Outsourced Video Production Vs. In-house Video Production 

OnlineVideo.net sent out an article that caught our interest recently. “SXSW ’14: Should Companies Create Videos In-House or Outsource?”

Below you will find their Pros & Cons from the article along with our comments/thoughts in red.

Outsourcing Pros

High-quality video production –  A professional video production company has both experience and resources.  A video company has experience with so many different types of projects that they should have access to the  latest/greatest high quality video production equipment and techniques. A video production company is also always looking to build their video portfolio and improve their craft.

Access to professional actors and voice-over artists –  Actors and voice-over artists are constantly reaching out to video production companies so they should have access to lots of talent and know where to look.

Access to the latest equipment   A typical company might get excited by video and invest some money in equipment but they are unlikely to do so year after year as a video production is forced to do in order to compete.

It frees up the in-house staffWhat is NOT getting done because your employees are messing around with video production.  Super basic video editing is fairly easy –  anything beyond that has a fairly steep learning curve and can easily suck up days or weeks of  productivity.  Does your company want to pay your employees to learn on the job – are you confident the employee will work on video projects for years  to come at your company so there is a return on the investment?

A strong choice for brand campaigns or commercialsWe agree.  Nike, McDonalds and Target probably don’t own in-house video camera equipment for external videos. You can guess why not. 

Outsourcing Cons

Lack of agility, since it takes more time to make changesThere is truth to this point of view.   A video production company is probably working on multiple projects and won’t be able to jump on a change instantly.  It is important to find a video production company that is interested in more than the single project and is interested in being a longterm partner.  You might pay a little more but it is worth it to have a video production company that acts more like a department in your company and is constantly looking to earn more business. If that is the case, you will likely have a pretty agile partner. 

Not good for timely or spontaneous work, such as videos playing off a trending storyNo comment from us on this one as this is not an issue for our typical customer.

Limited quantity, since you only get the number of videos you pay for.   –  The truth is your internal video production team will also have limits and you will need to add more video production people as the demand for videos increase.   

The producers will be less knowledgeable about your brand, products, and customersThis one could not be more true.  That is why it is super important to find a video production company that takes a consultative approach.   A good video production company should start the work of understanding your brand and your audience from the first time you speak with them.  They will probably never know your brand, products and customers as well as you do but that can be a good thing because they will have a “fresh set of eyes”. 

Expensive – You only pay a video production company when you need them and don’t pay for health insurance, 401k , vacations etc.   If you want to produce quality corporate videos, a full time employee will cost your company around $100,000 including benefits.    A budget of $50,000 for outsourced video production would get you some pretty amazing video content!

In-house Pros

Flexible  – What has your experience been with in-house IT?  Not always so flexible, right?  Same thing is likely to be true with an internal video production team. 

SpontaneousThis is probably true. 

Can work anytime A video production company worried about losing a client is more likely to work weekends and nights than an employee who is feeling pretty secure in their job. 

Can create any number of videos Number of videos will always be somewhat limited, see above. 

Basic equipment costs are minimal –  Very true if you only want “basic” video production. 

Strong familiarity with the brand, products, and customers; the department is integrated with other in-house teamsSome times employees can be afraid to stray from the company line and they end up seeing everything through the company lens.  A video production company can offer a fresh perspective that can augment your marketing team.

Able to create a variety of video styles –  This should be true for a video production company as well. 

In-house Cons

Studio and editing costs can get expensive   – True. Untrained or semi-trained video editors can take much, much longer to do a simple job. 

Need to train people in-house or hire experienced video creatorsEither you will be taking someone away from their “real” job or adding a “real” expense to your payroll. 

Quality limitations (depending on the equipment and staff) If your company is producing a ton of high quality videos it might make sense to hire the best people and continually buy the best equipment.  If you only need great video production capabilities from time to time –  you should only pay for what you need when you need it – not all the time. 

Hiring non-professionals results in lower-quality videosOf course, this is true.  Would you hire a non-professional to fix your plumbing or electricity? No, because you know the plumber or electrician has the experience and expertise to get the job done well in a reasonable amount of time. 

May have a less polished lookProbably, unless you get lucky! 

Extra time and equipment needed for high-quality resultsVideo production companies thrive on the pressure of meeting deadlines as they are always worried about competition.  An employee doesn’t really have competition and no one really understands what they do so they can take their time. 

Rewatchable is a Boston Video Production Company.

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