Recently, TechnoBuffalo sat down with Lion Shirdan, founding Partner and Manager of UPRISE Management, a pioneer talent management firm representing digital media talent. Lion, one of the first managers to ever represent social media influencers, began representing and incorporating influencers into traditional media in 2014, and since then has found enormous success with securing mainstream endorsements for his talent. Lion has also found success with casting his talent in major feature films, as well as in linear and digital television. While overseeing the careers of many of today's top and most followed social media influencers, UPRISE has carved its unique niche as one of the most powerful, influential, and trendsetting digital talent management firms to date.

When we spoke with Lion, we sought his view of the current digital trends and where the digital world may shift, both in the near and distant future. "As we can already see, digital content is on the rise and even the traditional media outlets have started migrating to the digital realm. Marketing dollars spent have shifted dramatically with direct to consumer marketing, a trend that will increase until it's ultimate optimization. What we know is this, Influencer marketing, as well as direct ads, are the future. They allow brands to directly target their desired audience in a more passive way than a television commercial, for example."

Another topic we discussed while talking with Lion is the future of social media digital video and Lion's industry projections. "YouTube, which used to dominate the social media and digital video world, has lost its traction in the last few years. A major contributing factor to this was the dissolution of the social media monster, Vine, which enabled influencers to create short length, 7 second video content. Vine had, for first time ever, provided a platform that lent itself to feeding viewers very short length content, which was in direct opposition to the long form content typically seen on YouTube. With the vacuum created by the absence of Vine, Facebook quickly jumped in and managed to play a dominant role by offering up content available on both Instagram and Facebook. Facebook now dominates both the short and mid-length video niche market. In the very near future, I feel that the mid length videos will take over – ranging between 1.5 to 3 minutes per video, which will catapult Facebook to be the leading social media video platform in the marketplace".