Video Production Retainers: Pros and Cons

Written by Adam Hayes

Approx reading time:

Last updated on 30th June 2023

As the saying goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” 

This is especially true in the world of video production. 

While it’s possible to make a video here and there, real success comes from consistently producing high quality content. 

And true consistency is about having the skills you need, available to call on, month after month: writers, illustrators, animators, videographers and video editors.

But building an internal production team – and setting up all the associated processes – can be difficult and time-consuming: taking you away from your main focus, running and growing your business.

That’s where video production retainers come in. 

In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of video production retainers and discover whether they’re the right option for you!

The importance (and challenge) of video consistency

As the world becomes increasingly digital, video has become one of the most important and effective ways for businesses to communicate with their customers and teams. 

From product demos and explainer videos to social media content and internal training videos, video production has become a critical component of many businesses’ marketing and communications strategies.

However, producing high-quality video content on a consistent basis can be a challenge. 

Not only does it require a significant investment of time and resources, but it also requires a high level of specialist skill and expertise. 

What is a video retainer?

Video production retainers are a creative partnership agreement between a client and a video production company to provide a set amount of work each month for a fixed fee. 

What is a video production retainer?

This gives the client a consistent source of video content without having to go through the hassle of finding and vetting a new production company (or team of freelancers) for each project.

Retainers can be an excellent solution for companies that have ongoing video needs but, frankly, don’t want to commit to hiring people on a permanent basis or integrating video production into their own team.

For example, a company that produces a lot of social media content may find it more cost-effective to work with a production company on a retainer basis rather than paying for each individual project. 

Similarly, a company that wants to produce a range of demo videos to demonstrate key software features, may find it more efficient to have a retainer in place to ensure consistent quality and messaging across all videos.

Video retainers: the benefits

One of the biggest benefits of a retainer is the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have a team of professionals on call whenever you need them, often with priority treatment.

This can be especially valuable for companies that have strict deadlines or need to produce videos on short notice. 

With a retainer in place, the production process can be streamlined, and the client can be sure that all videos will have a consistent look and feel. 

This actually improves over time as the video company gets a better feel for your brand and requirements – shortening feedback loops and reducing revision rounds to make the whole process increasingly smooth and efficient.

Another advantage of a retainer is that it can help businesses to better manage their budgets. With a fixed fee for a set amount of work, clients can plan and budget for video production expenses more effectively. 

Retainers are particularly useful for smaller businesses that don’t have the resources to hire a full-time video production crew

Video retainers: the drawbacks

However, there are also some potential downsides to video retainers. 

For one, they can be expensive. Depending on the scope of the work, a retainer can cost thousands of dollars per month. 

Additionally, clients may end up paying for work they don’t actually need. For example, if a client has a sudden decrease in video needs, they may still be required to pay for the same amount of work each month.

You’re, by definition, committing to a fixed amount of video – if those needs change, you might find yourself in a difficult situation of either paying for content you don’t need, or actually paying for nothing. 

If you choose the wrong partner you might face communication challenges – struggling to get your vision across. (Although this is the same for any video project, and actually tends to get easier when working on a retainer basis.)

Finally, there’s no denying that you do build up a level of dependence on your production partner. If anything happens to that partner, you’ll feel the impact.

Video retainers pros and cons

Is a video production retainer the right move for you?

Before considering a retainer, buyers should think carefully about their video needs and whether a retainer is the best solution. 

It’s important to have something of a video content strategy: a clear idea of the type and amount of video content needed each month, as well as a realistic budget for production. 

You also need to research potential production partners carefully to make sure they have the skills and experience to produce high-quality videos at the scale you need.

Choosing a partner

When it comes to choosing a retainer partner, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First and foremost, you’ll want to find a company that has a track record of producing top-notch videos. 

Take a peek at their portfolio and client testimonials to make sure they’re up to the job.

Another crucial factor is communication. Working with a production company on a retainer basis means you’ll be collaborating closely, so you’ll want to choose a partner that’s responsive, transparent, and easy to work with. 

And hey, it’s always a plus if they assign a dedicated video project manager to your account to keep things on track.

Of course, it’s also important to consider the production company’s capabilities. 

Do they specialise in certain types of videos, or can they handle a wide range of content?

You’ll want to find a partner with a diverse skill set that can tackle any video project you throw their way.

Last but not least, pricing and turnaround times are key considerations when choosing a retainer partner. Look for a company with clear and transparent pricing, and fixed rates for each type of video. This way, you can budget effectively and avoid any unpleasant surprises down the line. 

And don’t forget to check their turnaround times to make sure they can deliver the goods on schedule and up to standard!

Thanks for reading!

Video production retainers can be a great solution for companies that need to produce a steady stream of video content. 

By working with a production company on a retainer basis, you can access a team of experts dedicated to your brand and can help you produce high-quality videos quickly and efficiently.

While there are some potential downsides to working with a production partner on a retainer basis, such as higher costs and potential communication issues, the benefits generally outweigh the drawbacks. 

If you’re considering a video production retainer, be sure to keep in mind factors such as the company’s track record, communication style, capabilities, pricing, and turnaround times. 

And if you’re looking for a partner that can offer a full-service internal team, fixed pricing, fixed turnarounds, unlimited revisions, great communication, market-leading experience, and a diverse skill set, Wyzowl may be the perfect choice for your video production needs!

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve your video production goals!

Written by <a href="" target="_self">Adam Hayes</a>

Written by Adam Hayes

Adam is Head of Content at Wyzowl. Leading a talented, fearless team of writers, Adam's passions include video, growth marketing, brand storytelling and referring to himself in the third person.
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