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August 25, 2016

What Does Video Cost Per Minute?

What does video cost per minute?

Unfortunately, this question is one we are often asked and it just isn’t easy to answer. Why? Because it’s really no different than asking, “How much does a car cost per pound?“ or “How much does a hair cut cost per hair?” A pound of Rolls Royce undoubtedly costs more than a pound of Hyundai. And while each head of hair certainly varies in follicle count, a haircut from celebrity hairstylist Ted Gibson (TLC’s What Not to Wear) reportedly costs $1,200 while haircuts at Supercuts start at $14.95.

Depending upon where you shop, you can spend the same amount of money and get entirely different products. McDonald’s for example has a dollar menu but that dollar won’t get you very far with the chef’s choice menu at Masa in NYC estimated at a $400 (per person) minimum.

One share of Apple costs more than one share of Yahoo. And that’s a great place to start. Let’s think of this in terms of investments, because let’s face it – that’s what video is for your business – an investment. When you buy stock you tell your broker how much money you want to invest – and your broker advises what to buy for that amount.

In the very same way – sharing your video budget allows us to scope your project at a level of investment you are comfortable spending. In short we can recommend an approach within your budget.

Don’t think sharing your budget gives away your competitive edge in getting the biggest bang for your buck. In fact, the opposite is true! By sharing your budget – you’ll be able to compare apples to apples in the quotes provided by video vendors. We recommend comparing the number of shoot days, size of crew, type of camera, location or studio, graphics or animation, script writing, pre-production, number of edit days, subtitles, closed captioning – but a single minute of video? That doesn’t translate to a valid cost comparison, because video isn’t priced by the minute. It’s priced by everything that goes into that minute of video.

So instead ask, “I need a video and my budget is XYZ, what do you recommend?” and be ready to have your question answered with another question. The right partner will ask about your goals for communications, who you want to reach, what your message is. Only then, with your goals and available budget in mind will we be able to put together a realistic plan. We might recommend a single 2D animation with voice over, we might recommend a monthly video series. It all depends on your goals and what you have to spend.

And that’s the answer.