A Conversation with Scott Braut, Adobe’s new Head of Content

scott_braut_portraitAdobe has hired Scott Braut as head of content to drive the company’s content strategy and operations for Creative Cloud. Scott is a well-known leader in the content space and most recently served as the vice president of content for Shutterstock. He has over 20 years of experience in content licensing, product development, eCommerce, and digital media.

This content role at Adobe is new. What will it be exactly and why did you create it?

Adobe has provided tools that support creativity and communication for over 30 years. The company recently launched Adobe Stock, the world’s first stock content service that’s both a standalone marketplace and part of its Creative Cloud service/offering. My responsibility as the head of content is to grow Adobe’s collection of photos, illustrations, videos and other creative assets, while supporting the artists who create that content. I consider it an amazing opportunity to serve the world’s largest community of content creators and consumers.

You have a lot of experience in the stock image/photo world. What do you think Adobe Stock will do for the industry and individual creatives? How can Adobe transform this industry?

At its core, stock represents creatives helping other creatives. Pre-existing content saves designers’ time and it saves them money. It enables them to quickly visualize and pitch ideas and concepts, and to combine licensed and original content into something new. For all content creators, it’s a tremendous asset and solution.

Adobe is unique because of the size of its community and because it’s the only company that offers a complete platform for creative talent, tools, collaboration, content creation and analysis. By providing creative assets directly through the Creative Cloud user experience, customers now have a seamless, fast, and easy way to license pre-existing content and incorporate it into their work.

That same community includes existing and potential contributors, who now have the ability to monetize their creative assets via access to millions of Adobe customers.

You can’t read a marketing article without hearing about the need for a content strategy and companies are creating even more videos, web pages, apps, tutorials and social channels to publish to. What trends are you seeing in the content space overall?

Content distribution has evolved from single- to multi-platform publishing, and we’re now in the era of publishing everywhere, social media, experimentation, personalization and optimization. As businesses develop relationships with an audience, content production matures from a marketing- and editorial-only activity into a collaborative, company-wide responsibility.

At the same time, there is a resurgent and increasing appreciation for quality content and storytelling. Companies are seeking out professional content creators because they want content that is compelling and engaging. With data and measurement becoming so pervasive, the question is no longer, “how many views did that piece of content have?” It’s “what action did your content inspire someone to take?” At a global scale, more is being asked of content than ever before.

How are enterprises’ content strategies evolving?

Enterprises are struggling to create new content faster than ever, and they suddenly find themselves faced with multiple challenges with respect to creating and managing content. This includes fostering team collaboration, creating the right content, measuring performance and staying organized. They’re looking for ways to unify brand voice and to make it easier for teams and individuals to collaborate and share insights internally. There is a sense of urgency to create content and engaging experiences, and to foster teamwork and organization.

What are some of the most unique ways you see content being consumed and created?

Augmented-reality apps, devices and “virtual retinal displays,” where images are projected directly onto the retina of the user’s eyes, intrigue me. While these devices are still in an R&D phase, experiments in wearable technology provide a glimpse of how content might be consumed in the future. At the same time, camera sensors reveal an otherwise-invisible world around us. Nikon recently produced a compact camera with an 83x zoom that’s powerful enough to reveal detail of craters on the moon. And camera sensors are more light-sensitive than ever before, allowing images to be captured in low-light conditions with unprecedented quality.

We’re creating a new relationship to the world around us, and we’re revealing an existing world that previously was not easily seen.

What’s something no one knows about you (but will now!)?

I’m a collector of papercraft pop-up and illustrated children’s books. I have three small children and there’s a magical hour every day that we read bedtime stories together. There are so many thoughtful authors and artists who invest themselves in nurturing young minds. I spend my days immersed in digital media, but you just can’t beat a book.