Client interview – Successive agency: What are the new challenges of live streaming in the professional environment?
The live streaming trend has clearly imposed itself in the professional environment in recent years. Developed in 2016 under the impetus of social networks and new practices of Internet users, live video streaming is now widely favored by companies. We interviewed Jules BELLUZ, Live Project Manager at Successive, an audiovisual production agency, who tells us more about the conquest of this market and its new challenges in the professional field. Discover his interview.
Jules Belluz, you work at Successive agency. Can you introduce yourself?
As a Live Project Manager, I am in charge of both the pre-production of the videos, including the accompaniment of the client and the setting up of live video, and the exploitation and validation of the videos in the field where I hold the position of multi-camera director. I have the particularity of being both in the office and in the field to accompany the client from A to Z on its services.
Since my arrival at Successive in 2019, we decided with the sales team to redevelop the live area since it had been somewhat abandoned in 2017 due to a lack of internal skills. We realized that companies and clients were very interested in this type of service.
What is Successive agency ?
Successive is an audiovisual production agency created in 1998 and pioneered the first online video chats in 2005.
The team is composed of about fifteen people representing all the audiovisual professions: editorial project manager, video producer, graphic designer, cameraman and editor. We also have a network of externals all over France to reinforce us during periods of high activity.
We work with about fifty active clients and we organize about fifty live events per year. Live events at Successive represent 30% of our activity. The rest is split between motion design and video.
What is the particularity of your agency?
We have a strong editorial asset. We help our clients with the synopsis, the writing of the report, the development, the construction and the preparation of the interviews. In general, the journalists meet with the people who are going to be interviewed to prepare them as well as possible, but also to guide them on the discourse that is expected.
Successive also has a strong asset: its reactivity. We are able to send a film crew on requests made 4 hours before the event or to produce a live broadcast requested the day before.
The reports represent our biggest activity. We also do a lot of after movies, that is to say videos that will take up the key moments of an event day. Motion design represents 30% of our activity: commercials, tutorials, dressings…
Do you encounter any technical challenges? Does this have an impact on the video production of your clients’ events?
We especially encountered this with the arrival of Covid, where we had to digitalize all the physical events. This was a challenge because it was not usual. So we had to redevelop techniques to make all these events (business seminars, round tables, collaborative work spaces, etc.) online and find decentralized solutions. The hybridization has remained even if we now do events in public.
We are also systematically asked for interactivity in live events, whether it be chats, polls, quizzes, etc. The technical challenges here are more about integrating this interactivity into our live video production tools. We do a lot of live video for clients and often the audience is not there. Companies regularly ask us to develop this type of tool and to help them promote their event in order to attract a maximum number of people. We therefore try to develop short, punchy, interactive formats that are easy to watch from a distance in order to have the highest possible viewing rate. When there are 8-hour seminars with round tables of people talking about very technical subjects, it’s not always easy to watch and stay until the end.
For several years now, companies have been increasingly adopting video to broadcast their events. How can we explain this craze in the professional world?
I think it’s mostly due to social media platforms that made video accessible at first, and then live video at a later stage. Technology has made it easier to access over the years. On social networks, we realize that videos are the contents where there is the most audience and with the best retention rate.
If companies wanted to broadcast their events live, it’s linked to two things: to avoid travel because it’s easier to do a seminar online than to move all the employees in the same place, but also to enlarge the audience.
Covid, while not the main reason, has accelerated this process. Some companies have broadcasted their seminar online out of obligation since they couldn’t meet on site. Economically too, they finally realized that these were interesting formulas.
In the future, we should alternate the virtual and the real in a hybrid format. We will try to gather people on events because it’s nicer and there are more links of connectivity and exchanges, but also to have spectators or speakers in virtual to be able to widen the diffusion of the event. Both formats will coexist.
You use the Vodalys.Studio platform to broadcast your videos. How did you hear about us?
At the time of the first Covid-related lockdown, we needed to make live video chats, especially for the Ministry of Solidarity and Health, which needed to make a quick statement about Covid and the lockdown rules. During this period, half of our employees were telecommuting and the other half were on short-time work. So we didn’t have a lot of people on site and we needed to find solutions for live video production that were totally dematerialized since we couldn’t travel.
While searching on search engines for this type of solution, we came across Vodalys. We quickly got a demo of the platform from a member of your team. We chose your tool because it was more open than the others and we wanted to choose a French platform.
So we used the Vodalys.Studio platform to get our videos from a webcam and we enhanced them with images, video extracts, synthesizers, graphic design, then we broadcasted the whole thing on different platforms, especially Facebook and Twitter which were the first live chats at the time.
Which solution(s) do you prefer on the Vodalys.Studio platform?
90% of the time, we use the Vodalys “Conference” project with the use of sign language. Either in a private and secure player with a password or a dedicated page, or with sign language and velotype, as a video mixer. It’s also following our request that you developed and made permanent the sign language and velotype tool on the platform.
We also use a lot the Vodalys platform when we don’t have Internet on site. It happens that I send a cameraman on an event with just an AVIWEST. He captures me remotely a press conference for example. The advantage is that I don’t move any control room, equipment or technician, but only my cameraman with his AVIWEST. He takes the video and sound from his camera and sends it to the AVIWEST. And I get it all back remotely on the Vodalys platform.
What does Vodalys bring you and what is its specificity according to you?
On the one hand, we have an autonomy because we can be very reactive when we are asked the day before for a live for the next day. So we have to be autonomous and prepare the project quickly on Vodalys. And on the other hand, we also have a technical support if we want it. It happened to us to ask for a technical support to the Vodalys team.
In case of problems on our events, we can count on Vodalys. You are a force of proposal in case of lack of material or human means and you are available in case of question about a particular tool.
You are also economically useful when we are on events where there is no need to move equipment or technicians.
If you had to describe Vodalys in 3 adjectives, what would they be ?
Easy with the simplicity of the platform, the highlighted features and the simple design.
Flexible with your pricing policy: we pay for what we use.
Cooperative with the fact that we can be several on the tool.
Any advice for Internet users who read us and want to start live streaming?
Don’t hesitate to ask for help to get started, to understand the basics and especially the stakes of video streaming. And take the time to prepare the event, content and form!
Live streaming is trendy but you have to know how to integrate it in your communication plan and promote it to the right targets so that the investment is useful.
Thanks to Jules for his trust and his availability. To know more about Successive, go here.