Simian launches V.5 for media sharing, collabs

Industry-leading video sharing and collaboration service, Simian, has unveiled Simian 5, the latest evolution in media sharing.

Used by advertisers, agencies, media companies, production houses, post studios and music providers, this new version of Simian’s software service, launched on Oct. 19 and features over 100 updates and new features designed to help users work faster and more efficiently – that is, to work Simian Smart.

The upgrades represent the company’s most recent demonstration that its tag line is more of a creed than a slogan. “When we say that Simian is ‘Media Sharing, Evolved,’ it means we’ve never stopped improving and refining our product,” says Simian Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder, Brian Atton.

Simian 5 includes major upgrades to its core tools that users rely on when building showreels to win new assignments and when sharing work with clients and other team members for review, comment and approval. The Simian 5 user interface has been given a fresh new look as well, and features customizable themes, night mode and global notifications.

Of particular importance are the changes made to Simian’s Projects section, where clients are able to upload versions of spots or videos for review and approval. “Overall, the workflow in Projects has been enhanced, with lots of small updates that add up to more than the sum of their parts,” says Brian Atton.

The process of collaborating with clients has been simplified, with expanded review and approval functions and file status updates. Files can be easily merged or locked, and moving them between Projects and the Media Library has been streamlined.

Project’s annotation tools have been enhanced, and Simian has introduced Time-Ranged commenting for more precise feedback. In addition, files can now be watermarked with custom graphics, allowing users to protect their content and brand them with their logo at the same time.

Simian has also created a new ‘Client Upload’ feature for Projects that allows users to send out secure links permitting outside sources – everyone from clients to freelancers to additional team members – to upload to a Projects folder, quickly and easily via a browser interface. Changes have been made to its video player, too: a new feature called Aspect Ratio Mask allows users to quickly and easily view their videos in a variety of screen formats, including vertical. And users can now switch back and forth between time code or frame counts to mark their progress.

Reel Creator Upgrades

For sales reps, company owners, EPs and Managing Directors – basically anyone interested in making sure their company wins more jobs – the updates to Simian 5’s Reel Library and Reel Creator are hugely valuable. For example, in the Reel Library, where users’ sent showreels are stored, a number of improvements have been implemented to help them sharpen their ability to get the right work in front of prospects as quickly as possible.

“We’ve heard from people that instead of just looking at a list of sent reels, it would be useful to know what’s actually on those reels, so they can be quickly updated and resent,” says Kellie Atton, Simian’s Head of Sales.

“We’ve expanded on this capability, so a user can quickly browse the contents of multiple reels simultaneously, she adds. “Showreels often have similar titles and similar contents, so being able to compare them before loading into the Reel Creator is a huge time saver. We actually took this a step further, so reps can identify the reel they want and easily resend or grab a short link right from the Reel Library itself. When you get asked to send a revised or new showreel asap, this is exactly what you need – and no other video sharing service can do it.”

Also, an incredibly handy new tool called the Trim Feature has been added to the Reel Creator that allows users to just show selected segments or portions of a video or spot with no editing required.

Another upgrade was added to the Simian Dashboard that alerts users to their Most Active Reels, so they’ll know which sent reels have been getting the most activity. There’s also a new map that shows geographically where the reel activity is taking place, which lets a user know when a showreel may have been forwarded.

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A Year in Development

Simian 5 has been in the works for just over a year, according to Jay Brooks, Simian’s Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder. “We initially were aiming for a minor refresh that was going to launch early this year,” he notes, “but as 2020 began to shape up the way it has – with so many things derailed due to the pandemic – we took the opportunity for a much deeper dive and went for something that was truly epic.”

Driving this upgrade is Simian’s commitment to respond to the needs of its users, Brooks notes: “We’re always trying to stay a step ahead of what they’re looking for. Sure, we follow the market, but the key is to anticipate what people are going to need – and that’s never been more important than today. Much of what we’ve done with Simian 5 comes from identifying areas where we could improve our users’ overall experience and make their jobs easier.”

With Simian 5 aloft, the company is moving forward on an updated version of its popular Simian Project mobile app for iOS, which lets users manage their projects via their mobile device. “It never stops,” says Brian Atton about their constant tinkering. “It’s like Jay says; we’re always interested in making our users’ lives easier. That lets them focus on what they do best, which is being creative.”

To view a video that highlights these updates, go here.

SOURCE: Simian