Interview with Nick Mattingly at Switcher Studio
Mark: Hello everyone. We are here live with Nick Mattingly from Switcher Studio. For those of you that don’t know what Switcher Studio is, you are definitely missing out. But we are here to talk with Nick … have him demo the Switcher Studio product. And I think he might have a little bit of something to share with the audience regarding an updated product release that’s gonna be happening soon. So, welcome Nick to the .LIVE Facebook broadcast here.
Nick: Hey, Mark, thanks for having me.
Mark: Yeah, thanks for doing this on your Sunday. I know you’re about to fly out today to New York and I leave super early tomorrow morning … 7 a.m. here, Pacific time. So I should be bright eyed and bushy tailed for the dinner tomorrow night that we have. So hopefully I’m not falling asleep in my soup. But thank you so much again for doing this. Wanting to show people the power of Switcher Studio. You were gracious enough to accompany myself and my colleague Acacia to a recent event that we did in Scottsdale where we leveraged Switcher Studio to do all of our live broadcasts. And it was amazing. Truly, truly amazing. Just the ease at which we were able to go live … Use transitions, video overlays, photos and stuff as we were not live to basically have something on the screen. So I wanted you to come on today to tell our audience … some of the cool features that exist … for the current product and maybe tease out the new product that’s impending so … thanks again for being on.
Nick: Okay, so if we look at what happens within Periscope or Facebook Live, those native apps allow you to broadcast and you can go live, and whatever you point your phone at is gonna be out there for the world to see. But it’s not very flexible, if you want to improve the production quality, if you have sponsors, or logos, if you want to show someone’s name, if you want to emulate a TV style experience, it can be really expensive. It can take a lot of gear to get to that level.
And so with Switcher Studio, we bring about 80% of the production value you would see at the top of the nightly news or an ESPN production without any special hardware requirements. So using iPhones, iPads, iPod touches, you can start making better video.
And so to get started you would go to our website, switcherstudio.com and create an account. There’s a seven day free trial that includes access to the video mixing app, desktop tools, cloud services and support, and from there it’ll kind of walk you through the process and help you get started. But essentially with our core product, Switcher Studio, you can install on an iPhone or iPad and log in to that device with the same credentials you made on our website and that becomes your hub. That’s where all the magic happens.
So you can sync it with your Facebook account or your YouTube account. It also supports custom RT and P so it works with a lot of other kind of niche providers or systems. And from there you can use the built in camera and start adding these other assets. So if you have photos, if you have graphics that you’ve built, you can switch between those during your broadcast. As the events unfolding you’re making those decisions and making your content more dynamic for the people that are watching.
With Switcher Studio, you can also download that same app on another iPhone or iPad, and as long as its on the same network or hot spot … The same wifi spot or hot spot, it’s available as a source. So you can move in to two, three, four, camera set up. If you’re doing an interview you could have a wide shot that’s showing everything that’s happening on the scene, and you could have a camera on each person that’s speaking. And it starts to make it much more interesting, not only on the creation side, but also for the people that are watching it. And the more you can keep it engaging, the longer people are going to stick around, the more views you’re going to get, there’s a lot of benefits to making better video.
Mark: Yeah, yeah, and I think what you said there, “engaging”, is key cuz I can’t tell you how many people came up just, intrigued, by the setup that we had at the event that we were at. They saw the two iPads basically, the professional looking set up that was there, but it was all done with, like you said, iOS devices, so people were genuinely intrigued by the setup, and it’s something that anyone can do with the current iOS devices, provided they’re newer, right? Like, my iPad … You know, if you have iPad, iPhone, iPod, you know any of the iOS devices that have cameras enabled, you’re able to make this go.
So, someone might be asking, “well Mark, why aren’t you using Switcher Studio for this interview, being that you’re interviewing Nick?” Well, Switcher Studio does not work if you are not in the same Wifi, if all devices aren’t on the same Wifi account. Is that correct, Nick?
Nick: Right, so the two-way, kind of interactive live broadcast, the Skype type conversation, rebroadcasting that, there’s other tools on the market that allow that type of broadcast. With Switcher, it’s really more about that event. What’s happening at that space, and the way that the devices communicate with one another is over that local Wifi network. So you can use the Wifi at the venue or bring in your own router to create your own bubble. We’ve seen it used at so many different places from athletics, to education, to concerts, it’s just all across the board.
Really with Switcher Studio one of the things that we have noticed is that it’s more of the event type productions. So, it’s, there’s this thing Thursday at seven o clock. You have to kind of plan to be there in the first place and you’re going to set up for that production and go. I mean, I have a four camera set up with me all the time in my laptop bag because it’s just iPhones and iPads. It’s really easy to get it set up in a couple of minutes and go live. But just by the nature of those types of productions, it’s more of the premeditated, planned type of productions.
And over the past year or so as Meerkat came and went, Periscope has popped up, Facebook Live, we’re starting to see a new type of live video, and it’s more spontaneous, it’s more on the go. You know, people are shooting with their phones. So with that we’re trying to look at ways to make that a better experience as well.
And we have a new product that we’re getting ready to launch in a few weeks, called Switcher Go, and it’s the phone first experience. So with Switcher Studio, where you can do the full TV style production, multi-camera, integration with editing software, bring in your computer, screen sharing, it’s really really robust, and not everybody needs that. And if you’re not planning to do a multi-cam production and you’re just shooting from your phone, there really aren’t a lot of great options out there. It’s still just that single camera, point and shoot, whatever you can do in arms reach. And so we’ve taken that experience and looking at the creation side, how that video gets made in the first place, and went back to the drawing board, took a lot of the things we learned from Switcher Studio, and now we have Switcher Go.
So with Switcher Go, you can install it on your iPhone or iPad. We’ve completely reimagined the UI so it’s really really great on the phone. And with that, you can sync with your Facebook account, your YouTube account, or you can record. So the first thing you see when you launch Switcher Go, it’s gonna ask you where you want to send your video, and from there, everything is really easy to start making better video.
From the camera control, so if you’re shooting with a standard camera app, everything’s kind of automatic, it’s just going to kind of figure out what it needs to do based on where you point the camera. But that doesn’t always give the best results. If you want to adjust the white balance, or it’s really dark, or it’s really bright, we have fine tuned precision controls where you can improve on those. Also, a lot of camera apps will use the pinch to zoom feature, it’s what we’re used to. But for someone that’s watching live, that’s not a great experience. It’s really jerky, it just doesn’t look like what you’d expect to see on television.
And so with that we have an accelerated zoom, it’s how quickly you go from point A to point B, so you’re easing in and out, it’s a really smooth transition. You can adjust the depth of field. So if you think about a five thousand dollar camera or digital SLR where everything in the background is blurred out and you’re focused on what’s onscreen, we’ve emulated that within Switcher Go. And it’s not an iPhone 7 specific feature, it actually works across all iOS devices the way we set it up in Switcher Go.
We’ve also taken that switching experience, where you can go into your camera roll and add photos or add videos that are already on your device and start to bounce between those. So, you can imagine starting a broadcast on Facebook Live with a photo of wherever it is that you’re hanging out. And cut to the camera of yourself, insert other pre-recorded videos that maybe you shot a few three or second clips before you got started, and it’s way more interesting than what you’re going to get with just the standard experience that is what most people are doing on mobile for those types of broadcasts today.
Mark: I think the cool thing about what Switcher Go is, you know, it gives you that editing capability on the fly, from a one camera perspective. But I’ve had so many people in the live video space that have told me, you know, people don’t want to stare at me for thirty minutes, so if there’s a way that I can sort of give them something else to look at for a few seconds and then come back, it’s going to create a more engaged audience.
Mark: So you know, I think that … With anything live there’s that authenticity element that already exists there, so we’re getting that. Now we’re giving the audience something that’s a little more unique. When they tune in to watch the broadcast, they’re not just going to be staring at my face, the ability to show photos or maybe show a graph or something if you’re using it for a business presentation, or whatever, right, it creates so many more possibilities.
I know you showed me the zoom feature, on Switcher Go, a couple weeks ago, and I have to say it’s pretty amazing. Guys, the ability to zoom and just have it be a slow, steady zoom as if you were on one of those five thousand dollar true video production cameras, you know, where you’ve got the zoom controls at your thumb and you’re able to zoom in slow. It’s a really amazing experience.
So I think Nick and his team have really created something that will allow all of us live video creators to really create something now with live video. As opposed to pointing and shooting, now we can create more of a customized live video experience.
So, Nick, is there anything that you can kind of show us about the platform? When is it going to be available, too? I mean, is it available now?
Nick: We are in beta right now. Putting the finishing touches on Switcher Go. We are gonna be showing it at the Live Fronts event in New York City this week. And … Early November. It’s just around the corner. We want to make sure that it’s gonna be a good experience for everybody when we roll it out. But very very close.
One of the really cool wrinkles with Switcher Go is that it’s a part of this ecosystem. With our core product, Switcher Studio, it’s not just an app. You get desktop tools where you can bring in your computer screen, and show a Skype call or a presentation or playback a video. Do multi-view effects with picture. We have another desktop tool where you can push video made in Switcher into Final Cut, and everything shows up. All of your angles are synced, every cut you made live is already there. We have cloud services where you can control certain settings online and those show up inside the app.
So all these pieces work together to make the production a better experience. And Switcher Go is a part of this ecosystem. With someone that’s using Switcher Studio for an official broadcast or an event, could actually have the opportunity to crowd source content and start to tap into people that are there making video for themselves.
And the really cool thing about Switcher Go? It’s completely free. So with that you can use the built in camera, you can do up to four photos and videos, and you can start to get a taste of what it’s like to make better video. We have also introduced some of the remote camera functionality that we’ve developed within Switcher Studio where you can move beyond the built in camera and actually pair it with your friend’s phone or another iPhone or iPad. So instead of just shooting whatever you can do in arms reach, you could actually frame up a shot, or have someone walking around and control everything from your pocket. So this remote camera feature allows you to replace the built in camera on your phone with another device. And so that’s something else that’s just gonna take this a step further for making better video. You don’t have to run across the room to press start. You’re not stuck shooting that up the nose shot. You can really start to up the production quality.
And again, it’s part of this ecosystem where Switcher Go works with Switcher Studio. So I’m gonna try and pull this up. We’ll see if the internet hooks up with this …
Mark: One second here, before you demo it, a lot of people are starting to demo Periscope Producer. With the custom RP and P settings. Is that something that they will be able to do with Switcher Go?
Nick: So, with Periscope Producer, there’s a couple of steps, it’s not an API level integration where you just sign in with your account and you go. From Periscope, you have to go into Settings and generate RT and P values. You have to copy and paste those into a production tool.
Periscope Producer does work with Switcher Studio. So our current paid product, that’s $25 a month, or the $299 a year, with that you can put in those RT and P values and send Periscope.
Nick: Switcher Go, we want it to be that one button push to go live. Because there’s a couple steps, we’re not going to be launching with the Periscope Producer feature. But that is available in the paid product.
Mark: Okay, perfect. Great.
Nick: So let’s give this a shot. Gonna share the screen.
Can you see my phone?
Mark: I sure can.
Nick: Awesome. So we’re gonna go ahead and launch Switcher Go.
And as you can see we have Facebook Live, Youtube now, and record mode.
And once we get into Switcher, we can bounce between the front and the rear camera.
So here I’m starting on myself, we’ve got this accelerated zoom where we can ease in and out.
We have lots of extra camera control settings where we can really dial in the quality of the video here.
So I won’t go into all of these. Really it’s best just to play around with it and it’s gonna be different depending on the setting. Or where you are shooting. But we also have the ability to add photos.
So here’s a photo at a coffee shop. And then pre-recorded videos. We shot a couple seconds of this awesome chocolate chip cookie. It’s [inaudible 00:18:08] best chocolate chip cookie at Please and Thank You.
Mark: Oh wow.
Nick: And so you can see already just by bouncing between these couple of elements it starts to become much more interesting.
You can also go into your camera roll. And so from here we can see photos and we can add other images.
So here’s an exterior shot. And in this pre-version we’ve reached the cap for the four sources. So we can go in and remove that and drop it out. We can also move these around.
So if you’re kind of story boarding your content we can rearrange these so that it kinda matches up with your flow.
Nick: There is … In the top left corner you’ll see the battery, the storage, and the view meter. So all these things are really important for videos. How much space do you have, do you have enough battery to shoot what it is that you’re doing, what are your audio levels like? Can people actually hear you? Is it distorted? We can even mute that. So if you’re going to start your broadcast ten minutes early and you don’t want the background sound, or your conversation to be part of the broadcast, you could actually turn that off and then cue it back up when you get ready to get started.
There’s way more here that we can dive into. I’ll see if we can show the remote camera feature.
Might not have this set up right now.
But we can actually pair another device. Okay, here we go.
So you can see here’s another iPhone I have on a tripod and we’re using that instead of my built in camera. So, I can move my phone around here. And we’ve got this static, framed shot that I’m running everything right from this device.
We can go in and we can bounce this back to the built in camera. The important thing with this remote camera feature is that it’s really one or the other. So you need to choose before you start your broadcast. Are you going to use the built in camera or are you going to use that other device? Once you go live, it’ll be the photos and videos that you start bouncing between to manage your production.
So, there’s probably a lot more that we can dive into but that’s a really good top level overview of Switcher Go. We’re really excited to get it out there and see how people start using it and what content they create.
Mark: Yeah, it looks very intriguing. I want to download it today. You know, and start playing around with it. What I think … What I want to possibly have you address if you can, you mentioned that there are four photos or videos that you have with the free version. Is that … Is there a path to upgrade to allow you to have more in the future?
Nick: Right, so, Switcher Go, again, is completely free. It’s up to four photos or videos that you can add. Later this year, early next year, there will be a upgraded version of Switcher Go that’s unlimited sources and we’ll be taking more of those non-app features, like the screen sharing or the custom RT and P or being able to upload assets online and have those show up inside of the app, all of these things that we have developed through Switcher Studio on the cloud side we’ll be available as kind of a mid-tier service.
So Switcher Go is free to get started. Switcher Studio’s $25 a month and then we’re working on kind of the mash up that would be Switcher Go there in the middle.
Mark: Yeah, that’s great. I played around with a couple of platforms and I think I mentioned it to you. Herodeck I think is the one where they have the iPhone app ultimately Herodeck I think is a company that sells higher tech equipment. Wi-fi antennas and stuff like that for broadcasts and stuff. But it wasn’t very easy to use. For someone that’s not necessarily well versed in camera settings and things like that, like, it was harder for me to hook this up.
I think what you’ve done here is put Facebook Live or Youtube Now, enter in your username and password, and it automatically configures everything for you. You know, you’re not having to enter in your RT and P pass and all of those settings like you’ve had to do with other platforms. So, I think that’s key for really catering to the live video community, those of us that are just used to pointing and shooting, but wanting to have something that has a little bit more professional value to it. So I think that’s really great.
So, you mentioned, beginning of November is when people are going to be able to start downloading the Switcher Go app?
Nick: Yeah, we’re probably two weeks out on launch. And you can check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and we’ll be sure to keep everybody hooked in for the big announcement.
Mark: Yeah, so, switcherstudio.com is where you can find more information about the product. I definitely recommend you go check it out. If you are doing any live video for any events, Switcher Studio is truly amazing.
It gives you that professional video production quality for a fraction of the price, right? I mean, when you think about producing great video.
One thing I wanted to ask you: is there any shows that you can point to … Like if anyone wants to see how Switcher Studio has been used, is there something that you can let the audience know where they can go check that out specifically?
Nick: Yeah, so, if you go to our website, the News section, we’ve started featuring some of our customers. So, we’re telling their stories, we’ve got links to their social media, and their websites where they’re showing content, and it’s really cool to see what people are putting out there.
There’s a group in Australia, one of the people is a television host on Australian TV and she an idea for a new show she wanted to do with some of her friends so they started playing around with the format on YouTube. Instead of going through the traditional channels and doing a pilot, they started using Switcher and doing it online and kind of figured out what they wanted this thing to be.
There’s a guy that’s doing a 24/7 stream of his bird feeder. I don’t know but I just love it. It’s so simple but it’s so great and he’s using Switcher to do it. And he wasn’t able to otherwise.
There’s a guy that’s doing concert performances. There’s a school that’s using it for morning announcements, it’s just really cool to hear peoples’ stories and see the difference that they’re making in their lives and their communities using this tool.
And I can talk tech all day, I can geek out about features, but at the end of the day that’s not what matters. It’s the stories that people are sharing and the content that they’re creating.
And really looking to put that front and center. So if you go to the News section of the site, you can see some of those examples. And we’re talking to a lot more people so we can start getting their stories out there as well.
Mark: Great. No, that’s perfect. Nick, thank you so much for taking time out of your Sunday morning to do this. Looking forward to seeing you in New York tomorrow. Have a safe flight this afternoon.
Once again guys, if you want to find out more about Switcher Studio, it’s switcherstudio.com, you can go check it out on their website. They have a free trial so you can download it, kind of play around with it, you know, see how you like it.
Switcher Go, Nick said we’re about two weeks out from launch so definitely stay tuned for that.
Anything you guys need, be sure to check out our website at D dot Live we have created this site for the live video community. We want to be able to highlight some of these cool things that are happening and bring it to you first, so Nick I appreciate you being on today and telling the audience about Switcher Studio.
And, thanks, it was great having you on. Until next time, we’ll see you on Monday.
Nick: Awesome. Thanks, Mark. Take care.