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Is crowdsourcing video production a viable option?

Is crowdsourcing video production a viable option?


Crowdsourcing has quickly become one of the most powerful tools for businesses of all shapes and sizes when it comes to things like graphic design, branding and content creation. Over the past few years, we have seen several platforms with the sole purpose of crowdsourcing video production pop up. Is crowdsourcing video production for your business a truly viable option?

We list some of the pros and cons of crowdsourcing video production and compare it to the more traditional method of hiring a production company directly.

Video Crowdsourcing Pros

  • Crowdsourcing can be a great way to review the work of many production companies all in the same place. Saves time.
  • Allowing video professionals to bid on your project (in competition) can save you money.
  • If you don’t need local production (example: animation) you can find and work with firms anywhere in the world.
  • Some crowdsourcing platforms allow the creatives to give input on your project. Extra eyeballs on your prize.
  • You can find amazing freelance video talent you wouldn’t have found elsewhere.
  • You can find individuals to complete elements of your project rather than having to hire a company to do it (save money)

Video Crowdsourcing Cons

  • Most sites will accept anyone into their program which means your project will likely be bid on by a lot of amateurs. Sifting through this can be time consuming.
  • You will likely have to manage your own project from start to finish. If you know the video production process and its elements, you should be fine, but if not, you might be starting down a potentially frustrating road. Don’t even get me started on revisions.
  • Many professionals are specialists and wont be able to take on your whole project, meaning you will need to crowdsource other elements. Anybody know a good colourist?
  • Many of the top video production firms or creative talent do not use crowdsourcing platforms. They are already very, very busy.
  • Most of the results will yield results outside your geographic area. Most small business videos need elements of local production.
  • You won’t always get to meet your video pros in person. When talking about a creative project with a lot of moving parts, this is a major con.

Crowdsourcing versus Hiring Direct

When answering the question of whether to use crowdsourcing, or hire directly for your video production project, you need to consider a few things:

  1. How complex is your project? If it is a simple animated video, then crowdsourcing is the perfect solution. If it’s a complex project with a lot of moving parts, you might want to hire a firm you can actually sit down with to discuss things.
  2. How involved will you you be in the project? Remember, if you crowdsource your talent, you will surely be managing many elements of your project.
  3. Do you need any element of local production? If even part of your video needs to be shot on location at your business, it might be worthwhile to find a great local firm (or freelancer) and hire them directly.

The Crowd Goes Wild?

I love crowdsourcing. I use it all the time for my business for things like graphic design, web development and even voiceover talent. However, when it comes to video production, I don’t think crowdsourcing is quite there yet. Over the past 4 years we have produced more than 120 videos and only 1 came through a crowdsourcing platform. It was the only project where I wasn’t able to sit down with the client in person to go over the details and I can say with confidence that both the client and us found the process to be VERY frustrating.

Can you use crowdsourcing to find amazing video talent who can make you an amazing video for cheap? Sure…but just like anything else, something that seems too good to be true usually is, and you almost always get what you pay for. Just make sure to do your research on anyone you hire and take a very close look at their portfolio. That will tell you more than anything else about what kind of work they can do for you.

Chris Stasiuk

Author Chris Stasiuk

Chris is commercial director and founder of SVG, a Toronto based video content agency.

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