Cost-effective production solution also multiplied the possibilities
IG is a global leader in online trading and an established member of the FTSE 250, with sales offices in 17 countries and over 136,000 clients worldwide. In addition to offering traditional stock market advice and trading information, the London office wanted to provide something extra for its clients – in the form of instant video communication.
In 2013, the London office began looking into the possibility of creating short on-demand videos for the website, utilising its internal analysts to share their knowledge in a more dynamic way.
Sara Walker, a broadcast producer, trainer and presenter, was approached to head up the new department. “We started off looking for a production solution that would allow us to create short videos with our internal analysts that would be posted on the website,” says Walker, who is now Head of TV at IG. “After some research into the equipment that would be required, we realised that we could do so much more including live broadcasts, as well as internal and corporate communications.”
The equipment, the studio, and the value of the virtual…
IG invested in a TriCaster 8000, together with three Shotoku robotic cameras and a Sony Exmor ENG camera, a fixed lighting rig and a Sonifex S2 sound desk, and Rundown Creator for scripts and rundowns.
“We chose the TriCaster 8000 for a number of reasons, but the main one was due to our location,” says Walker. “We’re in the heart of the City of London, we’re close to St Paul’s Cathedral and all these wonderful London landmarks, but we didn’t have a suitable studio space to capitalise on the views – so we decided to create a greenscreen studio instead and use virtual sets.
“This really changed everything – if we had used the live view and a fixed studio, we may have chosen a simple vision mixer, but that would have limited us in visual terms and also in how we could broadcast. With the TriCaster 8000 and a greenscreen, we have the flexibility to change the look and feel of each broadcast, plus we have multiple inputs, graphics options, and output flexibility. We can create an identical workflow to the more traditional broadcast systems, and create professional looking content for a lower cost.”
The IG team has built numerous virtual sets that can be changed at the touch of a button, and can be lit as required.
“The TriCaster deals with everything – recording, encoding, streaming, playback, as well as managing the virtual sets. It has so many different layers – we can bring in live text, we can overlay graphics onto a virtual plasma as part of a live set, we can go live to our trading floor, have a guest on GlobeLynx, play in a pre-recorded interview, live-stream to Facebook… it gives us so many options,” says Walker.
The Team: Success and Growth…
The studio went live in April 2014 and the team has grown from four to nine people in that time, demonstrating the success of the TV department. “We now have a director, four editors/technical operators, two presenters and a planning/social media manager. I used to present as well, but now I spend my time overseeing production since demand has grown,” explains Walker. “Most of my team are former broadcasting staff, so they are all experienced in making professional content. What we’ve been able to do with the TriCaster is move away from the more traditional broadcast equipment but maintain that professional, high-quality look. It’s also easy to learn – we had a graduate start a year ago who picked it up very quickly.”
Programming that builds the relationships with clients…
IG produces a daily live show at 7:30 a.m. before the markets open, and a live charting show at 10:30 a.m. These live spots are 10-15 minutes long, ensuring that only relevant and factual information is shared since ‘time is money’. There is another daily show at 4:00 p.m. that can be live or recorded for on-demand viewing, and additional videos are throughout the day such as interviews with prominent market figures or internal analysts, and educational videos in multiple languages.
“Because the studio is on-site, we can react very quickly to our customers’ needs,” says Walker. “When the markets are volatile, such as Black Monday, and following the EU referendum, we can get on air immediately to inform our clients what’s happening and how the markets are reacting.”
Interviews with external guests also deliver significant and specific value to its clients. “When we arrange an interview with a company CEO, we can go to our clients that have traded in that particular stock and ask if they have any questions that they want to put to the CEO,” says Walker. “We also ask for their feedback on what they want us to report on – for example, a client mentioned that they never see anything on soft commodities, so we did a session on it. It’s a two-way conversation with our clients.”
Producing professional video content has brought IG a valuable edge in a competitive market. “Our video content helps us underline our credibility – we know what we’re talking about, we’re on top of ever-changing situations and we have access to key experts in the market,” Walker concludes. “Having the TriCaster and the greenscreen studio gives us so many more options to provide our clients with timely, accurate and valuable information.”
IG Group has also installed TriCaster systems in several other regional offices around the world, enabling the company to bring its local teams’ expertise to a global audience in a compelling and timely way.
Learn more about Virtual Sets on TriCaster
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