Thursday, April 29, 2010

CEO Conversations: Seth Kenvin, Market 7 - Making the Video Production Process More Collaborative

Seth Kenvin is CEO of Market 7, a company that he says, "endeavors to provide environments for people to work together on making videos". Market 7 is a web-based collaborative video project management platform, available for any level of video production effort. Producers, video production teams and clients can collaborate on creative briefs, script writing, scheduling events and crew, assigning tasks, sharing files, video approval and resource allocation. I met with Seth earlier this year and he walked me through a demo of their platform. Seth and his team have put together a unique software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering that fills a niche and enhances each stage of video production, from conceptualization to publishing.
In this CEO Conversation, Seth talks about how and why he started Market 7, what were some of the challenges in the video production process that he and his team initially wanted to address and who are Market 7's current customers. Seth says that virtually any type of video production can benefit from a collaborative environment, and a central online project management platform for collaboration, decision-making and consensus is not only more efficient, but helps corporations and professional organizations to truly flourish. 

Seth described the common thread that ties Market 7's modules together as the following:
"We're striving to provide all the different ways that people have to work together in producing video. Whether working together is very organizational, or just logistical, setting a schedule, or more content oriented and strategic, accessing and communicating about footage or script, different content at different stages. We want one environment instead of having to go to different places, or go through different methodologies for the different aspects of video production."
The product consists of eight modules that are organized by project stages: Pre-production, production, and post-production:
  • Production Brief - a highly customizable and openly accessible question and answer forum that establishes clear and accountable direction throughout the project.
  • Collaborative Script - organizes script, storyboard and other key preparatory assets easily with multi-column video/audio layout and integrate rich media content within script like storyboard, photos, video clips.
  • Annotative Player - integrates annotation within the approval process of editing and post-production, integrating directly with the market-leading Apple, Adobe and Avid video editing suites. Upload video of any common format type, specify comments according to portion of clip, mark up on-screen, organize feedback for easy navigation and discussion. Select comments for editing which integrate with Apple, Adobe, Avid suites.

    • File Management - accepts and displays assets of many types, such as video, photographs or graphics in any popular format, or files of various computer applications. Any securely uploaded file can be accessed and discussed in the module.
    • Team Management - invite anyone any project with just an email, Assign roles and manage personal profiles, including photos and bios. Access the team directory easily with one-click email access, Direct attention of any team member towards any element of the project
    • Task Management - Point and click to create, modify, re-order or complete tasks Templates of typical requirements for certain kinds of projects Set target completion dates and track relative performance Assign tasks to single or multiple members of project team.
    • Event Management - allows for an organized schedule to be established at the outset and maintained throughout the process. Syncs with personal calendar systems to indicate availability and synchronize appointments.
    • Resource Management - tracks each person's tasks, events and other activities including comparison to foretasted effort and cost calculation based on hourly rates.
    Market 7 has four tiers of priced offerings available month-to-month, and each level can be further customized according to the level of storage and administrative control required. The first tier is free and then moves up to monthly rates starting with the Associate Producer level for $50, Line Producer for $100, Producer Pro $200 and Executive Producer $300.

    Seth says that Market 7 was born out of a classic scenario of the end-user trying to figure out how to alleviate with the pain points of the video production process. About 5 years ago, in as vice president of strategic marketing and corporate development for BigBand Networks, he managed the company’s corporate and product communications, and was commissioning video productions. He saw the inefficiencies in the video production process and wanted to make it better.

    Market 7 is privately funded and has raised $1.4 million from individual investors. Seth is encouraged by Market 7's customer base, in who it is and what types of organizations it is. Their platform extends across any facet of video production from the high-end - to traditional advertising, movies, television production - to what's considered low-end - independent producters and contractor shops, or emerging web studios. Some of the announced customers include Google, Solar City, Pixel Corps, Bars+Tone as well as motion picture, broadcast and cable television networks, advertising, marketing and education. Seth noted that the company launched during tough economic times and they had to manage their spending wisely while growing the company.

    Market 7 was recognized as one of the Top Online Video Company 2009: FierceOnlineVideo, Fierce 15 and as Fierce Online Video Editor Jim O'Neil noted,
    "Market7 is smooth enough to be a game changer. It's intuitive, engaging and really can make the difference between a business posting a high-end home movie or a video asset that will draw customers and generate ROI."
    As part of their product road map, Market 7 has developed a resource management module for tracking people's time, including ability to itemize that from tasks and events already tracked in our software (this is collapsed, so can't see the items), associate it with costs based on rates, and compare actual time spent with projections. It's the sort of functionality they're now extending to other project resources like facilities and equipment. Seth acknowledged that as a small company with an agile software development, they can be very responsive and effective in fulfilling market needs.

    About Market 7
    Business types making inspired creative contributions. Creative types fulfilling the highest business productivity standards. Market7 boosts the value from every participant collaborating to develop video and rich media for enterprises. The company’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering enhances each stage of video production, from conceptualization to publishing. The Market7 team uniquely blends records of accomplishment in both technological and creative endeavors. We are dedicated to bringing these realms together, for the best efficiency, enjoyment and results in enterprise collaborations to build video content.

    For more information, visit: Market
    Follow Market 7 on Twitter:

    About Seth Kenvin
    Seth served as vice president of strategic marketing and corporate development for BigBand Networks from its founding, profitability and more than $200 million of revenues. While there, he managed financial transactions, certain customer and partner relationships, and marketing of the company and its network infrastructure platforms for rising quality, variety and volume of video services. Earlier, Seth was a principal for the venture capital firm Cedar Funds since its founding as well. Prior experience includes being an associate for the VC firm Venrock Associates, a consultant to the software company Check Point Technologies, a senior editor for The Red Herring magazine and a corporate finance analyst for the high tech group of Bear Stearns. Seth is a dedicated writer who has been a monthly columnist, blogger, by-line contributor to multiple magazines, and author of more than a dozen white papers published and p at conferences. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering from Cornell and an MBA from Stanford. Seth occasionally quotes Elvis Costello lyrics and scribbles notes about what’s going on in his life at