The AI Revolution in MediaTech: From Content Distribution to Creation

General news
June 10, 2024

AI is decidedly mainstream; the genie is out of the bottle.

It’s now been 18 months since ChatGPT launched, coming out of the gate as the fastest-growing application in history—five days to 1M users, two months to 100M.

We’re seeing speed of technology adoption the likes of which we haven’t seen in years.

Generative AI models, such as ChatGPT, utilise extensive datasets to produce numerous output permutations, exceeding the capabilities of individual human effort.

This augmentation of human labour is already affecting many industries, but in a reversal from the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions, white collar jobs are most augmented.
As such, In MediaTech, it seems there are no areas that AI hasn’t touched. 

The integration of generative AI into media workflows is transforming the landscapes of content creation, production, management, and monetisation - impacting every facet of the industry.

Alexey Skobelkin, Raw Ventures CPO and Head of MediaTech takes a look at the changes coming, and how MediaTech is at the forefront of AI application. 

Distribution vs. Production Revolutions

In 1997 the British government introduced Channel 5, a fifth terrestrial TV channel to create diverse programming that appealed to a broad range of the British public.

Not only was content on Channel 5 tightly curated to create a Channel 5 specific identity, during its early years, the channel did not have round-the-clock programming and would go off the air during the early morning hours. 

The gatekeeping and low volume of this traditional medium of distribution marks a sharp contrast today, where ~20 years later, 720,000 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every day.

Not only has the volume of content dramatically increased, but so too has the access to production. When the iPhone came out in 2007 it launched the idea that cameras and microphones — two of the most powerful tools for creative expression — would become ubiquitous. Even more exciting was that they’d be networked together with virtually everyone in the world, meaning distributing those creative ideas could become instant and free.

The internet has levelled the playing field for creators, enabling independent artists, writers, and filmmakers to reach audiences without traditional gatekeepers. This has quickly led to the rise of new business models, such as streaming services and online marketplaces, fundamentally changing how content is consumed and monetised.

Today, AI is driving a production revolution, and will fundamentally alter how content is created, distributed and consumed.

Unlike the distribution revolution, which facilitated access, AI is making the creation of high-quality content more efficient and accessible.

While platforms like YouTube have democratised distribution, overtime YouTube creators’ methods and practices have blurred with traditional studios with successful channels like Mr.Beast essentially employing full scale production teams.

The coming shift in AI will enable and augment individuals to do the work of many, in a fraction of the time, for a fraction of the cost.

Consider the example of using a tool like Filmustage. Filmustage simplifies and disrupts processes, already transforming established approaches to the pre-production stage. It enables immediate utilisation of the latest advancements from major AI models, which are frequently highlighted in the news, for film and series production. This is achieved through its industry-specific AI model and specialised business processes. This innovation streamlines tasks such as film scripting, scheduling, and budgeting, offering significant time and cost savings, reducing timelines from several months to days and cutting costs from millions of dollars to the price of a monthly subscription.

Shifts like this empower individuals and small teams to produce content that previously required large budgets and extensive resources.

In February, OpenAI announced Sora, an AI model that can create stunning videos from text prompts.

The example scenes from Sora are professional quality, infinitely editable videos that seem to be created with just a single paragraph of text. While it’s not quite as simple as a single paragraph yet, the process with Sora is still a significant time saver. Currently, creating videos of acceptable quality takes artists through an iterative process and substantial computational power. Despite these challenges, Sora’s capabilities represent a considerable advancement, and the technology is expected to become even more efficient and accessible in the future. Particularly for location-based shoots, why would someone hire a model and camera crew, then fly them to Tokyo, when they could spin up this video through prompts?

Right now, Sora can output videos up to 60 seconds in length, but it’s only a matter of time before we’re seeing full-length features made at the drop of a hat.

The impact of Sora is already making waves. Filmmaker Tyler Perry had planned an $800M expansion of his Atlanta studio, which included 12 new soundstages for his productions. However, after witnessing Sora’s capabilities last week, Perry told The Hollywood Reporter that he is now halting the expansion.

The rise of these models will lead to an explosion of production tools, lowering the barriers to creating high-quality digital content. This shift from distribution to production marks a significant evolution in the media landscape, empowering more creators and diversifying the types of content available. Now, anyone can be the next Tyler Perry. The playing field of both distribution and production are levelled, and creativity and drive will be the only differentiators.

Companies and startups like Filmustage are accelerating the adoption of AI innovations and adapting them to specific industries. For example, when Sora becomes available and there is enough computational power for rapid video generation, Filmustage will not only enable the production of creative and beautiful clips but also the creation of high-quality narrative films.

However, the future holds even greater potential.

Imagine AI not just recommending existing shows like ‘Prison Break’ but generating entirely unique shows for each user. By analysing your preferences from the last ten shows you watched, AI could create a new series that combines elements you liked and avoids aspects you disliked. This would result in a bespoke viewing experience, where every user enjoys a show crafted specifically for their tastes, blurring the lines between content creator and consumer.

Global Reach, Personal Touch

With such an increase in volume in media, the ability to market said content will be a significant differentiator. 

But what will happen to marketing in the next decade as AI permeates every aspect of our technology products and experiences?

The easy ideas might be flashing through your head: ad creatives, landing pages, and all assets will have infinite variations, and it’ll be easy to generate and test many of them.

But to understand the true impact of AI on marketing, we need to think beyond incremental improvements.

AI provides infinite labour. This means AI can handle design work, project management, and other tasks, fundamentally changing our marketing capabilities.

Imagine content costs going to zero—this would enable mass personalisation where every individual receives tailored content. For example, video ads could feature a celebrity avatar addressing specific needs in real time. This level of personalisation and real-time responsiveness could allow marketers to update content instantly based on consumer sentiment.

Marketing channels will also evolve as customer behaviours shift. Traditional channels like SEO and SEM may become obsolete as LLMs generate vast amounts of content, altering how content is consumed. For example, instead of launching products country-by-country, marketers can simultaneously launch worldwide with ads and product UX tailored to each language and culture.

One early example of AI's potential in marketing is Jasper. Jasper offers tools for generating campaign ideas, blog posts, ads, emails, and more. It provides specific templates for different content types and allows users to add inputs like title, tone, and audience to generate drafts that can be refined iteratively. Jasper’s targeted approach makes it a valuable tool for marketing professionals, enabling them to produce high-performing, on-brand content efficiently.

However, Jasper also flags the challenges for AI’s attempts to disrupt traditional industries. Having recently cut its valuation, announcing layoffs and appointing Dropbox’s former president as CEO, Jasper is looking to bounce back focusing on its ease of use and specificity to marketers. With ChatGPT’s advancing features set and retention issues with even high raising companies like Jasper, there is a clear need for AI tools to solve problems significantly better than traditional workflows or generic AI tools. It is not enough to rely on a user-friendly interface and targeted market alone.

AI's Tailored Touch

We have touched on how personalisation will alter advertising, but the ability to deliver tailored experiences to individual users is a luxury; it will be a necessity in an era where content volume is exploding.

Take music for example. Whilst Spotify revolutionised music distribution by making 100 million songs accessible at your fingertips. 

Emerging startups are enabling users to customise and produce new creations by selecting the artist, genre, and mood—such as “Compose a Miley Cyrus song for me based on the fact I am feeling sad today.”

Although navigating music rights will be a challenge, the adoption of these AI-driven tools seems inevitable. For example, some fans actually preferred an AI-generated version of Taylor Swift’s “Suburban Legends” over some of her original tracks. 

One company at the forefront of Music’s next generation is Raw Ventures’ portfolio company Setmixer. Setmixer’s platform allows musicians to create multitrack recordings, captured in up to 64-channel quality and mixed automatically, directly from live concerts.

Setmixer is also developing an AI-assisted mixing tool that will enable the creation of release-ready recordings instantly after performances. This tool will allow artists to deliver highly personalised live recordings to their fans in real-time, enhancing the overall fan experience by providing unique, customised content almost immediately after each performance.

Beyond music, AI personalisation extends to various media forms. Currently, personalised content delivery systems recommend content based on individual user interactions, ensuring users receive content tailored to their preferences. This enhances satisfaction and engagement, leading to increased viewing times, loyalty, and subscription rates.

The integration of AI into MediaTech doesn’t stop at content creation and personalisation. Products intersecting MediaTech and other industries are emerging, like Shazam in music, Aaptiv in fitness and Jay, which links movies and TV series with e-commerce. Jay provides a seamless experience for consumers to purchase items featured in the content they watch. This intersection showcases the broad potential of AI to enhance and expand the functionality of media products.

Rapid Improvements 

Today, MediaTech is incredibly attractive from an investment perspective, as it is rapidly developing and riding the wave of the AI revolution.

As AI continues to advance, it will play an increasingly vital role in transforming how we create, consume, and interact with media.

Consider the rapid improvement from Midjourney V1 in 2022 to MidJourney V6, and project another ten years of AI compounding at this rate. With media being so ubiquitous in our lives (eMarketer reports an average of 13 hours of media use per day, including mobile), AI will become an integral and pervasive part of our daily experience.

Content will be tailored, created, and distributed with such precision that it will feel like a natural extension of our personal preferences and needs. The shift from distribution to production marks a significant evolution in the media landscape, empowering more creators and diversifying the types of content available.

By levelling the playing field for both distribution and production, AI ensures that creativity and drive are the primary differentiators, paving the way for a future where personalised, high-quality content is accessible to all.