AnswerStage helps companies, associations and other organizations efficiently collect and produce short-form marketing videos featuring members of their community. AnswerStage uses AI as an editorial assistant to create prompts and provide coaching to respondents. In this interview, Steve Vonder Haar of Intellivid Research speaks with Rusty Williams, Co-Founder of AnswerStage.
[00:00] Answer Stage helps companies efficiently produce short form video for marketing purposes.
– Answer Stage has been around for about three and a half years and is a rapidly growing startup.
– The primary mission is to help companies and associations collect and produce video specifically for marketing purposes.
– The real power of Answer Stage is in featuring members of a company’s community and making it efficient to send out a link for viewers to click.
[00:57] Use short prompt to easily record and distribute marketing videos featuring voices and faces of community members.
– The videos can be customized with branding and animations.
– Distribute the videos on social networks, blogs, and emails to reach a wider audience.
[01:54] AI is used as an editorial assistant for creating questions and providing coaching in interviews
– AI is used to generate questions and prompts for interviews
– AI provides coaching and talking points for interviewees
[02:55] AI-powered video creation tools enhance content creation with presenters and animations
– AI-powered video creation tools provide presenters to make videos more engaging
– These tools offer animations, intros, outros, and labels to enhance the video quality and brand identity
– The videos created using these tools can be easily shared on social networks, blogs, and emails
– Although individuals are the star of the show, AI plays a role in making the video creation process easier
– Future applications and developments in AI-powered video creation are anticipated
[04:00] AI is being used to enhance the editorial and production processes.
– AI is already being used in the platform for coaching.
– AI can also be used for intelligent editing, highlight identification, and production techniques.
– Tools are being developed to help with creating short form content to cater to short attention spans.
[05:01] The growth of the commercial internet in the second half of the 1990s compared to the current market for artificial intelligence and data infused video applications
– The early days of the narrowband web were exciting
– Artificial intelligence and data infused video applications are the current focus
[06:01] We are on the cusp of a significant transformation in the market.
– There is an abundance of opportunities and things happening quickly.
– Despite concerns about negative directions, we should focus on improving relationships and real world connections.
[06:58] Rusty Williams co-founder of AnswerStage talks about being excited to be part of the AI industry
– Rusty mentions that they are fighting for the good of AI and video
– He believes it will be interesting to watch how things play out
– Rusty thanks Steve for the interview and invites the audience to subscribe for more interviews with thought leaders in the intelligent video space
Full Transcript of conversation between Steve Vonder Haar and Rusty Williams.
[Steve Vonder Haar] Hello. Welcome to this edition of Intelligent Video. Today. I’m your host Steve Vonder Haar from IntelliVid Research joining us this time is Rusty Williams from AnswerStage. Welcome, Rusty.
[Rusty Williams] Hi. Thank you, Steve. Nice to be here.
[Steve Vonder Haar] Great to have you here. So tell us a little bit about AnswerStage. How long are you folks been in business and what the heck do you guys do?
[Rusty Williams] Well, we’ve been around for about three and a half years. We’re still I’d say you could call us a startup, but a rapidly growing startup. And in a space that’s very active. Our primary mission is to help companies and associations automatically collect and produce video, short form video specifically for marketing purposes.
[Steve Vonder Haar] So how can companies put that capability to work?
[Rusty Williams] Well, the real power is featuring members of your community really making it efficient so that you can actually send out a link, have them click the link, record a very short response with a prompt that makes it easy for them to provide the context and information that you want to feature in your marketing. And then that gets automatically produced with your branding animations, other things to make it look good, and then you distribute that on social networks, your blog, email and other places.
So it’s a really easy way to produce a lot of video featuring the voices and faces and personalities and expertise of your community, which we, you know, we really think is is the best way to market an event or organization or company, whatever it might be, is through people.
[Steve Vonder Haar] Yeah, and it seems to be a pretty intuitive use of video. Put people on the screen and help them answer questions. Hence the name AnswerStage. So it’s a pretty, pretty easy to understand application. Do you see I playing any type of role in helping you enhance or expand the capabilities of your platform over time?
[Rusty Williams] For sure, yeah. So AI in a way is almost the opposite of what we do. Like we want to feature authentic personalities. What your what you what you think, what your opinions are, etc. But putting together that production, what the questions are, what the prompts are, what you know, what you want to ask of people that we use AI to create that.
So basically an editorial assistant as to what’s best to provide the context for the questions that you’re asking of people. And the second way we use it is to actually provide coaching and tips and talking points for the people who are responding so that, you know, I always referred to it as an easier way to load your brain and feel comfortable with the topics you’re talking about.
So we use AI. I always use the term AI-assisted rather than I create it, because we really want to feature the real personalities, the authentic personalities and expertise of people as a contrast to auto created A.I. created content.
[Steve Vonder Haar] Yeah. You’re not going to be creating a lunar landscapes or some wild setting for your videos. Rather, it’s a matter of just having presenters that look better, and it’s the equivalent of really a video template, a template for content creation.
[Rusty Williams] That’s right. Yeah. So we’re we’re taking, I mean, really close to what we’re doing right now, but taking that Q&A, that interaction and capturing the person and then making that look really good within your brand, within with animations, intros, outros and labels that will make it really easy to share on social networks, blogs and email.
[Steve Vonder Haar] What a concept. Individuals are the star of the show now. They are.
[Rusty Williams] Yeah, exactly. Exactly.
[Steve Vonder Haar] But but I still plays role making it easier though. What what types of applications do you envision developing? You know, look out on a crystal ball on the roadmap for me for answer stage. How could it impact the types of features and capabilities you’re offering?
[Rusty Williams] Well, so I, as I just described just described, is already being used in our platform as a way of kind of coaching the editorial process. And the answer process. But as you and I know, A.I. goes way, way beyond that. It goes into like intelligent editing highlight identification, also some production techniques. So yeah, we will not move away from the philosophy that the person and the personality is the focus.
But there are a lot of tools being developed now that can help you take excerpts, take highlights, take, you know, kind of combine things so that there you have multiple options for short form content and that we’ll continue to focus on that too, which is short form the the attention span that people have now is so short that that we really want to be able to do this within 1 to 2 minutes.
[Steve Vonder Haar] So both you and I were around in the early days of the narrow band web. I was a reporter at a trade publication and you were general manager at Delphi Internet. You had the pleasure of working for Rupert Murdoch at one point. Wasn’t that true?
[Rusty Williams] That’s that’s taken on a whole new meaning since that point in time. But yes.
[Steve Vonder Haar] And you’ve lived to tell the tale.
[Rusty Williams] Barely.
[Steve Vonder Haar] Yeah. But it was it was some some interesting times, particularly in the second half of 1990s, you saw the growth of the commercial Internet in its first phase. Compare and contrast what you’re seeing now in in this environment, in this market for artificial intelligence and and data infused video applications and how it compares to the early days of the narrowband web.
[Rusty Williams] Yeah I got to admit. As you said, you and I were both there and it was a really exciting time because everything kind of felt like this. We’re on the cusp of something brand new, and I’ve got to say, it feels like 1994 all over again. It really does that that there is so much stuff happening so quickly and so much opportunity that it’s it’s it’s another sort of significant transformation of the market.
[Steve Vonder Haar] Now, at night I go to sleep. Sometimes I say, Good Lord, give me one more boom, I promise not to waste it. I think he’s delivering.
[Rusty Williams] I think you’re right. I think we’re again on the cusp of something really dramatically better, more interesting and magical. There of course, there’s a lot of things that people are concerned about, where it could go in negative directions. But I think we we stay focused on how do we how do we make it better for relationships, for conveying personalities.
[Rusty Williams] And those real world connections can be again enhanced by A.I., assisted by AI rather than replaced by it.
[Steve Vonder Haar] Well, that’s a great to see you on the front lines. Fighting for the the good of of AI and video.
[Rusty Williams] Indeed. It’s going to be it’s going to be an interesting thing to watch play out, but we’re very excited to be part of it.
[Steve Vonder Haar] Rusty Williams, co-founder of AnswerStage, thanks so much for taking the time to visit with us today.
[Rusty Williams] Thank you so much, Steve. It’s great talking to you again.
[Steve Vonder Haar] And thanks to our audience for intelligent video. Today, we invite you to click on Subscribe on the YouTube channel. Love does have you come back for more interviews with thought leaders in the intelligent video space like Rusty, and we’ll have more episodes coming up in no time at all for intelligent video today and in television research. I’m Steve Vonder Haar. Thanks for your time.