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cavalos
05-21-2003, 06:01 PM
I see a lot of movement at Newtek lately, this is very good for the company, and I have to congratulate all the staff, marketing group and developer team. Genesis looks very good, the only thing I would like to see is a diferent logo for the product, that "classical" font doesn´t like me so much...but tht´s only me right?
Keep it up Newtek!

P.S: And please don´t forget our main and precious Lightwave :)

Best
Christian

Kurt_Henning
05-21-2003, 10:05 PM
ya man

Big Buttons. Looks pretty easy to read and navigate.

I bet it will work.

I can see a lot of really bad productions streamed live.............................................. .........................

but hey, the kids are cute

Dodgy
05-22-2003, 02:46 AM
This is somewhat a bizarre market segment to go for, but I'm guessing a big one in the US?

Red_Oddity
05-22-2003, 03:04 AM
Brrrr....scary, for some reason...

Lightwolf
05-22-2003, 04:01 AM
A very bizarre segment, I agree ...

Actually, kind of embarassing, now I can't tell my customer anymore what I work with.
Oh, isn't Lit(!)eWave by that weird company called NewTek, you know, the religious one? You work with that?
...hmm...

banshee
05-22-2003, 04:51 AM
?????????????????????????????????????????????????? ??????????
What the heck was that? Tell me thats a joke and someone hacked into newteks site. I feel forcibly baptised and that I should see the light...wave :mad: Thanks but no thanks.

Lightwolf
05-22-2003, 05:14 AM
I'm afraid this is serious.
I first found the link to the press release at www.digitalproducer.com ...
Please, NewTek, if you release a "controversial" product like that, use another company brand name. ReliTek or whatever ;) This is embarassing...

pauland
05-22-2003, 05:44 AM
I can see where the idea of an easy click xyz product might appeal, but why just religious stuff? Seems a bizzare product to me. I could understand a base product called 'EZ TV' with different marketing customisations:

EZ TV: Genesis - religious broadcasts
EZ TV: Live Lite - live broadcasts
EZ TV: Community

I guess someone knows what their doing.

Paul

BTW I've no idea if any product called 'EZ TV' exists already.

banshee
05-22-2003, 06:55 AM
I first found the link to the press release at www.digitalproducer.com ...

Well, after reading that, it appears to be legit. I understand that Newtek is attempting to seek new opportunities for market-share, however, with targeting a market such as this, which is so specific, they should search and send out the info to the respective churches. Not post on the site for all to see. I am not by any means trying to start a religious debate, I just think that Newtek could have approached this with a little more taste and discretion. I feel like someones trying to "save me". It just seems unapropriate.

ChrisS
05-22-2003, 08:19 AM
I'm not sure why people are so up in arms about this; that one would be "embarassed", or that Newtek should "hide" the fact they might be targeting the religious market. Can't tell people you use LightWave any more? Puleeze! What is everybody so afraid of? I sincerely doubt Newtek is planning on spearheading the next Crusades.

It's really not a bad idea to target such a quickly growing market. Lots of churches are doing video/multimedia presentations nowadays, and more and more are going onto community television. I've talked to people from two seperate churches in my area recently that say they're moving into multimedia and video. Sure, the productions might not be very glossy, but I see lots of poorly put together programming on local TV as it is, and that comes from "professionals". Nothing wrong with giving more people access.

The only thing I question is something pauland brought up; why focus on such a narrow market? I mean sure, go after the religious segment, maybe even make it the main focus of a marketing campaign as it's certainly viable, but as this thread shows, appearing to tout a product as exclusive to religious work isolates it from a certain segment which might otherwise be interested.

Just my two cents.

Chuck
05-22-2003, 08:52 AM
In the future we'll be using our technologies to design products geared to a a number of specialized market segments. Genesis is the first, and, yes, this segment is particularly strong in the US, which is why we've begun there. There are a lot more churches using production systems these days than there are television stations. There's nothing the least bit embarrassing or controversial about tailoring a product to this market, any more than it will be when we get around to tailoring something more specific for electronic news gathering, educational institutions, public access, or other specialized markets.

Up to now we've been pursuing a "one size fits all" product creation and marketing strategy. That's been successful and profitable, but there is evidence that intelligently tailoring products to the needs of specific vertical markets will be even more successful, so we are beginning efforts in that direction. We've expressly designed a very adaptable technology base that allows us to do this with relative ease, and now we are moving to take best advantage of our technologies.

fourd
05-22-2003, 09:03 AM
Good on ya Newtek. I think this will do quite well. Especially here in the bible belt :)

Donald

pauland
05-22-2003, 09:12 AM
I think the idea of a focussed program making facility is great. The problem is that describing it as Genesis and describing it as being foccused on religious program making will make it difficullt to sell outside that very narrow market. Imagine trying to sell the idea of buying software called 'genesis' aimed at religious programme making into a corporate environment. I can see the system being a big hit but not with such narrow marketing (sorry Chuck).

Why not have one generic product. Produce several packaging sleeves and 'getting started books' aimed at different markets. One system, different focuses for different markets and a low cost for targetting the different markets.

That's my 2p on it.

Paul

jeromeOlivier
05-22-2003, 09:32 AM
I have to admit my first reaction was a violent, "YUK!" This is a major turn off.

It wasn't so much the idea of a solution for churches (which, in and of itself sounds like a reasonably good idea) it was the presentation of the software on the product's main page. "Sing with Praise!" "Light the Fire Inside!" Gimme a break! :mad: This is plain horrible.

There's a lot to Newtek I love, but presentation is DEFINITELY not one of them.

I strongly agree that Newtek should market this product under a different name. Brand image is way too important to screw around with like this. :(

The manner in which the product is being marketed will have a negative impact on Newtek. It already has on me.

Lightwolf
05-22-2003, 09:37 AM
Hi y'all,
sorry for not elaborating on the "embarrassing" bit in my first post.
Let me put it this way, the "bible belt", tv shows in churches, Bill Graham and co, is something that makes me, most of my collegues and all of my customers snicker . I realize that this is a very US phenomena, and I'm not ridiculing the market, or the market potential. It just happens to be very strange from my, well, european point of view.
I work in a market where people use tools from companies like Softimage, Maya, Avid, Quantel ... All considered as being "cool" and on the edge, representing themselves that way. Genesis is something I'd expect from (sorry...) ULead, or Curious Labs (instant animated "Sermon on the Mount"... whatever...).
I know that if I mention lightwave, many of my customers check www.lightwave3d.com, besides looking at my showreel. If I mention VT3, they check that out too. Right now I can just hear them snicker already. ;)
May be should point them to www.newtek-europe.com the next time and try not to mention newtek.
Sorry for being so strongly opinionated on this, I mean no offense, but this is actually the first time during the past 10 years that I consider switching my packages (And yes, I know this sounds and is stupid, but that's the way it is. I'm surprised myself).
Cheers,
Mike - still embarassed

Lightwolf
05-22-2003, 09:39 AM
Jerome,
I just read your post. It seems you have a nicer way with words than I do. Very much to the point, I agree.

robewil
05-22-2003, 10:35 AM
Lightwolf, I can completely see your point of view and understand your concerns. However, I would assume that any marketing Newtek does with this product will be targetted to the churches, synagogues, and such. You and your clientele are very unlikely to come across an ad or a presentation of Genesis, so most likely, your clients will never hear of it.

Actually, this seems like a good idea for Newtek. I see numerous posts both here and in other forums from churches asking about the VT's capabilities. So there definitely seems to be a market there. How many corporations cater to the media needs of churches? I think Newtek may have discovered a largely untapped market.

Chuck
05-22-2003, 10:35 AM
Originally posted by pauland
I think the idea of a focussed program making facility is great. The problem is that describing it as Genesis and describing it as being foccused on religious program making will make it difficullt to sell outside that very narrow market. Imagine trying to sell the idea of buying software called 'genesis' aimed at religious programme making into a corporate environment. I can see the system being a big hit but not with such narrow marketing (sorry Chuck).

If you review what I said, you'll see that we have no intention of trying to sell Genesis to the corporate market. It is indeed going to be marketed to just the media ministry market, and there is more than enough market there to make doing so very profitable. It is also the case, from our research, that this customized product will be more successful in that market than a generic product would be.



Why not have one generic product.

As I mentioned - that's what we have right now and have done traditionally. That generic version is not going away, and will be marketed as actively as ever. We'll simply be adding new products based on the technology but designed specifically for a given market segment, and marketing efforts will be more targeted for those product versions.


Produce several packaging sleeves and 'getting started books' aimed at different markets. One system, different focuses for different markets and a low cost for targetting the different markets.

That's my 2p on it.

Paul

This is precisely why we built a very flexible technology and exactly what we are doing. Skins, content and feature adaptations are indeed very easy and economical to accomplish on the VT [3] technology, so we do in fact achieve a low cost for targeting the different markets.

pauland
05-22-2003, 10:44 AM
The worst case scenario is that competitors talk about Newtek as the 'company that used to do Broadcast stuff but is now concentrating on religious broadcast making'.

I should say that between my posts, Chuck and others have posted replies I haven't seen.

I think this is a positive development, but could be approached better. It's not my company, nor my problem, so I'll leave Newtek to carry on without further comment having made my point that pulling out a standalone product 'Genesis' is not really such a good move. VT3: genesis might have been cool. I'm not even sure how this will run with non-christian faiths either.

Anyway, Good luck Newtek.

Lightwolf
05-22-2003, 10:53 AM
pauland:
If it was discreet marketing that kind of product, I'd poke it at every Max user ;)

Red_Oddity
05-22-2003, 10:53 AM
It makes you kinda giggle when looking back at it again...

Never thought it would be such a large market, but if it indeed is, i think Newtek has done really well here, you don't see Avid or any other company targeting such specific groups...This might even work out for the better for Newtek...

ChrisS
05-22-2003, 10:55 AM
Originally posted by pauland
The worst case scenario is that competitors* talk about Newtek as the 'company that used to do Broadcast stuff but is now concentrating on religious broadcast making'.

*Competitors - Hereinafter to be referred to as "The Godless Hun"

hehe Just Kidding Folks!
I've been called a heathen a few times in my day

Chuck
05-22-2003, 10:56 AM
Originally posted by jeromeOlivier
I have to admit my first reaction was a violent, "YUK!" This is a major turn off.

It wasn't so much the idea of a solution for churches (which, in and of itself sounds like a reasonably good idea) it was the presentation of the software on the product's main page. "Sing with Praise!" "Light the Fire Inside!" Gimme a break! :mad: This is plain horrible.

Hi, Jerome!

So, what wouldn't be horrible? I'm not asking that rhetorically, I'd like the input. Also something to consider: If we tailor our presentation to your tastes, is that actually going to produce marketing materials that work for the folks the product is intended for? Are you one of the people the product is intended for?


There's a lot to Newtek I love, but presentation is DEFINITELY not one of them.

Guess we need to work on that then! :)


I strongly agree that Newtek should market this product under a different name. Brand image is way too important to screw around with like this. :(

Certainly there may be something to consider in that.


The manner in which the product is being marketed will have a negative impact on Newtek. It already has on me.

But why should it? If you are not a member of the group for which the product is intended, why should it affect you? And what elements specifically are you finding objectionable? Should our marketing text be geared to what members of the target market will find attractive, or to what non-members of the target market will not find repugnant?

The marketing text boils down to "If you are doing this kind of work, here's how and why this product will help you." Nothing more, nothing less. Is that actually objectionable, or are objections engaged (not yours, necessarily, Jerome, but some here) based solely on the fact that religion is mentioned?

cavalos
05-22-2003, 11:05 AM
this is weird...I mean the product looks good and maybe the market to sell it is strong in the US. IMHO this kind of products should be at the background of the company like Newtek, as a good one but not as the flagship product of the company. If NT makes mony with Genesis and that money will be used for Lightwave development I will be very happy. :)

Best
Christian

JReble
05-22-2003, 11:07 AM
Not making any judgements about particular content or any use, and the product itself seems very plausible, but I do have to note that the marketing/packaging/promotions approach that I see so far on this particular product will very likely have a negative impact on Newteks corporate image. I've been in advertising and marketing for some time so I really don't feel I'm stating a bias so much as a fact. Supporting items for a flagship product are one thing such as accesories for the religious programmer and others for use with a particular tool. But the manufacturer producing substantial turnkey systems for a niche market no matter how large looks exactly like it is. "A manufacturer for niche customers". Right or wrong, and usually wrong, the video market is ripe for criticism and perception is reality with most. That's why some companies go mainstream with sub-par products and really good products sometimes flounder.


I like what Newtek is doing, but I would kindly suggest that these specialized products be packaged as an accesory line to support the flagship. Ultimately that's what is being done (just a variation of the VT2) but there's that perception thing. It's a tough one, but you guys should tread very carefully. I hate hype, but a professional and high-end reputation should be considered, fostered and preserved. If it's just a different version of software, then it should be packaged as that and offer a choice like widescreen or fullscreen DVDs, but not shown as you guys making the Star Wars DVD and the Starwars story as told by the Rev. Billy Graham on DVD. Just an observation.

ted
05-22-2003, 11:11 AM
It's a huge idea!!!
I'm blown away at the production value going into worship services.

This should be a quick and easy sell to drive in instant revenue for NewTek.
That revenue will only increase the amount of development for VT3 and beyond.

The new sales slogan should be...
"WHAT WOULD JESUS USE FOR VIDEO PRODUCTION" :)

JReble
05-22-2003, 12:06 PM
It is a good idea, but mainstream video producers and production houses are not asking "what would Jesus use?" They are rightly asking "what would NBC, CNN or ESPN use?" So are many of the church video guys and girls out there. It's great to offer materials for specific segments of the customer base. I would think the software could be sold to users as an add-on which replaced the regular T2 - T3 software or added the new content to it. I would think this is almost entirely just extra content (effects, skins, etc.) targeted toward church use and that's great. Then it should be sold as such. I've been at them to offer additional content for all the mainstream users for some time.

Unfortunately, it's being billed as a new system designed for Churches. If Newtek really is making a separate system with altered hardware and different features solely for Church use, then I gotta seriously question the manufacturer I'm trusting with the future of my production operation, one that has nothing to do with religious programming. No matter what they are truly doing, it's being displayed as a new edit platform for religious groups exclusively. That's not smart.

Nobody could fault them for making specialized content, especially in the case of religious programming. But putting out the notion that Newtek has to make an edit/production platform exclusively for religious use is to suggest that somehow religious video production is different than any other video production work and Newtek is choosing to accomodate that use over other specialized ones or the mainstream one. I don't currently believe that's the case, but that's the perception being created.

I guess it's sort of an issue of all or nothing. If ya can't bring to market a complete specialized platform for every narrow compartmentalized area of video production at the same time, then you're showing favoritism and a new narrow focus. That's gonna bend some noses out of shape and make others just chuckle. On the other hand, If you can offer specialized content for a broad based production tool then you create excitement that makes all the other specialized users wonder how soon there will be something for them too, rather than being pissed that the company is going in another direction away from them.

Matt
05-22-2003, 12:09 PM
Praaaaaaaaise the Lord!!! :)

Being a non-religious type I can't even begin to imagine that there is a market for such a product, but I guess there must be otherwise NT wouldn't have done it.

I wouldn't say I'm embarrassed about it at all, but it does (and I don't know why) give the impression that NT is 'little league' by having to tailor for such specific markets.

Maybe that's because being a sceptic, and from the U.K. I find the whole U.S. religious T.V / live healing thing very odd (and slightly fanatical!)

Having said that, if this was a system for schools no-one would mind, could be the next market? What do you reckon Chuck? :)

One thing I do know, there's a LOT of money in religion, and if that money works it's way into the LightWave development fund I couldn't care where it came from!!!

Just my thoughts!
Matt

Psyhke
05-22-2003, 12:14 PM
I'm suprised at how much people are over-reacting, and quite frankly put on display their own prejudices (which as a reminder, is normally considered a bad thing). How about some of that maturity and tolerance which enlightend individuals apply to every other group. Switching software in protest or embarrassment? Frightend someone will find out the same people who make your 3D program also make a product marketed to churches? Feel like you're being "saved"?

Frankly, the fear and prejudice in this thread is what's really embarrassing.

(And no, you won't find me at a church on Sunday. I'm just approaching this from a logical point of view).

JReble
05-22-2003, 12:18 PM
One other note: If my thinking is correct about this product really just being a bunch of new skins, effects, and graphic elements then why on earth would Newtek not offer it as an add-on. It could simply be an extra set of content disks that installed the fx, graphic elements, and skins. Then when you run your T2-3 you would simply select the new skins from the drop down list and pull any of the new content right from your drives.

But if the product actually does include new or different features from the standard T2-T3 system that could not be installed right into an existing system, then one really has to wonder why those features are not available to the rest of the production world. Surely the religious programmers don't have an exclusive need or use for any new feature.

Jim Capillo
05-22-2003, 12:20 PM
I can't take anything else away from this thread other than some of you guys are offended by Newtek's marketing to the religious market. What's the difference from Lightwave's marketing to character animators/game developers and VT's pursuit of religious markets? Nothing. They're all niche markets. It's just a thinly veiled objection to religion itself, as far as I'm concerned. Jeff's argument is a bit more realistic, but I can't honestly see how Newtek will be hurt in its development/promotion of any niche marketing, including religious folk. It's called direct marketing - approaching a client with a clearly defined/refined product to solve his problems.

If Newtek came out with, say a Sports switcher called the "Jockstrap", I doubt if this type of discussion would even be happening - everyone would probably think it was a great idea. Give it a chance before you condemn it...... it will be better for all of us if Newtek is successful - and none of this is ***-lickin' either. :p

pauland
05-22-2003, 12:25 PM
I'm suprised at how much people are over-reacting, and quite frankly put on display their own prejudices

This isn't the case. I think people are rightly concerned that Newtek may damage their image by promoting a VT3 variant in such a way. People are concerned because they care what happens to Newtek.

Nobody worries that Newtek is offering a product suited to religious broadcasts. Unfortunately the perception of the market may mean that if Newtek promotes this as a major standalone product and not part of a broader VT family it may damage the main brand. Justified or not, this is going to provoke much mirth at Newteks expense, purely because of the way it's been launched. I hope Newtek have checked that the product name won't alienate non-christians. This isn't a matter of prejudice, just commercial product marketing.

It might even have been better to have had a neutral product name and just market it strongly for the intended market in targeted niche media.

Paul

pauland
05-22-2003, 12:35 PM
If Newtek came out with, say a Sports switcher called the "Jockstrap", I doubt if this type of discussion would even be happening

To some extent you are right. You need to be absolutely sure about what you're doing in any context if your going to introduce religion into the mix, simply because people have such different views about it. No point in stirring up anything that might work against what you are trying to achieve.

Paul

JReble
05-22-2003, 12:58 PM
Ok here's the thing Jim.

1. The real issue has nothing to do with religion, but by packaging it as a new complete platform for religious use they are effectively stirring up that 5000+ year old can o'worms for several people apparently.

2. Segment specific targeting for Lightwave is hardly the same thing. It's all still Lightwave. Not like they said "and for you character animators we now sell CHARACATRON and for you game makers we have GAMEWAVE. For the rest of you Lightwave will do."

3. Newtek would not be hurt by supporting nich markets, but they are hurt if they are perceived as preferring one niche over another or the mainstream market.

4. If tomorrow Newtek came out with the "Jockstrap" a lot of people would be pissed that Newtek is devoting an entire platform to the specific production segment of Sports. "What is so special about that segment and what about the rest of the production world. etc."

5. If Newtek is occupying themselves with these kind of variant platforms, one has to wonder how that is going to affect support, and future development of the platform "for the rest of us"

The point is, packaging this as a new turnkey platform for a specific segment of the production industry forever associates Newtek's priority focus with that niche segment in the public eye. Everyone serious about mainstream production will dismiss them before they even look at them. It would be like Harley Davidson selling lawnmowers. I'm sure a few folks would love to buy a Harley mower, but the bikers out there would cry and BMW/Yamaha/Suzuki would laugh their asses off.

Flx Gnzlz
05-22-2003, 01:03 PM
Intersted topic. As a long -time old Amiga customer I see this as interesting.

Looks to me like Newtek conitnue to struggle in the Hi-End Broadcast market. I notice the getting away from the name "Video Toaster", Now just "VT". I think Newtek still trying to get past the people thinking of it as "toy". I use old Toaster but not for Live, because can't risk it - same as new PC based Toaster. Churches will not be as concerned with Crash,like Networks will.

Genesis looks another attempt to get away from Toaster name, even though it looks like the same product.

Hope they can convince new people... but to me, once a Toaster, always a Toaster.

We will see.
Felix

Aegis
05-22-2003, 01:03 PM
Wow! I've only just caught up with this and to be honest - I don't know what to think!

I can certainly see the possibilities in specific targeting of audiences for the Video Toaster but I never expected this!

Before I comment any further I ought to add that I'm an aethist and that certainly biases my opinion - thing is - to me this product sits uneasily with the other products offered by NewTek.

Prior to this announcement, NewTek sold generic software/hardware solutions applicable to anyone interested in 3D or desktop video. The software itself was neutral - you just used it to create whatever you wanted - If you wanted to created religious programming you could - If you wanted to create digital porn then heck, yeah - knock yourself out!

Announcing a product specifically targeted at religious programming has suddenly (and quite irrationally) altered my view of NewTek... To me they're no longer a technology company in the sense that Alias/Wavefront, Softimage and Discreet are.

I guess releasing a product that targets a given market associates you irrevocably with that market - I.E. NewTek has just lost its "Neutral" status... I guess I'd feel the same way if they'd released a version of LightWave tailored for landscape gardening...

I hate saying this 'cause I'm a broad minded kind of guy and I have the greatest of respect for an individual's personal beliefs but I really wish this product was marketed by a NewTek subsidiary set up solely for that purpose (and on a separate website...).

Uh... Wow! <pinches himself>

Psyhke
05-22-2003, 01:16 PM
hmmm... I was thinking, maybe if and when NT comes up with a couple more 'niche' products (like say for schools and sports), seeing a few of these categories together might soften any perceptions that NewTek is specifically weighted in one particular area...

robewil
05-22-2003, 01:19 PM
Psyhke's right. You are all over-reacting. How many broadcasters or other people in the professional video market are even going to know about this product? It's only us regular Newtek website visitors that are aware of it and that's only because of the small announcement on the front page and this thread.

In a few weeks, this announcement will no longer be visible. Newteks marketing for Genesis will be in religion-oriented publications. The amount of exposure of this to anybody outside of religious groups will be minimal. Newtek will have, hopefully, a new market bringing in more revenue. Meanwhile, us video professionals will probably have forgotten all about this. Everybody will be happy. :)

Jim Capillo
05-22-2003, 01:19 PM
C'mon Andrew, I can't even believe what I'm reading. The VT is just a tool to produce video, not someone preaching religion. To tie that into a criticism of Newtek's marketing is quite irrational and unfair. They have to sell to someone - what is wrong with developing a new skin and promoting that as an easy way to do religious videos? Again, would you have the same comments if the product was sports related? You just proved my point.

Jeff, you're HD comparison is wrong. I've owned a Harley for over 20 years and they now make far more money on their clothing/accessories line than they do on the motorcycles themselves. Have you been a HD dealership lately? You can get everything from a leather jacket to a nightgown with the HD label on it. Brilliant marketing! I would hope that Newtek markets to other niche targets as well, I am neither offended nor worried about it.

I just think it's a good move, and that's just my .02

Chuck
05-22-2003, 01:37 PM
Hi, Andrew!

We certainly will continue with and in fact strengthen marketing efforts for our flagship LightWave and VT products. As we go through the year other vertical market products are going to join our first one, in reasonably quick order. This is just a first, and certainly does not change our intent to provide our flagship tools geared to the broadest possible audience. It just means that in addition we are going to provide our technologies in forms that can meet the needs of several specific market segments as well.

I'm sure that once more of these vertical market turnkey efforts are available, the impact of any one should be a bit less distressing on the folks it is not meant for, and it should also be quite clear that we are still engaged in growing the marketplace for video and graphics technologies, not only with our flagship offerings and traditional strategies enhanced and upgraded for the increasing demands of the professional production marketplace, but also augmented with a suite of vertical products.

JReble
05-22-2003, 01:43 PM
Jim,

I've had me a sportster for some time myself and I am well aware of the whoring out of the Harley logo. Harley can sell all those accesories, clothes, kids bicycles, mugs etc. and people buy them up because they support the flagship product that has a strong and hard earned reputation and mystique.

That's exactly the same thing Newtek can do by selling accesories to their flagship product. But I stand by my comparison. Harley isn't making a compact car or any other motorized vehicle for a segment of the market. They do, however, sell and license the sale of all kinds of other crap that complements their motorcycles and props up the brand. They even sell versions of their product for specialized groups such as the police special which my father has, but the product is still a Harley Davidson motorcycle, not some bastardized contraption under a new name.

Aegis
05-22-2003, 01:49 PM
Hi Chuck,

well, regardless of my personal feelings on the matter I hope (as always) it's a big success for NewTek!

Jim Capillo
05-22-2003, 02:13 PM
Originally posted by JReble
Jim,

{snipped} Harley isn't making a compact car or any other motorized vehicle for a segment of the market. They do, however, sell and license the sale of all kinds of other crap that complements their motorcycles and props up the brand. They even sell versions of their product for specialized groups such as the police special which my father has, but the product is still a Harley Davidson motorcycle, not some bastardized contraption under a new name.


How about Buell, then? A sportster 1200 engine mounted on a racing frame...... it is a huge seller and although Buell is now making their own engines, it was clearly (and obviously) a Harley as soon as it started up. I know plenty of hard core (read *real bikers*, not just the doctors, lawyers or Jay Leno) who would snap up a Harley mower in a minute..... whether it was manufactured by Harley or just had a HD sticker on it. If I remember correctly, didn't Ford offer a limited edition Harley pickup a few years back? Harley itself now manufactures many different models of bikes that address different market targets, including women and at one time, kids (dirt bikes). That's why they almost went bankrupt in the 70's...... they made one style of bike and if you didn't like it, tough. I doubt if anyone at BMW/Yamaha/Honda or whatever is laughing at Harley's marketing schemes or new accessories/products when they come out. They most likely wish they were in that spot, marketshare wise. My whole point is that to be successful and survive in a very fierce and competitive marketplace, one must be inventive not only in marketing, but must produce a viable product as well. If Newtek can make it easy for a semi (or non) professional video person to sit down and produce religious (or other) programs just by designing a custom skin, why not? They've already got a great product. That would just increase their market share and by quickly (and easily) bringing in more free cash, will guarantee our needs (the flagship users) are met by further R&D. Chuck has already stated that none of their niche marketing will ever affect any of the 'flagship' products. What else could be a problem?

Hey, I'm going to have a beer :D You guys can argue ad infiniteum if you want.......... ;) :p

ted
05-22-2003, 02:24 PM
Ya know, whatever NewTek does to make an honest "prophet" is OK by me.

It's not like they are dumping past users to move to another product, (Like another company I know).
I’m happy for them because I think it’s a HUGE market with LOT’S of money.
I know of one church that’s invested over ˝ million dollars just in video gear.

Genesis’s New Slogan..."WHAT WOULD JESUS USE FOR VIDEO PRODUCTION"

James Moore
05-22-2003, 04:25 PM
Wow, a nice spirited thread here,

The BRAND and its extensions are forever interwoven. Large companies and their Ad Agencies think long and hard about their Brand's and exactly what they exend them to. The Harley example is a good one. They make big beefy bikes and they stick their logos on clothes. The Brand extension proceeds from the bikes to the clothes. The clothes themselves affect the perception of the the Brand. Harley would not stick their logo on 'pope mobiles' or scooters, me thinks.

The mere fact that some people here are reacting negatively to the Newtek brand being extended to the Genesis and all that it is, is proof of this linkage of branding, whether rational or not.

It makes sense that VT would be marketed to churches, it is a very nice fit, but by creating a whole new product line under the Newtek brand does influence the Newtek brand. I like the suggestions that a Genesis set of skins/graphics etc are made available, and marketed to churches. Similarily a sports package, and network TV package could be made. But, in reality, the Genesis, is just the VT in different clothes (isn't it?) and by marketing it as a New Product confuses the Newtek brand.

My immediate thought on hearing of a production system designed for church use, is that such a system would be made to a lower spec than a broadcast system since its prime use would be non-broadcast. That is one way that I think the extension of the Newtek brand to the Genesis system will negatively affect the Newtek brand.

WizCraker
05-22-2003, 04:32 PM
I think this is a great market for Newtek to expand. Reminds me of the strategies of Microsoft, looking for markets that the competion is not focusing on. Gain the majority useability of your product then you seek and destroy....errr conquer another untapped resource.

James Moore
05-22-2003, 04:34 PM
This from the lead PR on Genesis:


NewTek, Inc., manufacturer of industry-leading 3D animation and video products, today announced GenesisTM, the first video production system designed from the ground up for the needs of worship service media production.


Is this true? Was it really designed from the 'ground up' for the worship folk? It sounds like marketing bullsh*t to me? Not the Newtek I have known....

WizCraker
05-22-2003, 04:44 PM
Originally posted by banshee
Well, after reading that, it appears to be legit. I understand that Newtek is attempting to seek new opportunities for market-share, however, with targeting a market such as this, which is so specific, they should search and send out the info to the respective churches. Not post on the site for all to see. I am not by any means trying to start a religious debate, I just think that Newtek could have approached this with a little more taste and discretion. I feel like someones trying to "save me". It just seems unapropriate.

So what you are getting at is that Newtek should discriminate a product ideas because it targets the Relgious Sector? I guess we should call up Microsoft, Intel, AMD, Dell, IBM, and the Linux community to stop all sales of product to 'Relgious groups.' They post press releases also when they have products that focus on certain sectors that can be profitable. Heaven forbid that a company develops a product and does not advertise it on their company website in fear that some idiotic person thinks just for developing it means they are dictating [or preaching] reglion.


Originally posted by jeromeOlivier
I have to admit my first reaction was a violent, "YUK!" This is a major turn off.

It wasn't so much the idea of a solution for churches (which, in and of itself sounds like a reasonably good idea) it was the presentation of the software on the product's main page. "Sing with Praise!" "Light the Fire Inside!" Gimme a break! :mad: This is plain horrible....

snip

I strongly agree that Newtek should market this product under a different name. Brand image is way too important to screw around with like this. :(


If I was in charge of a church or a Religious TV Studio [such as TBN] or a Religious University [such as ORU, one of the most reputable education institions World Wide regardless of it being related to Religion], I as the CTO/CIO or Producer would look at Newteks Genesis product and say "Here is a product that clearly shows that they are targeting my sector. I get to see images of the product in action." I would then do research on the company [if I did not already know who they are] and quickly find out the Newtek is known for making revolutionary applications and redefineing the industry by bringing technologies that are usually to expensive otherwise. A CTO/CIO and Producer are all concerned with one thing, Money. If it has the features to make them more productive but is to expensive they will not buy the product. But if a small company such as Newtek is willing to take the time to develop what they need and keep it inexpensive That CIO will buy the product.

essentricaudio
05-22-2003, 04:57 PM
As far as hurting Newteks image or rep, look at other companies who have targeted this market - Digital Juice has a whole volume targeting churches, does that make them any less of a professional broadcast company?

ted
05-22-2003, 05:00 PM
Originally posted by James Moore

My immediate thought on hearing of a production system designed for church use, is that such a system would be made to a lower spec than a broadcast system since its prime use would be non-broadcast. That is one way that I think the extension of the Newtek brand to the Genesis system will negatively affect the Newtek brand.


By that same philosophy, Avid Express makes Avid less of a company?:confused:

Or Auto Companies should only sale one price range car, geared to one income demographic? :confused:

It's just smart marketing to make people feel that a particular product is geared for their needs.

robewil
05-22-2003, 05:06 PM
My immediate thought on hearing of a production system designed for church use, is that such a system would be made to a lower spec than a broadcast system since its prime use would be non-broadcast
Why don't we spin it the other way?

"Genesis gives broadcast power to your church"

I gues it all depends on your point of view.

Anthony
05-22-2003, 05:13 PM
This is a silly topic. I can't help thinking that people who don't like it just don't like religion? I dunno. I'm not big on formalized religion myself, but that has nothing to do with Newtek or the products they make. If it lets them earn cash to make a better LW8, or whatever else they come out with, then that's great!

mrunion
05-22-2003, 05:33 PM
Good Job NewTek!!!

I for one am one of the "volunteers" that is cameraman, non-linear editor, screen titles/graphics person -- everything except the "preacher" and "singer".

I hope this is not a "community feeling" towards "worship"-type applications.

Good Job, NewTek!!!

wvp
05-22-2003, 06:06 PM
Well I'm not too concerned about it.
If Newtek can market to Religous (hence Genesis, even non-christians believe in the "old testement") and other 'niche' markets and make some money - great.
The more money they make, the more they can spend on the VT system.
I also agree that these niche systems will be promoted almost exclusivly in specialty trade publications.
As far as questions about adding these features into VT[3] instead of a seperatly names system:
It looks like they have designed a system that uses PARTS of the VT (switcher, DDR, CG). It does NOT appear that it includes Aura, Lightwave, TED, etc. I think the idea is to offer a "specialized" system (specific parts of VT & an SX-8) to religous groups for a price that is less than an VT.

jeromeOlivier
05-22-2003, 06:55 PM
Originally posted by Chuck

So, what wouldn't be horrible? I'm not asking that rhetorically, I'd like the input. Also something to consider: If we tailor our presentation to your tastes, is that actually going to produce marketing materials that work for the folks the product is intended for? Are you one of the people the product is intended for?

--

If you are not a member of the group for which the product is intended, why should it affect you? And what elements specifically are you finding objectionable? Should our marketing text be geared to what members of the target market will find attractive, or to what non-members of the target market will not find repugnant?

The marketing text boils down to "If you are doing this kind of work, here's how and why this product will help you." Nothing more, nothing less. Is that actually objectionable, or are objections engaged (not yours, necessarily, Jerome, but some here) based solely on the fact that religion is mentioned?

From a manufacturing point of view, I understand what you are saying, Chuck, and I agree with you. Why not? It makes perfect sense. There's a market, go for it and appeal to that market with whatever means necessary.

One of the issues I have with Genesis being on the same web site as one of my work tools is that religion is not only a market, it is a point of view. This point of view I do not share - in fact, I object to. (This was on a personal note.)

From a professional stand point, I work in an industry where people judge you based on just about anything you can imagine. If people find out that Newtek produces a solution for religion (which they eventually will) it will have a negative impact on my image - especially when Genesis is being presented in such gaudy colors.

The only thing I remember from the Marketing 101 class I almost flunked was, "People perceive things in an associative manner." I, for one, do not want to be associated with religion. Either divorce Genesis from Newtek, or divorce Newtek from Lightwave.

--

I really really really hope Newtek does fantastically well with Genesis and grows to attract many many many hot shot programmers and developers to produce great products. I do.

I also hope that Newtek starts to SERIOUSLY work on its own brand image. I honestly believe that the entire "Newtek / Luxology" - or - "Is Newtek stretching itself too thin" issue would never have happened if Newtek were able to project a strong brand image for Lightwave and for itself.

The very fact that Newtek did not consider the potential negative impact of Genesis on its Lightwave user base is proof that there is a serious lack of brand image developement at Newtek.

If we compare Newtek's development of Lightwave's brand image to that of Alias/Wavefront for Maya, one can already see a striking contrast in the quality of each company's marketing department.

Maya might be the most convoluted, expensive and unfriendly app on the market, but man, it looks cool! The branding is firmly set. The color palette consistent (two shades of red, white & black). The imagery (like the guy swallowing a sword) is simply a pleasure to look at.

Now Lightwave goes from flashy red & orange, to cool white and now leans towards blue (from the 7.5c update and the Lightwave 8 icon). This is software having an identity crisis. It does not project healthiness.

On a side note: why are so many people always worried about whether or not Lightwave is going to die? The bottom line is: image. It looks that way. Why? Because Newtek is terrible at making itself look good. Genesis is yet another example of this and it upsets me that Newtek would not consider the impact that this might have on me personally and professionally.

I feel insulted. :mad: Bad Newtek.

Newtek owes it to its customer base to make itself look good, because if Newtek looks good, its users look good. People often ask me, "What software do you use." When I answer Lightwave, they ask, "Why don't you use Maya?"

Think about it. This has nothing to do with the work that gets done with Lightwave, it has to do with the product's brand image and now, with Genesis, Newtek's brand image.

Jeffers
05-22-2003, 07:22 PM
Well said jerome, I couldn't agree more!

James Moore
05-22-2003, 08:53 PM
Ted wrote


By that same philosophy, Avid Express makes Avid less of a company?

Or Auto Companies should only sale one price range car, geared to one income demographic?

It's just smart marketing to make people feel that a particular product is geared for their needs.

Avid has a range of products with varying price tags and varying abilities. Frankly, I've always liked the fact that if you buy a Newtek product you get the best they have to offer. Is Genesis a VT lite product? My impression is, no, it isn't. It uses the same hardware as the VT, it is just packaged/named differently (price point - I would guess the same). My problem with that approach is that you are taking the Newtek brand(s) (specifically the Toaster) and extending it to a product which may be perceived as a lessor product, since it is targeted at a 'non-broadcast' market. But, it isn't a lessor product, like the Avid express is, and this is one reason why it will dilute the Newtek brand.

Currently, Newtek is associated with Lightwave and the Toaster (well there is Aura, and Calibar and...). The early toaster's influence still causes many folks grief when dealing with the current toaster, hence VT, but the early toaster also helped the brand a lot (it did wonderful things at a fantastic price point). Anyway, now we are throwing Genesis into the mix. What is Genesis? It appears at this stage to be a Toaster in Christian robes. It is being presented as a whole new product built from 'the ground up'. This is very different then tailoring a product to different folks needs, that would be the 'Genesis pack' for the VT. Which could be sold as an addition to the product, or included free, if they felt that market segment was particularily price sensitive (I would guess it isn't given the elaborate ministries I've seen)

Each of a car companies line of cars contribute to the Lead brand, say BMW (3 series, 5 series, 7 series, Z3, M-power) If BMW were to put the mini (whom they now own), or Land Rover (when they owned it) under the BMW brand it would harm the brand. Those two lines of vehicles do not fit the 'Ultimate Driving Machine' image.

Before it was Newtek (Lightwave, Toaster, Aura). All leading edge brands.

Now it is Newtek (Lightwave, VT, Genesis) Will Genesis drag the brand down....I'm guessing yes, if for no other reason then the reactions expressed by many above, rational or not.

WizCraker
05-22-2003, 11:14 PM
Originally posted by jeromeOlivier
From a professional stand point, I work in an industry where people judge you based on just about anything you can imagine.

Is that what not you are doing here?



If people find out that Newtek produces a solution for religion (which they eventually will) it will have a negative impact on my image - especially when Genesis is being presented in such gaudy colors.


This is like saying just because The Corporation of LDS church [or what ever their name is now] owns Staples, Inc [officestore] Domino's Pizza, Burger King Corp., Taco Bell, KFC, Church's, Arby's, Dunkin Donuts, Popeye's, and Pepsi. You are not going to buy their products because it 'destroys' their 'Image.' Though I do not agree with the mormons I'm not going to give up my Mountain Dew or Pizza.

jjburton
05-23-2003, 12:29 AM
I'm rather shocked as well at some of the reactions I've read here. People saying they'd consider changing products because Newtek is catering to a very lucrative niche market makes absolutely no sense to me.

First of all, this is a new and growing market in the US and I'd imagine in other parts of the world. Many churches are tired of the "PowerPoint" worship presentations and sermon visualization and want something more dynamic. Video is considered to be the cutting edge and I think it's phenomenal that Newtek is getting on the crest of it.

Most of my clients are churches and I've already told some of them about it and they were excited.

I'd think you'd be happy as the better Newtek does, the better our beloved, Lightwave, will do too.

jin choung
05-23-2003, 12:55 AM
oh come on people!

the possibilities are endless!

"LET THERE BE LIGHT! ... LIGHT... WAVE!!!" lots of reverb, bass, possibly james earl jones....

cue chorus and organ!

but i must say, it does put a crimp in the style of us evil people.... i've always thought lw was rather transcendant but now it's causing my skin to dissolve on contact....

----------------------------------------------------------

although it rubs me a bit the wrong way, it's not any big deal really. i mean, if ilm made fx for a religious film (perhaps soon enough for mel gibson's passion pic) (or actually, who did the fx for the execrable battlefield earth?!), would they be held as being fx lackeys for the church?

i think the biggest MISTAKE was publicizing it in such a general way to the industry at large and the general newtek community. c'mon newtek! it's always been an issue but you guys need to get some marketing people with their heads screwed on straight.

it is a niche product and would probably have been accepted better if it was targeted at that niche. slip in brochures in the religion trade mags?

it may be a shrewd move though... but it may belie a change to a smaller, leaner company that pursues more niche markets.

it may not suit the tastes of many but hey, if it enables them to keep going and make a living, more power to them.

--------------------------------------------

personally, i would have targeted the porn market! now THERE is an industry on the verge of mainstream exposure.

all it would take is a bit of professional polish and sweetass dissolves!!!

and actually, i'm working on a porn script called DOMINATRIX : UNLOAD.... the porn version of the burly brawl is gonna need a heckuva lot of lw and aura.

jin

takkun
05-23-2003, 01:02 AM
personally, i would have targeted the porn market! now THERE is an industry on the verge of mainstream exposure.

all it would take is a bit of professional polish and sweetass dissolves!!!

and actually, i'm working on a porn script called DOMINATRIX : UNLOAD.... the porn version of the burly brawl is gonna need a heckuva lot of lw and aura.

jin LOL!!! The porn market is huge! What a great idea, but the problem is that then I think it would affect sales of Genesis, the church and porn markets are kind of in direct opposition. :)

Hey, can't wait to see your film / but I'd stray away from the term "Burly Brawl" unless, of course, this is gay porn. ;)

jin choung
05-23-2003, 01:24 AM
hey tak,

well gay porn ain't my cup o tea either so i was actually imagining what i have nick named the 'furball [email protected]#$'.

our hero - dildo - takes on 100 agent regina smiths.

it takes place too on a basketball court and our hero batting around agent smiths with - ahem - a pole - clotheslining and legsweeping and whatnot.

as for the alienation of one market and another ... see that's why they should have been careful to target specifically - SURGICAL p.r. STRIKES as it were.

the left hand shouldn't know what the right hand is doing and such.

jin

pauland
05-23-2003, 01:25 AM
Originally posted by jjburton
I'm rather shocked as well at some of the reactions I've read here. People saying they'd consider changing products because Newtek is catering to a very lucrative niche market makes absolutely no sense to me.
I didn't actually see anyone planning to change products because of it (maybe I missed it). I don't think anyone is unhappy about Newtek chasing this market, just the way it is being done.


First of all, this is a new and growing market in the US and I'd imagine in other parts of the world.
That's not my perception here in the UK (but I could be wrong). The main perception I can imagine here in the UK and Europe is 'low end' when looking at a product aimed at churches, particularly because they aren't renowned for big budgets. I can guarantee that any mention of this product would bring an immediate smile (of amusement) to someones face and most likely some impromptu jokes.


Many churches are tired of the "PowerPoint" worship presentations and sermon visualization and want something more dynamic. Video is considered to be the cutting edge..
My local church (very occassionally) uses powerpoint. I would imagine that if they wanted video, it would be done using something like premier. I can't imagine many churches in the UK or Europe wanting live video. I don't dispute that things are different in the US.

I think it's phenomenal that Newtek is getting on the crest of it.
I agree, but not this way.

Most of my clients are churches and I've already told some of them about it and they were excited.
You are already inside that niche market.

I've started another thread to try and find out what is so different about the religious market compared to others.

http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4912

Lightwolf
05-23-2003, 02:51 AM
mrunion,

Originally posted by mrunion
I hope this is not a "community feeling" towards "worship"-type applications.
Even though I'm an atheist as well, no, it isn't. No worries there.
It just has to do with brand awareness. I (and some others I guess), feel that mixing up the "high-end" status of LW, with massive production credits with the (to say it frankl,y no offense here) 'tacky' worshipping market, is pulling down the NT as well as the LW brand.
Even the current VT marketing is a bit too 'tacky' for my taste, but it's still o.k.
Yes, marketing Genesis as an add-on would be fine by me, as a stand alone, as prominent as it currently is, no.
Cheers,
Mike

Lightwolf
05-23-2003, 02:57 AM
Originally posted by JoeUser
And for those of you in Europe saying it's a US thing? Do you guys not have churches there? Or all they all the old-fashioned ones that still preach in ancient Greek?
That would be latin (if roman catholic). But, since protestantism has its roots in Europe, most (christian) services are in the native tongue.
Using video and live switching in service is something I've never seen or heard of over here. Looking at the "arena" of a church on the genesis page, I doubt you'll find something like that over here.
My (and I gather most of the others as well) argument isn't against religion at all.
'nuff said.

Lightwolf
05-23-2003, 03:05 AM
Hi y'all,
I'd just like to clarify some of my sentiments here.

My opposing of the current Genesis is not religion oriented at all. <- full stop

My main concern, as others have stated, is brand awareness.
I don't only sell my work, but (indirectly) also the tools I use. Customers ask, I answer. You work on a Mac? use Photoshop, what do you do 3D with, what do you edit with etc...
Right now, NT will be associated with 3 products: Lightwave 3D, VT3 and Genesis. The first is cool, has a really neat gallery and great presentation.
The second is cool as well, even though some of the sample screens are a bit, uhm, well. But it's o.k. and still very tasty.
The third will have my customers on the floor in no time, not becuase of the market, but because it seems to be a market with a certain "tacky' style.
It is a bit like discreet showing off wedding videos as their main application for inferno. You know, including flowery frames and ringing bells. I have personally nothing against those markets, if you make money there and are happy, fine with me. But, this is not the market I move in, and I don't want to be associated with it.
Genesis as an add on product, fine with me. The VT3 expansion pack Genesis. But please not as a major product alongside LW and VT3.
And yes, I have slept over it ;)

banshee
05-23-2003, 04:40 AM
Bottom line is religion (and politics) is just a very delicate subject which should be handled with care. As I stated in the beginning (before this thread exploded), I just feel a little more "taste and discretion" could have been used in marketing this product. I checked it out with eagerness (having a vested interest in what the company I have invested in has to offer) but then I was made to feel like I need to "repent now or burn in hell for my sins". A successful failure in terms of marketing IMHO (the graphics, not the targeted market). Please, by all means Newtek, look for new opportunities and monies in various markets. Just so long as the profits mainly go towards product developement of your staple/core products.

JReble
05-23-2003, 05:47 AM
Most of this debate is just proving my point and that of several others. Now you have the atheists and the Bible thumpers and everybody else who feels they need to defend their religious pov jumping all over each other about how great this will be for them, or how bad it will be.

If Newtek had simply packaged this as an expansion pack for the T3 or even a "T3 genesis edition" there would be none of this. Everybody would be saying "hey great idea Newtek, now bring on the support for my app!" Instead Newtek says "Look at our new edit platform built from the ground up just for religious use because religious video needs it's own production platform so that's what we're gonna concentrate on." It wouldn't matter if it was a wedding version, a sports version or whatever. Packaging it as a complete alternate platform independant of the flagship T3, saps away the credibility of T3 and Newtek as a company. If it's the Toaster moniker they're trying to get away from they should re-brand the product but don't fragment it like this. That just makes a bad situation worse.

Like I said from the begining, the plan is good. The execution is poor. Digital Juice makes CONTENT to support edit platforms and they rightly package it for a variety of applications under the Jump Backs brand. There is a completely different expecation for system development. The core platform must convey a sense of stability, reliability, focus, and quality. If you tinker with the image of the main system development, you risk your reputation. Any company can offer supporting content and other accesories for the core system without putting that reputation at peril. If this is the best marketing approach they can come up with, they might as well change the name from Genesis to Trinity.

Stranahan
05-23-2003, 06:18 AM
I just want to jump in here quickly...

First off, I am 110% glad NewTek is doing Genesis - and you should be too. It's part of NewTek's vision of making products that allow people to share their stories and thoughts with the rest of the world.

Why a specific product for the church market? Because the church market has unique needs. I know this from consulting to that market, and talking to a lot of religious video producers in the past five year. I wasn't really aware of what the people in that market needed until I worked with Play a few years ago. If you don't think a clearly defined product for that market is needed, I get that - because I didn't used to either. But you're going to see, I think, that this product speaks directly to thousands of users around the world.

If you think being just an add-on would be better, you're entitled to that opinion but I think you're wrong and I've had enough conversation and seen enough market data to back my opinion. And it's moot - it's not an add on, it's a seperate product.

I think that being a seperate product makes it a lot clearer, and it means that they don't need to include things like LightWave that make very little sense for 95% of the religious market.

That being said, this is one market and NewTek speaks to many. If you're not a church video producer, this product won't effect you much either way - except by making a bigger market for NewTek products and by making NewTek even more successful.

Stranahan
05-23-2003, 06:39 AM
One other thing, since I see a lot 'scary' threads..

I'm not involved in organized religion. I'm sort of an atheist / buddhist. But, I've consulted with churches a fair bit and I was involved in the Genesis marketing.

Here's the issue - respect and understanding.

I may not have the same religious views as somone in the market for Genesis - but we have the same goals and more in common than not. The people I've met and worked with have, to a person, been great. Forget your prejudices - I'm talking about the real human beings. I would say they'd say the same about me. The differences aren't relevant if people deal with each other with a sense of respect, and an attempt to understand.

I got involved with NewTek because their message was 'Here's technology that you can use and afford to share your vision with the world." All of NewTek's products are really about that vision, and this new product is an extension of that....

JReble
05-23-2003, 07:23 AM
Originally posted by Stranahan
Why a specific product for the church market? Because the church market has unique needs. I know this from consulting to that market, and talking to a lot of religious video producers in the past five year. I wasn't really aware of what the people in that market needed until I worked with Play a few years ago.

I've consulted with churches a fair bit and I was involved in the Genesis marketing.
Yeah, and several of us who were unlucky enough to involve ourselves with Play know how that went don't we? Newtek is obviously going to do whatever they think is right, but this whole approach (and frankly your involvement Lee) has got me seriously questioning them now. I wasn't aware you and Newtek were even on speaking terms again after all the Play stuff. Regardless, I see a very disturbing picture emerging that is similar in many ways to the Play and Trinity fiasco. Trinity was a complete mess because of intense and lousy marketing run amuck. The product was and is still a damn good one. It only failed because of rotten marketing that was compounded into downright fraud.

Newtek has had the appearance of not having an intense marketing campaign which is refreshing for everyone sick of the smoke and mirrors approach. However they also seem to have little thoughtful direction in their marketing approach which is going to lead them down the same path as Play if they are not careful.

Look at what was Trinity. With just a modest amount of credibility, that product could have been in most production facilities across the globe. Instead, it's relegated to serving a sliver of the mainstream market and a number of church groups since that's about the only group they can target now. Nothing wrong with that group, but they aren't reaching the rest of the production world to any degree anymore.

I don't mean to offend anyone and for the last time, I contend that the target audience and product is sound. It's the approach that has me very concerned. I've worked in equipment sales, engineering, marketing, and commercial production for more years than I want to count. The only thing I have at stake here is loosing yet another exceptional source for production tools due to short range thinking by the manufacturer. I'm not profiting from any marketing assitance with Newtek, Play or anybody else. It just breaks my heart to see another useful endeavor that I have invested some amount of time and energy in go south because the company couldn't get the marketing right.

Usually the guys who are talented enough to develop top notch gear like this are ill equipped to market it succesfully. They need to look for marketing assistance in much better places than the Play graveyard. It would be much better to remain silent and appear the fool for a while as they consider the long term perception created, rather than go for a quick buck by opening their mouth too soon and removing all doubt. But if that's the direction they're gonna go, then flame on! Just look at the way some of the European users are reacting with bewilderment. They don't have a problem with the product, but they do wonder what the heck Newtek is thinking because of the approach.

You may think they have a misperception Lee, but that is the point. In marketing, it doesn't matter what you think. What matters is what the customers think. If anybody's going into this with the expectation that they know what the customer should be thinking better than the customer does, well we've seen how that goes. Play is living proof and anyone familiar should have learned something from it. I said my piece and it's all just mho so I'll be quiet now and hope I didn't tick anybody off too much. Prove me wrong, but pardon me for holding onto my money until you do.

jjburton
05-23-2003, 08:01 AM
I'm wondering how they trademarked "Genesis"....:)

Darttman
05-23-2003, 08:48 AM
I have a trinity world tour t-shirt, am I a nerd or what ( be nice)

Chuck
05-23-2003, 09:25 AM
Originally posted by James Moore
Was it really designed from the 'ground up' for the worship folk? It sounds like marketing bullsh*t to me? Not the Newtek I have known....

Yes, it is "designed from the ground up", based on our existing technologies, as the very next sentence makes clear - "Drawing on NewTek's award-winning video and graphic production technologies..." And we're going to have a number of other products based on our new core technologies and similarly designed for specific applications.

Chuck
05-23-2003, 09:29 AM
Originally posted by robewil
Why don't we spin it the other way?

"Genesis gives broadcast power to your church"

I guess it all depends on your point of view.

That's actually what the product will do, and what the press release clearly says. :)

Chris S. (Fez)
05-23-2003, 09:53 AM
The Genesis press release passed by me like a Tampon ad. Though I appreciate the need and the market for Tampons, the product simply does not apply to me (as I am post-Menopausal).

Just don't curb it at Christianity. I am thinking Voodoo Lightwave Edition with "cow sacrifice" scene files and Hypervoxel bloodletting presets. The dongle code can double as "lucky numbers."

pauland
05-23-2003, 09:55 AM
LOL!

robewil
05-23-2003, 10:37 AM
Originally posted by JReble
If Newtek had simply packaged this as an expansion pack for the T3 or even a "T3 genesis edition" there would be none of this.
But this would link Genesis to the VT[3] which is what I believe most of the objections here are really about.

Newtek is correct in giving this product its own name.

pauland
05-23-2003, 10:49 AM
Originally posted by robewil
But this would link Genesis to the VT[3] which is what I believe most of the objections here are really about.
I think most objections are that it's a distinct product not part of a family, VT[3] or otherwise.

robewil
05-23-2003, 10:56 AM
I don't think so. Most of the objections I've seen relate to fear of perception that video professionals will think less of the VT[3] because of it's association with a product for non-broadcast use.

Chuck
05-23-2003, 10:56 AM
Originally posted by banshee
Bottom line is religion (and politics) is just a very delicate subject which should be handled with care. As I stated in the beginning (before this thread exploded), I just feel a little more "taste and discretion" could have been used in marketing this product. I checked it out with eagerness (having a vested interest in what the company I have invested in has to offer) but then I was made to feel like I need to "repent now or burn in hell for my sins".

Just curious, did you become aware of Genesis via the PR, or while browsing the site, or via the forum thread?

As for your emotional reaction, the text of the PR and of the web page say nothing beyond "if you are doing media ministry, you will find this product easy to use and powerful enough to meet your production needs." Is it the text or the images that you feel contributed most to your reaction? If images, is it perhaps the case that any images with devotional content are going to cause this reaction? Do you feel that in order to avoid offending people who find religion offensive, we should market the product without using the type of graphics that would actually be used, and without discussing the market that the product is intended for? Or that we should market it without anyone finding out NewTek is the creator of the product?


A successful failure in terms of marketing IMHO (the graphics, not the targeted market).

The graphics were supplied by a professional television graphics artist who also creates graphics for his church. What would you recommend as graphics?



Please, by all means Newtek, look for new opportunities and monies in various markets. Just so long as the profits mainly go towards product developement of your staple/core products.

The core products are being engineered in such a manner that designing vertical market entries requires minimal effort, so indeed the overwhelming majority of development investment contributes to the core.

Chuck
05-23-2003, 11:20 AM
Originally posted by jin choung
i think the biggest MISTAKE was publicizing it in such a general way to the industry at large and the general newtek community. c'mon newtek! it's always been an issue but you guys need to get some marketing people with their heads screwed on straight.

it is a niche product and would probably have been accepted better if it was targeted at that niche. slip in brochures in the religion trade mags?

Us marketing monkeys like to think our heads are screwed on straight, but then what would we know? :)

As for the publicizing, it's a bit less general than you imagine. Actually, from a couple of remarks of others on the thread, I pick up that some folks seem to think there's been a huge marketing blitz, rather than one press release and a brief added page on the web site. The PR was in fact transmitted to a much smaller list than we normally send our PRs to. I cut a lot of publications and sites off our usual list, but did leave some general video publications, and some of them, including Digital Producer, found it newsworthy, which we appreciate. After all, members of the target market do read general publications and sites as well, and general publications do report on vertical offerings for pretty much every vertical segment.


it may be a shrewd move though... but it may belie a change to a smaller, leaner company that pursues more niche markets.

We're planning a growing company that has terrific flagship products and also pursues a number of lucrative vertical markets.


it may not suit the tastes of many but hey, if it enables them to keep going and make a living, more power to them.

The good wishes are much appreciated!

Thanks, Jin!

Lightwolf
05-23-2003, 11:20 AM
Originally posted by robewil
I don't think so. Most of the objections I've seen relate to fear of perception that video professionals will think less of the VT[3] because of it's association with a product for non-broadcast use.
Well, I'd even top this statement a little:
I have the fear that media professionals will think less of the VT3, Lightwave, and in the end me, because of the association with a product for non 'pro' use.
Besides the point that the target audience is churches, and that broadcast graphics style in the US differs a lot from Europe, a product displayed so primently with such (imho) garish style (although probably suited for the target audience...) is just something I don't want to spoil the NT brand.
The immediate association I had when I saw the product was "cheap and awful" (-style).
This might be elitist, but I associate those kinds of graphics with another level of production that I don't want to move in.
LW (and NT) just made it out of the semi-professional market over here and have started to get some attention, I'm afraid this product will ruin a lot of that.
I just hope that Franck doesn't put it on NT Europe! ...or at least not as prominently :)
So, my basic point is style, not religion.

jin choung
05-23-2003, 11:35 AM
d'oh!

sorry chuck. i forgot you were marketing!

when i bad mouth broadly like that, it's aimed toward a faceless incompetent marketing mob - not you - who has come across as nothing but fully competent, involved and passionate. and of course, it completely ignores the realities of budget, etc etc.

my sincerest apologies!

but i guess my specific criticism would be in the press release.... perhaps it shouldn't have gone into circulation in the secular media at all.... after all, if you guys were targeting the porn market, you'd be pretty selective right?

and somehow, i get the impression that if it was aimed totally at religious outlets and then we somehow found out about it indirectly, we wouldn't have such a negative reaction.

i guess a broad p.r. can read like a public statement of conversion or something....

anyhoo, like i said, i don't think it's all that big a deal and the fuhror will probably die away as quick as it started....

best of luck as always.

jin

JReble
05-23-2003, 11:45 AM
Hey Chuck,

Just wanted to let you know I admire your ability to keep a pleasant take on this what with all the barbs and jabs you're takin'. :) The best thing for me to take from this is that at least Newtek is listening. Hopefully you'll find some way to make almost everybody happy and make some money at the same time. But ya had to start with religion??

Gessh.....couldn't you have taken the safe bet and started with the "Republicore" the first complete video production solution for the white, middle aged, heterosexual, upper class, republican male.

Other possible segment specific systems:

"The MonkeyHumper" for the adult video industry.

"The Video Hoopster" for basketball production.

"The Video Piledriver" for professional wrestling.

"The Video Jihad" for the up and coming terrorist video professional.

"The Magic Box" (Retails at $49.95, everything sold separately) for the typical programming executive.

"The Globecaster" for the masochistic video professional. (trademarks may be an issue with this one.)

"The Tele-Toaster" for kids programming ages 1-4.

Just think of the possibilities.

Jim Capillo
05-23-2003, 01:51 PM
Originally posted by JReble


"The MonkeyHumper"





LOL! :D :p

Geeze, we might have to bring Stu in on this to release the rights ! :D

Chuck
05-23-2003, 03:05 PM
Originally posted by jin choung
d'oh!

sorry chuck. i forgot you were marketing!

I'm trying to, myself! ;) After all, before I became a marketdroid, I worked in tech support and was actually marginally useful to society... :D


when i bad mouth broadly like that, it's aimed toward a faceless incompetent marketing mob - not you - who has come across as nothing but fully competent, involved and passionate. and of course, it completely ignores the realities of budget, etc etc.

my sincerest apologies!

Thanks for the kind words, and no apologies needed - kinda made my day in fact. :)


but i guess my specific criticism would be in the press release.... perhaps it shouldn't have gone into circulation in the secular media at all.... after all, if you guys were targeting the porn market, you'd be pretty selective right?

and somehow, i get the impression that if it was aimed totally at religious outlets and then we somehow found out about it indirectly, we wouldn't have such a negative reaction.

i guess a broad p.r. can read like a public statement of conversion or something....

anyhoo, like i said, i don't think it's all that big a deal and the fuhror will probably die away as quick as it started....

best of luck as always.

jin

Actually most of our internal discussions have involved developing a more targeted form of marketing within the print and online publications specific for the vertical market. I do suspect we'll have at least some of the announcements of the new vertical products go wider on at least the initial announcement, then market in a more focused manner from that point onward.

Chuck
05-23-2003, 04:43 PM
Originally posted by JReble
Hey Chuck,

Just wanted to let you know I admire your ability to keep a pleasant take on this what with all the barbs and jabs you're takin'. :) The best thing for me to take from this is that at least Newtek is listening. Hopefully you'll find some way to make almost everybody happy and make some money at the same time. But ya had to start with religion??

Gessh.....couldn't you have taken the safe bet and started with the "Republicore" the first complete video production solution for the white, middle aged, heterosexual, upper class, republican male.

Other possible segment specific systems:

"The MonkeyHumper" for the adult video industry.

"The Video Hoopster" for basketball production.

"The Video Piledriver" for professional wrestling.

"The Video Jihad" for the up and coming terrorist video professional.

"The Magic Box" (Retails at $49.95, everything sold separately) for the typical programming executive.

"The Globecaster" for the masochistic video professional. (trademarks may be an issue with this one.)

"The Tele-Toaster" for kids programming ages 1-4.

Just think of the possibilities.

Now there's an interesting list of possibilities! :)

jcupp
05-23-2003, 05:57 PM
Man, the reaction to the Genisis product is very, very strange. I, as a dealer, am glad to see NewTek break away from the broadcast niche market they have been pigeon holed into and try to break into the broader media ministry market.

You guys need to open the yellow pages in your city and count how many production houses there are, then count how many television stations there are. Then total up the number of churches

In the state of Indiana:
Full power broadcast Stations 30
Video Production Companies 75
Churches 5891


I'll take the church market any day - screw broadcast.

WizCraker
05-23-2003, 06:29 PM
Originally posted by jcupp
Man, the reaction to the Genisis product is very, very strange. I, as a dealer, am glad to see NewTek break away from the broadcast niche market they have been pigeon holed into and try to break into the broader media ministry market.

You guys need to open the yellow pages in your city and count how many production houses there are, then count how many television stations there are. Then total up the number of churches

In the state of Indiana:
Full power broadcast Stations 30
Video Production Companies 75
Churches 5891


I'll take the church market any day - screw broadcast.

Yeah no kidding, just imagine if all those churchs bought this product to help them show the minister on large screen to their audiences that would be $5.8 Million if my math is correct [calculator might be lieing to me] if Genesis[TM] is just a low $1000. Even if it was only $300 you would still make $1.7 M.

So Chuck How much will it be? or is pricing still in the works?

Jim Capillo
05-23-2003, 06:59 PM
Originally posted by jcupp


I'll take the church market any day - screw broadcast.

Problem is, many of those are Roman Catholic, and they don't seem to be as heavy into showing Masses as the other denominations, at least on an individual basis. Here in the Boston market, they have a couple of services on broadcast every Sunday, but it looks like they are done by the Archdiocese, not the individual Churches (insert Altar Boy joke here).

However, it does seem the market is potentially huge, and although GlobalStreams made a half-hearted effort to market to the churches, I would think Newtek still has a great chance to snatch the business away from them, especially since their (GS) product is way overpriced and overhyped (IMHO, of course .:p )

jcupp
05-23-2003, 07:18 PM
And furthermore...
Now that I've read the entire thread I think that there is a general misconception about this market.

It is not low-end, some churches have multi-million dollar budgets for media production. And churches take their media production very seriously even if they don't have huge budgets. Anyone paying sufficient attention to notice the Genesis should know that churches spend big bucks on production equipment and will have no perception that a product for churches is of sub-broadcast quality.

Much production in a church environment is done live and used to support the main message being delivered using projected text and graphics along with video closeups to provide a sense of intimacy even in very large auditoriums. Many churches do record services and provide tapes to those not able to attend. Broadcasting, while not uncommon, is not done by the typical church. Yet :)

Lots of companies make products targeted to the church market. In many cases a product that is different than their 'mainstream' model. You will see loudspeakers designed specificly for churches, Yamaha and Wurlitzer make church organs. Projection screens to meet the unique architectural challenges of churches are manufactured, I could go on but you get the idea.

NewTek's competitors get it. I just got back from working NewTek's booth at the national Inspiration Conference where NewTek unveiled the Genesis. Edirol, Apple, Globalstreams and several mfgs of hardware switchers were there all trying to customize there marketing to the media ministry. VT3 and Genesis made a good showing so NewTek is on the right path.

Also keep in mind that many of the media ministry leaders are media professionals in their Mon-Fri lives and if the NewTek product makes a good showing on Sunday it can lead to sales of NewTek product on Monday. I have seen guys buy a VT (because of it's price point) with trepidation for their church and after using it are so happy they buy one for their business. Likewise the opposite happens.

The Genesis is planned as a all-in-one turnkey video production product. The SX-8 is integrated into the computer case, a large "cube". It's based on the VT3 but with custom skins consisting of three multi-function modules. An engineering module for setup and configuration. This would include procamps, virtual bob, preferences etc. A production module with the editor etc. And a Live Module with the functionality of the Switcher, Tvision, DDRs and a simplified audio mixer.

The concept is to provide a high quality production environment with a simplified user interface so that volenteers can run it with good results and a minimum of technical knowledge and in depth training.

The Genesis is in the Alpha stage of development and I would guess that the features and configuartions etc. are subject to change.

jcupp
05-23-2003, 07:24 PM
Genesis pricing - Paul was trial ballooning $10k at the show.

Only a little over 400 Catholic churches in Indiana, thousands of protestant churches.

pauland
05-23-2003, 07:30 PM
That's two of the most informative posts so far and does explain the strong interest in the market. As far as I know no churches do this kind of thing at all in the UK. I'd suspect the same is true of the rest of Europe.

Sounds like it's literally the TV studio in a box concept.

Paul

James Moore
05-23-2003, 11:21 PM
Evangelical church's want to SPREAD THE WORD. The Genesis is a great broadcast tool (and narrow cast ---> ON THE WEB - LORDY what eViL!!) At a price point that is higher than VT doesn't sound like Toaster LITE to me ....a tempting ADDITIION to what is VT.




....tooo

much

eeebeeer!


Hi Harlan

Lightwolf
05-24-2003, 06:47 AM
Originally posted by pauland
As far as I know no churches do this kind of thing at all in the UK. I'd suspect the same is true of the rest of Europe.
Well, I can confirm that for Germany, and the surrounding states. That's why it is soooo strange.

Then again, a porn oriented toaster for the dutch (for example) market, would have the same ghastly graphics style (just look at those dating line tv ads...), and probably offend customers in the US. (it would offend me too, for the graphics :D ).
Oh, btw Chuck, porn is an even bigger market than churches, more international as well ;)
Cheers,
Mike - snickering

SplineGod
05-24-2003, 10:08 PM
Originally posted by Lightwolf
Hi y'all,
sorry for not elaborating on the "embarrassing" bit in my first post.
Let me put it this way, the "bible belt", tv shows in churches, Bill Graham and co, is something that makes me, most of my collegues and all of my customers snicker . I realize that this is a very US phenomena, and I'm not ridiculing the market, or the market potential. It just happens to be very strange from my, well, european point of view.
I work in a market where people use tools from companies like Softimage, Maya, Avid, Quantel ... All considered as being "cool" and on the edge, representing themselves that way. Genesis is something I'd expect from (sorry...) ULead, or Curious Labs (instant animated "Sermon on the Mount"... whatever...).
I know that if I mention lightwave, many of my customers check www.lightwave3d.com, besides looking at my showreel. If I mention VT3, they check that out too. Right now I can just hear them snicker already. ;)
May be should point them to www.newtek-europe.com the next time and try not to mention newtek.
Sorry for being so strongly opinionated on this, I mean no offense, but this is actually the first time during the past 10 years that I consider switching my packages (And yes, I know this sounds and is stupid, but that's the way it is. I'm surprised myself).
Cheers,
Mike - still embarassed
Thats what makes us all different cultures. Theres plenty of things Germans and other europeans do that make yanks snicker and seems strange from our point of view too. Theres things yanks do that make other yanks snicker. Ive found that its really no business of my clients what I use. If I need to have an empty Maya box to get a job then so be it. In the end Ill use whats the most cost effective solution and leave my clients to their pre and mis conceptions. :)

phareous
05-27-2003, 07:49 AM
I guess a lot of you find it strange because no churches televise in Europe but in the U.S. lots of churches do. My church was looking at a videotoaster for next year, but Genesis might just do it. Also why would anyone have the perception of this being low-end? Churches that broadcast to TV expect broadcast quality. We are in the process of buying a $16k camera and spending $20k to renovate our AV booth. Also I wouldn't say this market is new, though it is significantly growing. Our church started doing TV in 1991

Stranahan
05-27-2003, 07:57 AM
Just to back up that last post...

I had a dealer tell me in Houston, Texas that his local market of chruches - just in the 50 miles surrouding his store - was something like 600 churches.

And nobody WANTS their video to look low end - it's just a matter of budget and training. Genesis, because of the ease of use and bundled content and training materials will let people create good looking video, easily.

pauland
05-27-2003, 08:02 AM
Originally posted by phareous
why would anyone have the perception of this being low-end?
Well, here in the UK I associate churches and video with wedding videos - hence low end and tacky. As a result my initial thoughts are transferred to genesys, even though it's not low end. You wouldn't want too many others to have the same impression as I do, whether it's justified or not. I Still thing Genesis as a stand alone product is a mistake and it should have been VT3: Genesis pack or something.

Because of my UK based church and video association, I'm also thinking 'Elvis'. I can see Elvis impersonators everywhere with Newtek logos on! ;-)

As I said before, as far as I know there is no church broadcasting in these here parts...

Paul

Lightwolf
05-27-2003, 08:15 AM
Originally posted by pauland
Well, here in the UK I associate churches and video with wedding videos - hence low end and tacky. As a result my initial thoughts are transferred to genesys, even though it's not low end. You wouldn't want too many others to have the same impression as I do, whether it's justified or not.
Which pretty much sums up my impression of the product, and my negative feelings toward the product.
I'd prefer it to be an add-on as well. Imho this really hurts the NT brand.
As for low end and tacky, well, it is, but at least it's uncompressed low end and tacky! ;)
(Can I get 10 bit HD uncompressed low end and tacky as well please ? ;) )
Cheers,
Mike

Stranahan
05-27-2003, 08:20 AM
I think you guys just really don't get the market here. No reason you would - I live here and I didn't get it until a couple of years ago. It's huge though.

Won't hurt the brand - because it's a seperate brand. It seems like an 'add on pack' would hurt the brand more...since it directly associates. Really, I think you're saying you don't see the need - but there's a need.

There's more cool stuff coming. This is a cool product, too - just not a cool product for the market you're in.

Lightwolf
05-27-2003, 08:39 AM
Hi Lee (If I may call you Lee...),
no offense here, but I think we get the market, and we don't have any problems with covering it.
It just looks like some people (including me) feel that this product weakens the NT brand.
We have LW here, which tries to maintain a stay as a top 3D player, we have VT[3] which is branded as a top notch uncompressed studio-in-a-box solution, and a new product serving a niche market that seems to stand out for its (gee, I love that word :D ) tacky presentation.
If the other spin-off products target wedding videos, cheesy home videos and so on, then I agree with you. Genesis would not hurt the NT brand (but LW and VT3 would ;) ).
Genesis directly associates with NT, as an add-on it would only associate with a product of NT, not hurting the NT brand as much.
my 2 cents,
Mike

Stranahan
05-27-2003, 08:51 AM
I think I see the difference here..

I don't think church video production is tacky. In fact, the big media ministries here - Robert Schuller, Creflo Dollar and so on - have great production values all the way around.

Here's the way I break it down..

LightWave - one of the world's top 3D products

VT-3 - amazing general purpose software powered video studio

Genesis - the world's first video production product for churches, that brings broadcast quality and ease of use to thousands of users

Lightwolf
05-27-2003, 09:03 AM
Hi Lee,

Originally posted by Stranahan
I think I see the difference here..
Phew... I'm glad we attempt to speak the same language ;)


I don't think church video production is tacky. In fact, the big media ministries here - Robert Schuller, Creflo Dollar and so on - have great production values all the way around.
The production might not be, but the end product, in this case the visuals, are (at least imho, and I'm quite sure other -potential- customers cringe too).
As I said before, this is a bit like discreet trying to sell infernos by demoing wedding videos (which, in most cases tend to have tacky visuals too).
I have nothing against that, I did wedding videos as well, and the customers like the tackiness (substitue kitsch if you prefer), at least most of them. But once you start to concentrate directly on a segment like this, it can become a brand image problem imho. I'm a long term NT customer, "I" don't have the problem, but I'm not quite sure how new customers will perceive NT.


Here's the way I break it down..
...
Genesis - the world's first video production product for churches, that brings broadcast quality and ease of use to thousands of users
I hope it includes a free DVD in screen design (sorry, couldn't resist ;) ).
We are talking about a clash of different worlds here: Movies, broadcast, industrial videography all tend to have a fairly similar visual style and "class". What I've seen of the church market I "throw" unintentionally into the hobbyist, wedding video bin.
And since I work in the former field, and try to distinguish my work and the products I use from the latter... Well, you get my point.
Cheers,
Mike

pauland
05-27-2003, 09:26 AM
Genesis - the world's first video production product for churches, that brings broadcast quality and ease of use to thousands of users
As Mike says, I think we understand there's a huge market in the U.S. and it's good that newtek is chasing it.

There appears to be no market outside the U.S. Not really a problem except that mostly outside the U.S. anything that mentions the word 'church' is not going to be seen as a professional broadcast product even though it is, simply because churches here don't spend money on stuff like that.

If you have a company selling three mainstream products A, B & C it provides a perception that all three products are substantially different in their own right and of similar calibre.

When product 'C' then (outside the U.S.) is associated with a market segment with no budget and only low-end visuals, that perception easily transfers to the company '1/3 of what they do is for low-end, is this their future?'.

On the other hand, a Company selling product A & B with customisation add-ons c, d & e for product B, it doesn't diminish product B at all because product c is an extra, marketed as B:c. We can safely regard product c negatively (unjustly, perhaps) because it's not like product B, its an addition.

It's an irony that another thread asks where is Hollywood? and points out to productions moving out of the U.S., yet this marketing strategy won't help Newtek anywhere except inside the U.S.

I've no doubt that, justified or not, Max presentations in the future will contain jokes at Newteks expense, simply because of the non U.S. downmarket perception. I can already think of a few things that could be done to really harm Newteks image at trade shows outside the U.S.

Paul

Stranahan
05-27-2003, 09:34 AM
I think you're overstating it, by a lot...

Is Genesis a low quality product?

Is it poorly engineered?

All of that would hurt...but it's not the case.

If Avid put out a church product, are you saying it would hurt XSI?

How about Sony or Panasonic?

You're just used to NewTek as a small, one or two product company. Well, get used to the new NewTek. I think you'll see them put out products for all sorts of markets. Change can be difficult at the time - but this is all, 100% a non-issue. You'll see.

Lightwolf
05-27-2003, 09:42 AM
Originally posted by Stranahan
If Avid put out a church product, are you saying it would hurt XSI?
That depends a lot on the presentation of the product. If the presentation was as stylish as the other Avid products, and yould be one of many, no probs.
But, again, if Avid would promote DS with wedding videos, then yes, that would hurt XSI as well.
Cheers,
Mike

pauland
05-27-2003, 09:46 AM
Originally posted by Stranahan
I think you're overstating it, by a lot...
Maybe, but it makes for an interesting discussion.


Is Genesis a low quality product?

Is it poorly engineered?

All of that would hurt...but it's not the case.
None of that matters, it could come in a gold plated box but people's associations in the UK at least will be church-wedding video-low end, regardless of merit.


If Avid put out a church product, are you saying it would hurt XSI?

How about Sony or Panasonic?
I think Newteks brand image is rather more fragile than those companies and I'm rather worried that you are happy to compare the Newtek and Sony brand image as similar.


You're just used to NewTek as a small, one or two product company.
Not at all. I and Mike have both praised Newtek for chasing this market, only questioning the way it's been done.



Well, get used to the new NewTek. I think you'll see them put out products for all sorts of markets. Change can be difficult at the time - but this is all, 100% a non-issue. You'll see.
Good, we'll look forward to that.

Paul

Stranahan
05-27-2003, 09:47 AM
Well, I agree...

And nowhere that I've seen has Genesis been presented as anything more or less than what it is - a high end, high quality video product designed for a large market with specific needs.

JReble
05-27-2003, 11:38 AM
I really, really, really hope the actual staff in marketing at Newtek are not working on some of the ridiculous assumptions being thrown around here. Church video production exists for two main reasons, improved presentation during services, and to make videos to send to the masses.

The improved presentation during services is a step up from little Johnny's camcorder so any improvements are greatly coveted in that area. The videos to send out are another matter. I've seen hundreds of these and almost all are of poor production quality regardless of the tools used. These videos are created to bring that church's message out the the world and ask for donations/attendance with the express intent to generate more revenue. Most of the organizations that do this use Public Access or local origination to transmit to viewers, and production quality is far from their first concern. That's why these television outlets are clogged with that programming. It's cheap, easy to produce, and often generates revenue for the church.

That's all fine, but to start making conclusions about the high quality productions of worship videos, or to start counting up the number of churches in a given area and figuring them as potential users is a fool's errand. It sounds just like something Play and Globalstreams have done to puff up their failing images. Unfortunately, as hard as it may be to believe, only a fraction of churches are the big halls with glitsy presentations or production equipment. Most are small neighborhood congregations in little wooden buildings that dot the landscape.

Sure there are lots of Churches in anytown USA. There's one every 3 blocks, but that does not make them a video producer. The vast majority of these Churches in the statistics used to justify this market are hardly now or likely to ever be in the business of in-house video production. You can start getting realistic by taking the number of churches in an area and dividing by at least 4. Then you MAY have a somewhat credible number of likely users. Then all you have to do is get that fraction to buy while convincing them that they need a "Broadcast Quality" piece of equipment rather than the Emerson camcorder they've been using to produce VHS tapes that the Public Access Channel has been fine with all this time. Then you also have to convince the rest of the Newtek customers from the production world that you're a high end manufacturer and that's why you targeted this segment whose primary outlet is Public Access.

meshmaster
05-27-2003, 11:46 AM
at first when I read this thread I thought you all were talking about http://www.genesis3d.com/ until I clicked on the Products link up top... wonder if anybody else will think similarly since Newtek makes Lightwave, which is a 3d product?

Stranahan
05-27-2003, 11:50 AM
NewTek has experience in this market, and they have done research. Our feedback has been good so far. Nobody's unrealistic.

Of course not all 600 or whatever churches are going to be customers. Different relgions have different structures, and some churches don't have 'independent' buying power. I only brought up that fact because a couple of people from Europe don't really get the way the market is here.

The current generally poor quality of much of this production is EXACTLY what this product is aimed at fixing. NewTek, through the Genesis product, is going to help take productions that currently don't look that great and make them look much better. The product will allow anyone to make great looking, professional quality graphics. It provides integrated, high quality switching. It even includes training to help make this all happen, and that training will even explain how lighting and set design are key elements.

The sky isn't falling. You're just over-reacting. NewTek will have a cool new product that is right in line with their goal of providing great, affordable, professional quality tools to help people make great video. It's not an unprofessional product, in any way shape or form - it's a professional product designed for a specific market.

ted
05-27-2003, 12:04 PM
After all, wasn't Tim's dream to help bring "affordable quality video tools to the masses".
Well now he's literally bringing "Affordable Quality Video Tools to Mass!:D

JReble
05-27-2003, 12:19 PM
Well at least change the name to The Genesis Device so it can convert a lifeless sermon into living breathing video production capable of supporting whatever viewers we see fit to deposit in front of it.

Just make damn sure you don't use proto-matter in the construction or it will be denounced as dangerously unstable by every ethical video producer in the galaxy.

jcupp
05-27-2003, 02:46 PM
I've been selling various NewTek products into the video ministry market for more than a decade and it's an un-founded slur to call the typical church production "tacky". Have you actually seen a modern production done by a large American church? It's not really fair comparing production values from a church with 100 members and an equipment budget of $300 with the BBC.

The goal of most of my customers is three fold. One is to pre-produce segments to be played during the service to support the message or to show the congregation the various outside ministries etc. that the church is involved in. Second is to provide on screen text of song lyrics and bible passages as they are used in the service. And third is to create recordings of the services to be sent to shut-ins or to be broadcast or netcast. In all these cases high production values are desirable.

One of the goals of the Genesis is to provide high quality (non-tacky) content to the church, to make it easier for them to produce slick productions with under or un-payed staff who may be novices. So, how better serving one (very large) market with a targeted product, designed to increase production value would negatively effect perceptions of a completley different product on some other continent is beyond me. I think the underlying emotion here is that religious productions are just not cool enough. What is cool is that NewTek brings the power of mass communication to the people, all people.

Lightwolf
05-28-2003, 03:51 AM
Originally posted by jcupp
I've been selling various NewTek products into the video ministry market for more than a decade and it's an un-founded slur to call the typical church production "tacky". Have you actually seen a modern production done by a large American church? It's not really fair comparing production values from a church with 100 members and an equipment budget of $300 with the BBC.
Of course it isn't. Then again, I would rather advertise my product with a BBC production than with a 300$ low budget production (unless the production really is exceptional).
What I've seen so far of the ministry market (and this might be a misconception) reminds me of the amateur or wedding videographer section. And I just cringe at the fact that NT seems to identify with this market segment to that extent. I would rather have them identify with higher end markets, but then again, I might have misconceived that VT3 from the beginning.
Cheers,
Mike

Lightwolf
05-28-2003, 04:05 AM
Hi Jeff,

Originally posted by jcupp
One of the goals of the Genesis is to provide high quality (non-tacky) content to the church, to make it easier for them to produce slick productions with under or un-payed staff who may be novices.
I think I wasn't too clear on that.
tacky != low budget
slick != heigh budget, uncompressed whatever.
I've seen some expensive and extremely tacky stuff, as well as loads of low budget, but stylish productions.

I think the underlying emotion here is that religious productions are just not cool enough. What is cool is that NewTek brings the power of mass communication to the people, all people.
You're right, the productions aren't cool. That is not because of the market being uncool, but I assume because of the unskilled operating personel.
Power to the masses is a nice concept, and I think it is great, however, that doesn't mean you have to publish all the rubbish the masses produce, and definetely not advertise with it. ;)
Just look at the Corel Draw vs. Illustrator/Freehand argument. Corel Draw is being perceived as an amateurish piece of software, even though it is technologically and feature wise far ahead of the competitors. You wouldn't catch a graphic artists dead using it though, because Corel Draw was dumped at a mass market, resulting in tons of bad illustrations.
Turning back to NT. Maya for example is not that much better than LW, but since most Maya users tend to be professionals that produce "slick" images, Maya is perceived as being more of a pro tool. I'm glad that the LW gallery as well as the community reports hold such a high standard for the app.
I'd like to see that with other NT products too.
For me this is not a question of markets, but of, well... style.
Cheers,
Mike

jcupp
05-28-2003, 09:05 AM
Originally posted by Lightwolf

You're right, the productions aren't cool. That is not because of the market being uncool, but I assume because of the unskilled operating personel.



But I think you are missing my point that many churches do create high quality, non-tacky productions that perform their intended functions within the budget restraints of those churches and that access to tools like the VT3 and/or Genesis will only feed this trend.

Switching a three camera shoot of a church service isn't rocket science and since the average American has watched thousands of hours of TV and is an expert on what it should look like NewTek just needs to make tools that are easy enough to use , from a technical stand point, that the operators can concentrate on aesthetics.

I think you are also missing the whole point of the new product being "Genesis" not "VT3 Genesis pack" or even just VT3. It is a separate product for a target market so that it won't effect the 'suits' perceptions of the VT3. It's done all the time; Panasonic make cheap consumer camcorders, decent prosumer equipment and high-end HD studio rigs. Kodak makes several crappy film formats for consumers and the finest motion picture film. Yamaha makes a grand piano to rival Steinway and motorcycles. Gallo sells both cheap jug and quality vintage wines. I don't think that the addition of a high quality production tool for churches, even if it is used to make tacky video, will effect the market for VT3 in a negitive way. Sony still seems to be able to sell DigiBeta stuff even though an army of Digital8 camcorders are out there making the tackyest video imaginable. Apple is doing pretty good with FC Pro inspite of iMovie. Avid Symponies aren't being tossed because of Avid DV Express so I don't see what the problem is.

Lightwolf
05-28-2003, 09:23 AM
Hi Jeff,

But I think you are missing my point that many churches do create high quality, non-tacky productions ...
Well, if you say so... I haven't seen them yet, may be they should be used for advertising then...

As far as the product diversification is concerned, there is a difference between your examples and NT.
Kodak has a pro department, that is clearly separated from the rest of the company, the same goes for Sony, Panasonic, Yamaha... Apple being the exception here.
You wanna buy a cheap car by Daimler-Chrysler? Get a Chrysler or a Smart. You want a high quality car? Get a Mercedes or a Maybach. Same company, entirely different brands with different images. This only works for large companies, and I don't really see NT spliting up into units.
Even if the product justify as an add-on, that is what it is, it is more of an OEM based on the VT3, than a new product. Aura Clay isn't a new product either, even though it covers a different market. The same goes for LW Express.
Cheers,
Mike

Stranahan
05-28-2003, 09:29 AM
I don't know why you think it only works for large companies. You just see it more with large companies, since they are...ya know....large.

NewTek isn't two guys working out of a garage in Kansas. It's not a multinational conglomorate, but it's certainly big enough to have multiple products in multiple markets. And hey look - it does!

Lightwolf
05-28-2003, 09:40 AM
Hi Lee,
NT is one company with two products and a spin-off. Currently they cover a bunch of markets, mostly media pros, a bit of hobbyist, semi-pros and a niche Church market.
The problem is not about size, but about brands. A large company has less problems diversifying than a small one has. Just look at some of the fuss and arguments about this product, people worrying that LW will now lack because of development ressources (I wouldn't, I'd rather worry about VT3).
It is extremely hard for a small company like NT to pull that kind of stunt, especially with a dedicated community.
Anyhow, whatever happened to that VT3 OEM thang? Is it a GameTek? That's imo where the product belongs. (OEM, not GameTek) :D
Cheers,
Mike

jcupp
05-28-2003, 05:44 PM
Ok, I just re-read this entire thread and to summerize the various 'anti-Genesis' viewpoints:

1) If NewTek sells a product for what I perceive as a non-professional niche and I use some other NewTek product I will be perceived as un-professional by my clients. Most of the 'anti' posts were some variant of this.

2) I am afraid of religion (A couple of people remarked about how "scary" the Genesis was :) )

Here is my take.

The church market in the U.S. is huge, I found a company that will sell me a mailing list with almost 400,000 U.S. churches on it. Much larger than ANY other potential market for VT technology.

It's a market where they are ready to buy now. Corporations are cash strapped while churches are awash in money. Those large stadium style churches you see in NewTek's materials are everywhere. My small city (pop 40,000 + 30,000 students) has a dozen or more of them.

Most protestant churches in the United States use some form of media technology during services. Media technology ranges from a microphone to multimedia laser light shows and pyrotechnics. What I find strange is that churches in Europe do not make use of technology more. Maybe that's why attendance is much higher here.

Religious media production is as professional as corporate media production. My church customers have as much if not more technology than my typical corporate customer and are as concerned with quality. Sometimes the people are amatures but the goals are not amaturish.

The United States is different than Europe. Recent polls indicate that 44% of Americans attend church in any given week. In contrast the figure for Germany is 14%. So perceptions about this market are going to be a little different. This statistic also means that almost half of the potential clients who walk through my door are church goers who are not going to be put off by a Genesis type product. In fact if the Genesis makes inroads into those 400,000 churches it could actually drive business from other markets into my dealership.

Lightwave is and always will be a niche product while something like Genesis has the potential to be NewTek's breakout product because of the size of the market and the lack of serious competition. I mean who else has an eight input componant switcher that can be had for $7000. Grass Valley doesn't, Thomson broadcast certainly doesn't. Sony? Nope. Panasonic? Uh Uh. Global Streams? Give me a break it'd cost $60,000. Heck the most common switcher I replace is an Amiga Toaster!

So while I have a few quibbles with the Genesis (remember I have actually played with one) the general concept has it's merits.

Aegis
05-28-2003, 06:27 PM
Lightwave is and always will be a niche product

In what sense? That it's a 3D application? I'm still of the opinion that the 'Toaster (and it's derivatives) are the real niche product - the Video Toaster has been (and seemingly remains) a U.S. phenomenon whereas LightWave is NewTek's truly global product (heck, we've got users in Macedonia eager to learn it!).

Incidentally I'd be curious to know the ratio of Toaster to LightWave users (I fall into both camps...) :)

jcupp
05-28-2003, 09:13 PM
Well let's see there are 400,000 churches who are potential VT or VT like product customers, tens of thousands of event videographers, more than 1700 broadcast TV stations, thousands of cable companies, hundreds of TV networks and sat. and cable channels, hundreds of thousands of schools, corporate facilities, sports arenas, production companies, funeral homes. I could go on and this is just in the US. Theres are millions of potential video edit and switcher customers in the world. Some of these potential customers (market) for VT might also be a market for LW but because of the amount of time required to master LW the typical video guy, be he at a church or a fortune 500 company, is less likely to be creating 3D animations from scratch than he is editing or switching video, this is only common sense.

Lightwave is a great product but I think the market is nearly saturated with schools being the remaining un-tapped potential. LW is a niche product for animators while VT is in a broader market of video communicators. I've sold hundreds of Toasters but only dozens of copies of Lightwave Standalone over 12 years in the business. Only NewTek knows overall sales figures so I can only speak from my personal experience. And as far as market penetration outside the US and Canada LW has had more than a little headstart and from the sounds of complaints on this and other boards the various European distributors of the VT suck which may be hindering the role out.

JReble
05-29-2003, 09:51 AM
Here we go again.

"Well let's see there are 400,000 churches who are potential VT or VT like product customers"

Ok so let's say there are 400,000 or more churches in the country. Now you're gonna tell me that all of them are potential VT or Genesis product customers huh. :rolleyes: Gheesh. Maybe a small fraction of them are into the fancy video and presentation stuff. I know those kind do tend to stand out in the community because of the facilities and budgets they wield, but the vast majority of churches are not like that and thankfully have no intention of going that way.

"Lightwave is and always will be a niche product while something like Genesis has the potential to be NewTek's breakout product because of the size of the market and the lack of serious competition. I mean who else has an eight input componant switcher that can be had for $7000."

So great, Newtek will have a super new breakout product in the Genesis because it is the only 8 input component switcher that can be had for under $7,000. Oh wait, the T2-3 was also a component switcher for under $7,000. So I then should perceive that the T2-3 should fall by the wayside because it won't serve the unique production needs of the religious groups like the Genesis will in its breaklout debut. What did that mean again for the rest of us video producers out here that apparently have different needs than the religious video producers? Does that mean that certain new features or functionality are to be developed only for that religious use market because their production equipment needs are different that anyone else in the production industry?

Yes, you're right, that's not what you said. It is however, the perception being created in the marketplace. That somehow one segment of the video production world has special needs unique to them so that's what Newtek is gonna focus on. The truth is that everyone needs as many tools as possible to work with and customers need to feel they are getting a well rounded tool from a company that makes equipment for video production. Not a company that makes equipment for religious video production, oh and the rest of us. The specialized graphics, fonts, etc. is another matter that has nothing to do with the equipment. If Newtek has to package it as a new piece of equipment, then customer have no choice but to add 2 and 2. Thus the larger perception is created regardless what a minority, or the large specialized group of users, happens to think about it.

And besides, I don't see how this is a well rounded tool for religious production. I did not see one graphic or font for the Wiccans or the Druids.

mattclary
05-29-2003, 11:48 AM
It's a sad state of affairs when churches are seen as scary. I'm not religious, haven't been to a church (other than the occasional wedding) since early 1987, but it definitely doesn't freak me out because someone is developeing a product geared to churches. You guys are truly pathetic.

I chalk this attitude up to Hollywood. Ever notice in movies and TV that if someone is portrayed as having any discernable Christian tendencies they are portrayed as a freaky right-wing nut or just a plain loony? The exception is if the person is "of color". If a non-white person is portrayed as Christian, they are shown as a beatific, very wholesome person. :rolleyes:

pauland
05-29-2003, 11:53 AM
Originally posted by mattclary
It's a sad state of affairs when churches are seen as scary.
Nobody's said they are scary.


I'm not religious, haven't been to a church (other than the occasional wedding) since early 1987, but it definitely doesn't freak me out because someone is developeing a product geared to churches.
Nobody's freaked out.


You guys are truly pathetic.
Thank you so much.

You've just missed the point altogether.

Rei
05-29-2003, 11:58 AM
Me too (lack of buddhist temples, unsurprisingly).

I think its a good sign that NT are still willing to do quite bold jumps in todays markets. I hope they do well. Also UK % of ppl going to church is around 1-5%!

mattclary
05-29-2003, 12:19 PM
Learn to read pauland.


Originally posted by Red_Oddity
Brrrr....scary, for some reason...

mattclary
05-29-2003, 12:20 PM
Scary AND embarassing. What the f*ck? :rolleyes:


Originally posted by Lightwolf
A very bizarre segment, I agree ...

Actually, kind of embarassing, now I can't tell my customer anymore what I work with.
Oh, isn't Lit(!)eWave by that weird company called NewTek, you know, the religious one? You work with that?
...hmm...

jcupp
05-29-2003, 11:42 PM
Originally posted by JReble
Here we go again.

Maybe a small fraction of them are into the fancy video and presentation stuff. I know those kind do tend to stand out in the community because of the facilities and budgets they wield, but the vast majority of churches are not like that and thankfully have no intention of going that way.


Even the small 'country & western' church (I kid you not, the preacher could be one of Elvis' sidemen) my dad goes to uses multimedia projections in their services. So I think you are mistaken about only a small fraction are "into" this stuff. According to my research over 65,000 churches currently have an official "Video Ministry" and almost 8000 have a broadcast ministries. This does not include the many thousands of churches that just casually record services for shut ins etc or use video projection during services.

And let me explain again what the Genesis is (as it was shown at the Inspiration convention). Remember this is a product in the Alpha stage of development. A turnkey video production system based on VT3 technology in a large cube case with an integrated SX-8 and bundled with an assortment of church-centric content. The software consists of 3 main modules: a live switching module, an editing module and an engineering module. The skins are designed to hide un-necessary complication from the user with all the preference, input assigning and proc-amp funtions grouped in the engineering module. The machine was based on a Supermicro dual Xeon mainboard with a SCSI video array.

The point of this configuration is to make it easy for non-technical types to perform switching or editing funtions without being able to mess with any technical setting or configurations either in Windows or the Genesis software itself. It should be self-evident why this is a good feature for any church without a paid technical staff. This same configuration, with a change of targeted content, could also be a good fit in several other markets like schools or public access TV. I do not understand the resistance to this, I, as a dealer have been building systems configured for markets like these for a dozen years what's the big deal about NewTek doing the heavy lifting for me. Not everyone needs "as many tools as possible" some people need reduced tools sets to make things easier to do, quicker to learn or more difficult to screw up.

NewTek, as I see it, wants to provide customized tools for various disparent target markets in addition to generalized production tools for the video professional.

Stranahan
05-29-2003, 11:46 PM
Great points, Jeff...

Let me also add - the idea was to create a product that a person who has been tasked with buying a video system for their church (and usually this is a sort of assigned position, from the church board) could look at and say 'Hey, this is exactly what I need - a system designed for churchs'. This is a way to cut buyer resistance...

Rest assured, though - that same thought is going into develoing other products for other markets.

phareous
05-30-2003, 07:14 AM
As a church ministry person I am interested in seeing how much the Genesis costs. I was looking at VT systems and for decent ones they seem to run near $10k. If Genesis comes all together and is a lot cheaper, it would be a good fit. I say that because as a technical person I know I'd be giving up some control and custimization I would be getting in VT, so the cost difference would need to make that worthwhile.

Stranahan
05-30-2003, 07:41 AM
It's not going to be less expensive. It's designed to be a complete solution for a good price, but not to be a low budget solution. Compared to other alternatives, though, it's a real bargain.

You're not really giving up much you'd be using for production, and you're gaining a lot in terms of content, training and integration.

ted
05-30-2003, 10:04 AM
Originally posted by phareous
As a church ministry person I am interested in seeing how much the Genesis costs. I was looking at VT systems and for decent ones they seem to run near $10k.

I would say $10K would be close to the price, but depending on how complicated any edit projects are for real time playback, and how much drive space you need, i.e. do you want to keep everything, or dump everything after each week, your cost could be closer to $15K including a proper computer setup that you wouldn't want to dump in a year.