M+E Daily

Vision Media: A Digital-First Company With Analog Roots

Since 1986, Vision Media has been a staple in the media and entertainment space, the standard bearer for the distribution of promotional materials and content to targeted audiences, with locations across the U.S.

And with more 280 clients in the film, TV, home entertainment, streaming and consumer products industries, the Valencia, Calif.-based company has constantly stayed ahead of technological trends, keeping pace with the needs of its customers.

Jason Deadrich, CTO with Vision Media, spoke with MESA about how much the pre-release screener business has changed over the years (and how his company has kept pace), what changes Vision Media saw and adapted to during COVID-19, and what’s next with new tech like blockchain and NFT.

MESA: Vision Media is celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2021. From fulfillment to digital asset management, e-marketing to DTC fulfillment, Vision Media’s media and entertainment offerings run the gamut. How has Vision evolved since its beginnings?

Deadrich: Today, Vision Media is a digital-first company having evolved from analog roots. The Vision Media Experience (VMx) video management platform is an industry leading secure streaming and digital asset management platform serving the biggest media and entertainment brands globally.

VMx and its screener functionality (including the Screener Passport brand) provides private delivery of video content to exclusive audiences.

Vision Media continues to work closely with technical partners to collaborate and expand content distribution functionality in the ever-expanding content production ecosystem.

Vision Media continues to fulfill physical materials and DVDs direct to consumer audiences, movie theaters and retail locations all over the world. During awards season annually, Vision Media operates at its zenith. Warehouses are working at all hours fulfilling DVDs and promotional kits while technical teams stream awards content to guild members globally.

MESA: Vision Media has been offering its pre-release screeners service for 15 years running now. With the days of physical screeners almost in the rearview mirror, what challenges does the industry face overall in managing full digital delivery of pre-release content, and, specifically with Vision Media, how do you ensure security without sacrificing quality and ease of access?

Deadrich: Our enterprise clients have their own direct to consumer (D2C) streaming platforms. They require Vision Media to provide a virtual screening room (private delivery) to exclusive, targeted audiences with pre-release content to support promotional, compliance, sales and hospitality initiatives. Studio clients are looking for an enterprise level platform to provide secure streaming for targeted viewership requiring global reach. When working with its clients, Vision Media uses the most diligent audience list management best practices as it compiles its “trusted viewer” database.

Vision Media collaborates with its world class technical partners to ensure the VMx video management platform is the most secure streaming solution while R&D teams ensure effective playback across all viewing platforms. Vision Media is actively building its channel partner network to further integrate its solution within the post-production ecosystem.

MESA: What are some of Vision Media’s favorite use case stories in the media and entertainment space, and why?

Deadrich: The best use case to represent Vision Media, the VMx platform and its manpower services is best exemplified over the last 18 months. Since the onset of COVID-19 in early 2020, Vision Media continued to provide its industry leading streaming solutions for studios and award guilds, global sales and promotional screeners for studios and hospitality screeners.

In a display of flexibility and client commitment, the VMx platform responded with new features and solutions to solve new challenges facing media and entertainment clients.

VMx developed functionality to host and execute research screeners to support in development feature films. Vision Media provided screening services to support film markets and film festivals. VMx enhanced its promotional screening functionality to host a studio premiere and integrated talent Q&A to manage press junkets. Vision Media even launched an ecommerce VOD platform to support North American exhibitors.

Vision Media responded to the challenge COVID presented by working closely with our studio clients to develop industry leading solutions to support the ever-growing screener ecosystem.

MESA: What’s next for Vision, what advances can we look forward to from Vision next?

Deadrich: Vision Media is excited to be at the forefront of digital distribution and secure media delivery. We will continue to provide industry-leading digital services to our media customers while investing in technology and R&D to develop innovative solutions. In the near term, look for enhanced security and tracking, complete white-label app support, improved transcoding performance, and audio descriptions to support accessibility features.

Looking into the development roadmap, we will be offering blockchain integration, NFT marketplace support, native playback support on emerging viewing platforms, including VR, and support for a decentralized metaverse.

Here at Vision Media, we are fortunate to have the most significant movie studios as our clients, and we value the continuous feedback they provide. Working closely with PR teams, marketing and sales departments, and content security allows us to collaborate on new ideas and concepts and always stay current with the latest innovations and services.