associated with video services. This new role serves as video project, product and business manager all in one, essentially the video product lifecycle manager.
The manager is charged with helping an organization adapt to change and stay ahead of the technology curve. These team leaders also must leverage data and statistical metrics as both a means to inform and validate business decisions. As such, it falls to them to track and measure relevant KPIs and metrics that surround video development and delivery.
Finally, these team leaders must ensure that business objectives are integrated within the development process early and continuously. No matter how clear communication is, or how streamlined the video process may be, if teams are not aligned toward common goals, it is difficult to succeed.
So what makes a great VidOps manager? We see these core qualifications as leading indicators for success.
The first attribute is a passion for building high-quality video products that support the organization's growth and mission.
Next, they must have a keen interest in working in and managing collaborative environments. When the goal is to unite an organization, having sincere energy and commitment to improving team synergy is helpful.
Third, this manager must strive to make the organization's video infrastructure more stable, reliable and productive. This often requires automating processes and removing wasteful workflows. Not only does this create an environment where products are more reliably tested and vetted, but it simultaneously frees creative co-workers to use their skills to build new and exciting products.
Finally, these leaders should strive to be data-informed — relying on shared data to drive better business decisions. This person has the lofty goal of integrating siloed data for better performance and visibility across the entire video lifecycle.
Now, let’s look at the types of responsibilities the VidOps manager holds on a day-to-day basis.
Leads cross-functional team collaboration and communication efforts.
Understand and evaluate the video distribution marketplace and map opportunities to business goals.
Understand and evaluate the video distribution supply chain and map to business goals.
Helps define shared roles, responsibilities and goals for teams within business and video operations.
Helps the organization adapt to change and prepare for the future through strategic planning.
Guide video teams in defining and understanding audience personas.
Tracks and measures KPIs and metrics for video development and delivery, marketing and sales.
Helps engineering and video operations speed time-to-revenue through automating processes, streamlining workflows, overseeing early and frequent testing, and measuring performance.
Ensure that business objectives are integrated within development and delivery processes.
Reports to senior management.
For organizations to better serve customers via awesome video products, and to stay ahead of the competition, a more unified approach is required. With a talented VidOps manager, new workflows and technical frameworks can be adopted to streamline operations, delight customers and win in the marketplace.
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