Technological advances and changes in consumer behaviour are propelling a transformation in the way video content is delivered to consumers. The change involves a shift away from traditional broadcasting methods towards digital distribution to a wide array of connected devices. This fundamental change is triggering major disruptions for broadcasters, each calling for the scalability, cost flexibility and agility of cloud computing.
The Entertainment & Media industry was among the first to identify the benefits of using a multi-cloud strategy to meet its audience’s demand for consumable content from various locations, using a range of connected devices. Media companies need to quickly access, edit and deliver content over global distances while meeting tight deadlines. The ever-growing demand for higher-quality content is causing an explosive growth in file sizes, while the need to provide content in multiple formats, resolutions and bit rates requires scale-out transcoding – both of which can be addressed easily with a multi-cloud, on demand infrastructure.
Popular media giants leading the way into cloud
In recent years, some of the largest media companies have migrated from on-premise to public cloud to handle the ever-growing volumes of content.
In 2008, global giant Netflix was running relational databases in its own data centres, when disaster struck, and a datacentre failure shut the entire service down. Faced with a choice between operating a world-class datacentre and moving to public cloud, the content streaming company opted for Amazon Web Services (AWS). The migration improved Netflix’s scalability, service availability and the velocity by which the company could release new content. It also helped to free up the capacity of engineers, cut the costs of streaming, drastically improved availability and customer experience.
Spotify migrated everything from On-Premise to Google Cloud Platform (GCP). The music streaming app, known for its scale and data-driven approach, shut down its US data centres and decided to shift its whole architecture to GCP. This move has helped Spotify free up their developers from worrying about provisioning and maintaining infrastructure. They also wanted to take advantage of some of the innovation coming out of Google Cloud, specifically the BigQuery cloud data warehouse, Pub/Sub for messaging and DataFlow for batch and streaming processing.
Walt Disney Studios has recently announced that they have partnered with Microsoft to move key parts of its movie-making and distribution processes to the cloud. Spearheaded by Disney’s StudioLab, their ultimate goal is to use Microsoft’s Azure Cloud Platform all the way – “from scene to screen”. The initial focus will be on moving some of the studio’s editing to the cloud, allowing Walt Disney Studios to collaborate more easily across multiple locations. Working on the same project in the cloud will foster seamless collaboration and also cut down on the need to store and administer many different copies of a file.
Singapore’s largest media company – Mediacorp, has recently completed a digital transformation of its broadcast operations using IBM Hybrid Cloud solutions. This move was done with a view to manage hundreds of video file workflows from end-to-end, including ingest, transcoding and distribution, across cloud and on-premises systems. It helps Mediacorp transfer digital assets quickly, providing workflow orchestration and a centralized view and control point to deliver content across its 35 brands for TV, radio and OTT systems The Mediacorp broadcast operations team can now more quickly, seamlessly and efficiently deliver video and audio content to consumers across different platforms, including new mobile apps, interactive televisions and other connected devices.
Disruptions in today’s media and entertainment industry
Today’s disruptive environment requires established broadcasters not just to adopt a new approach to technology, but to steer a radical change in their culture and skillsets. This will equip themselves to compete more effectively with the agile OTT entrants.
- Consumers now demand more choice than ever in the way they view video content, including on-demand or interactive viewing
- A new wave of ‘Digital Native’ OTT providers are entering and disrupting the video distribution marketplace with a mindset focused on rapid development. Pressures to reduce time-to-market in order to keep pace with these new entrants.
- Intense competition from lower-cost agile entrants are creating a need to reduce up-front technology investments and align costs more closely with usage and revenues. Cloud infrastructure as a service, helps to bring down on technology costs across the organization and ensure they flex with workload.
Benefits of Cloud for broadcasters
Cloud solutions enable broadcasters to stay up-to-date with industry developments and compete with OTT providers by helping them to achieve five potential benefits:
- Faster speed to market
- Scalability to handle spikes in workload
- Ability to collect, store and conduct analytics on vast amounts of data
- Personized content delivery based on insights gathered from data
- Driving an environment of constant innovation and iterative experimentation
Cloud will continue to play a crucial role in content delivery ecosystem to multiple devices. Companies will continue using the cloud to reach and engage consumers in various ways, and these efforts will intensify as consumers’ use of cloud services continues to rise over the coming years. Without the cloud, it would be almost impossible to achieve the optimal combination of low costs, high scalability, constant experimentation and speed-to-market required to compete in the digitally disrupted world. In short, video content is the future of media and entertainment – and the cloud is the force powering this industry.
Cloud Kinetics – Digital Video Platform
One of Cloud Kinetics products is a Digital Video platform – A-VID is a highly available and scalable platform to manage, curate and deliver video content. A-Vid allows OTT providers to deliver digital media content to any device instantly. As a modular, flexible and customizable platform, A-VID supports exponential traffic and provides indigenous workflow tools for integration.