Where Are the VJ Jobs?

OK. Spread out…..

One of my favorite BBC series, Life On Mars apparently is coming to the US.

I have no doubt that whatever US network picks it up will mangle it in a remake, much like The Office, but you will be happy to know you can order the complete box set from the BBC of the original.

The plot revolves around DCI Sam Tyler (that would be Detective Chief Inspector), who, upon being hit by a car during a police chase in 2006 wakes up in 1973.

Tyler is dissociated from the world around him. He understands it, and can function in it, but he is always a bit of a misfit. “Where’s my cellphone? Your what????”

I think of this as I work with conventional TV people trying to find the jobs in the new digital world. The old jobs are surely evaporating fast and furious. The notion of a ‘cameraman’ as we pointed out a few posts ago, is a vanishing species. As is an editor, as more and more people cut their own stuff on laptops equipped with FCP or Avid express or the feared Edius and others.

“Where are your VJs finding work”, the cameramen, about 2 weeks away from their own pinks slip, are prone to ask.

Fortunately, Lost Remote, which I continue to read despite the departure of Mr. Safran, provide us with some interesting answers.

Allow me to reprint the entire piece, as I think it that important:

A study by The Kelsey Group predicts that small and medium-sized businesses in local markets will increase their video spending from $10.9 million in 2007 to $1.5 billion in 2012. But these aren’t pre-rolls folks, but advertorial video sold by the increasingly aggressive online yellow pages, city guides and local business directories. See an example here of a New York pizza place on YellowPages.com. The problem with many local media sites — the ones without vibrant city guides or business directories that score high in search — is they have no place to put advertorial videos that will actually get watched by people thinking about buying a particular product or service. Since these sites are outside the purchase loop — if you Google “Dallas doctors” for example, you get no local media results in the first 2.5 pages — they won’t be significant players in the small to mid-sized advertorial video pool.

Video spending up 100 fold in just 5 years.

And who are the clients? It isn’t local TV news and it isn’t cable. Instead, it is people who probably never considered producing or paying for the production of video before. Small businesses who are then going to place that video in places like online Yellow Pages.

The Lost Remote piece gives a link to an example of a New York Pizza Place on Yellowpages.com. Here it is

I can’t embed it but if you take a moment to look at the yellow pages page, you will see it is a fairly simple and straight forward piece.

Villaggio Restaurant, and millions of others like Villaggio, are not about to hire ‘professional’ cameramen and crews to do this kind of work. They can’t afford it to begin with, and for what they need, it’s not necessary. So who is going to make the almost countless videos for the restaurants, the gourmet shops, the chiaropractors, the lawyers, the shoe stores…. Just flip through the Yellow Pages, and you’ll get the picture.

And these people are not prepared to pay the kinds of prices that conventional industrial video producers charge, (not to mention their need for travel, first class accommodations, meal allowances and God only knows what else).


And of course Yellowpages.com is only the tip of a massive iceberg. In a kind of Gresham’s Law, more dynamic media drive out less dynamic, so ads that have video will trump those that don’t, cranking up the pressure to create and post more video.

Who is going to make the videos?

Now there is a business opportunity waiting to be seized.


5 responses to “Where Are the VJ Jobs?

  1. Dang it Michael, quit letting the cat out of the bag!

    I have shot, edited and got paid for over 20 of these ad’s for YP here in Arizona. Couldn’t have done it with out the training I got from you guys.

    Thanks again,


  2. This is a part of the new paradigm and the detractors I’m sure, once I post this, will come out in force deriding the notion of selling out for low quality video work.

    I think it’s great they feel they’re above doing this kind of work – makes it much easier to solicit the work for myself and make a nice little paycheck for a few hours work.

  3. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.
    I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message home
    a little bit, but other than that, this is magnificent blog.
    A great read. I’ll certainly be back.

  4. My brother suggested I may like this blog. He used to be totally right.
    This submit actually made my day. You can not believe just how so much time I had spent for this information!
    Thank you!

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