The Storyteller’s Dilemma

Overcoming the Challenges in the Digital Media Age


Almost every aspect of how we live is impacted by digital media. We have the power to create and consume content, when and where we choose. The common challenge, from the independent artist to the media enterprise, is how to stay relevant and profitable in the face of such change.

As head of one of the industry’s most iconic names in media technology, Avid Chairman & CEO Louis Hernandez, Jr. is up close and personal with the harsh realities of economic change. Yet the extraordinary energy and diversity of the company’s customer base, responsible for some of the most engaging and inspiring media of the past three decades, gives Louis a connection with creativity that is as special as it is rare.


In his third book—The Storyteller's Dilemma—Louis shares his perspectives on how technology is changing the way we share experiences in the connected digital age, and the economic realities of an evolving media landscape. The Storyteller's Dilemma urges artists, producers, innovators and consumers to embrace this revolution and build an entertaining, informative, creative and lucrative future.

“It’s clear that all of us—creators, distributor and consumers—benefit from being connected,” says Louis. “By collaborating, we can create a new model that will strengthen the entire industry and, if we succeed, we all win together.”

Louis’ book is neither a diatribe against economic elites, nor a postmortem analysis of the ills of digital distribution. Instead, it proposes a new approach—an approach that embraces the intensifying power of storytelling and dispels the notion that disruption and instability go hand-in-hand.

“Moving away from business models that have proved unviable in the digital age, it’s possible to turn higher profits while more equitably compensating all parties involved,” adds Louis. “By creating a streamlined mediascape of shared platforms and common standards we can empower storytellers, developers and deliverers alike. In today's networked world, the economics of storytelling matters to everybody.”

Louis’ previous books, Saving the American Dream—Main Street’s Last Stand, and Too Small to Fail, received many professional distinctions for his expertise in business and technology. He has also been a featured guest on Fox Business, CNBC, ABC News, and Bloomberg TV, where he discussed technology, economics, strategic planning and globalization.


Sustaining a Music Career in a Digital World

—by Charlie Feldman, Vice President, Writer-Publisher and Industry Relations at BMI

Global Social Responsibility of Media Companies — History and Structure of a German Media Market

—by Andreas Bereczky, ZDF German Television, Vice Chair

Data May Be Abundant, but Information Can Still Be Scarce

—by Maureen Droney, Managing Director, The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing

A Day in the Life of Post Production on a Live Reality TV Show

—by Randy Magalski, Senior Editor, Sim

The Best Software When Editing a Large, Long-Term Project

—by Sandra Adair, ACE, Editor of Boyhood, School of Rock

The Benefits (and Disadvantages) of Modern Recording Technology

—by Eric Kuehnl, Assistant Director, Music Technology Program at Foothill College

How New Technology Can Fuel the Creativity in Songwriting

—by Mischke in Music Creation, Songwriter/Producer/Vocal Producer - Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani, JLo, Little Mix,
Austin Mahone, Trey Songz, JoJo, El Debarge...

In the news

Digital Cinema Society, Avid’s Louis Hernandez, Jr. Explores: The Storyteller’s Dilemma: Overcoming the Challenges in the Digital Media Age

“‘I can tell you first hand as an Indie Filmmaker that it has become extremely difficult to earn a living as a Storyteller, and that is the heart of the dilemma referred to in the book’s title,’ said James Mathers, President of Digital Cinema Society.”

IABM Journal, Passing the inflexion point—How Avid is evolving and adapting

“The old way of doing things doesn’t work in a digital age… I wanted to bring awareness to the media industry’s pain points and challenges, which ultimately affect everyone, and share Avid’s transformation as a business lesson.”

EnterWorks, EnterWorks Hosts Its Engage 2017 User Conference in Nashville, TN: Keynote Speaker Louis Hernandez Jr., Author of The Storyteller’s Dilemma, Speaks on Overcoming the Challenges in the Digital Media Age

“‘Digital transformation has made EnterWorks’ data and content technologies essential for persuasive storytelling by B2B and B2C companies. Customers search for easily consumed content when looking to buy products and services, so whether it is Hollywood films, farm-fresh produce, or building equipment, companies need to deliver individualized content across their commerce touchpoints,’ said Rick Chavie, CEO of EnterWorks.”

MarketWatch, Louis Hernandez, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Avid, “Why media companies struggle to meet the demand for great storytelling”

“More of us have more choice because of the changes in the media industry. Growing even faster is how we consume—that’s grown ten times in the last ten years. That’s more channel, more devices—all the ways in which we consume. It’s not just looking at TV anymore. There are all kinds of ways to consume.”

Huffington Post, A Declaration of Interdependence in the Digital Age

“Avid has been on the front-lines of the march to digital media for over 25 years. It pioneered the non-linear editing systems that power a majority of the commercially produced content you see and hear today. Louis Hernandez, Jr., Chairman and CEO, honestly and thoughtfully embraces what’s working and acknowledges what isn’t in his new book, The Storyteller’s Dilemma…”

Digital Production Buzz, Louis Hernandez, Jr.: The Storyteller's Dilemma

“Louis Hernandez, Jr. is the Chairman and CEO of Avid. He’s also the author of The Storyteller's Dilemma. This book is an in-depth look at why the people who create content are making less money than ever—and the stress this puts on the entire creative process. His interview is a fascinating analysis of how we got here and what it will take to get back out.”

TV Technology, NAB Show: Avid Offerings Empower Storytellers to Inspire

“Stories are the glue that connects us all,” Avid Chairman and CEO Louis Hernandez Jr. told the assembled Avid Connect crowd in the Lafite conference room at the Wynn hotel. “They reflect our hopes, our dreams, our fears, and they have the power to move people. To help tell those stories, Avid is looking more than ever to moving its systems into the cloud. It is empowering MediaCentral with new cloud-based applications and announced Microsoft as its preferred public cloud partner while showcasing end-to-end 4K/IP workflows.”

Broadcast and CableSat, Avid Announces Alliance with Microsoft

“Avid has entered into a strategic alliance with Microsoft Corp. to cooperatively develop and market cloud-based solutions and cloud services aimed at the media and entertainment (M&E) industry. As part of the agreement, Avid has chosen Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud-hosting platform, and will develop and launch a range of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings powered by the Avid MediaCentral® Platform.”

IBC365, NAB2017: Connecting Media, Entertainment and Technology

“Nowhere was this ‘MET Effect’ more obvious than at the Avid Connect gathering in Las Vegas where Avid Chairman and Chief Executive Louis Hernandez Jr and Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie announced a strategic alliance in which Avid has chosen Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud hosting platform.”

Sports Video Group, SVG on Demand: Sports Production Trends Analyzed at Avid Connect 2017

“A high profile session from Avid Connect 2017—covering everything from 4K to VR, HDR, and Dolby Atmos—offered a look at the latest big picture trends in live sports video production. SVG’s Director of Digital Brandon Costa moderated the session featuring Andy Beale, Chief Engineer at BT Sport; Ofir Benofici, Avid Senior Director Broadcast Products; Darryl Jefferson, Vice President of Operations for NBC Sports; and Noah Gusdorff, founder and CEO of tapeless workflow integration specialist Creative Mobile Solutions.”

Sports Video Group, NAB Reflections: Avid’s Louis Hernandez Jr. on the Company’s New ‘Global Ecosystem’

“Avid’s NAB 2017 was, in many respects, a new beginning for the company: after four years of transformation, it unveiled the completed MediaCentral Platform, a system designed to move the company away from hardware-based technology offerings and to more-nimble software and cloud-based offerings. Avid CEO Louis Hernandez Jr. sat down with SVG to discuss the company’s recent developments, its close ties with Microsoft, and more.”

Studio Daily, Avid Cites Microsoft Cloud Partnership, Nexis Storage Line As Revenue Drivers

“We expect great things from Nexis over the long term, and I think the most important thing [is] it’s completely cloud-enabled,” said Avid CFO Brian Agle. “So it’s part of the conversation [in] every major enterprise deal, but… because it’s tied to those large enterprise deals it’s hard to predict exactly the pace at which those will come in. But I suspect that Nexis is on its way to becoming the industry standard, if you look at its growth rate compared to any other vendor in the storage space for media.”


This is a must read for everyone who wants to understand how digital changes the economics of everything.

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In The Storyteller’s Dilemma, Louis Hernandez provides a roadmap for creators of all kinds to understand our new digital world. Telling stories and singing around a campfire worked well for the first 5,000 years of recorded human history, but the genie is out of the technology bottle and Louis’s unique experience and vantage point illuminates a very positive future for those who adapt.

Joe Lamond, President and CEO of NAMM

With passion and a genuine concern for the current challenges of those in the media and entertainment industry, Louis Hernandez Jr. offers a compelling path towards the future of our industry.

Maryam Almheiri, CEO, twofour54

A refreshing read that repeatedly homes in on the crux of the issue—from why the industry is broken to a timely call to action and a case for a common platform. In the end, Hernandez’s book cuts through the fog of technology and focuses on the essence of entertainment: storytelling—ours to protect as the ‘social fabric of our culture and future.’

Sean Cooney, head of post production, Netflix

Avid has once again developed groundbreaking tools to create workflows that are both user-friendly and streamlined. The Storyteller’s Dilemma addresses the ever-changing landscape and challenges of music creation and collaboration. With Louis Hernandez leading this movement, the future has never looked more exciting or bright.

Paul Sidoti, lead guitarist, Taylor Swift

A truly valuable discussion of the challenges and opportunities that media makers face in an ever-changing technology environment. Anyone working in today’s entertainment industry will find that Louis Hernandez’s book is a must-read.

Elizabeth Daly, dean of the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA)

Thank you, Louis Hernandez, Jr., for effectively and eloquently demystifying the dilemma of digital disruption and the inevitable impact on content creators’ siloed universes. . . . This book is a must read for everyone that is going, or about to go, through digital transformation whether by force or by choice; Louis’s words of wisdom and experience-based advice will guide you through that journey.

Mohamed Abuagla, executive director of technology & operations (CIO/CTO), Al Jazeera Media Network (Doha, Qatar)