Why Media and Entertainment Firms Must Become Cloud-Native

Oct 26, 2021
Media & Entertainment | 7 min READ
Cloud enables editing the feeds live on a browser and distributing it on any device with a bandwidth of even 2Mbps at lightning speed of up to 60 frames per second. This is the revolution that Cloud is set to bring in the media & entertainment industry. The start has been made with global companies acing the game. The time is now for the industry players to join the bandwagon and deliver content the way consumers are demanding.
Kedar Mohite
Kedar Mohite

Former Global Head

Media & Technology Practice


Why Media and Entertainment Industry is Adopting the Cloud?
COVID-19 pandemic has permanently changed consumers' content consumption habits, totally disrupting the media & entertainment business models. The global lockdown forced people to stay at home, which resulted in a spike of 30% in online data consumption. According to Nielsen's study, home-bound consumers have led to a 60% increase in the amount of video content watched globally during the pandemic. In 2020, 96% of consumers increased their online video consumption, with 9 out of 10 viewers wanting to see more videos from brands and businesses. As of 2021, it is predicted that an average person will spend 100 minutes per day watching online videos.
The boom in content consumption in the year 2020 has set the streaming industry on a new growth trajectory, with the Streaming Video-On-Demand (SVOD) revenues likely to grow at a 10.6% CAGR through 2025 making SVOD an US$81.3bn industry. There has been a paradigm shift in how entertainment companies deliver content to consumers, from big screens to short-form content. This evolution is underscored by the fact that during 2020, about 2 million U.S. viewers let go of their multi-channel subscription services in favor of more 'streamlined' solutions.
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Consumers are fast changing their preferences towards 'new' digital media channels with the rising on-demand content being consumed through internet-connected devices—their phones, smart TVs, tablets, computers, set-top boxes, gaming consoles, and digital media players, as compared to more traditional forms of media such as TV, print, and radio. Providing on-demand content to the consumer at such speed has necessitated media & entertainment (M&E) companies to move away from legacy productions systems, which are inherently slow and are inundated with multiple quality challenges. Business conferences utilize digital platforms to extend the reach and increase their expanse beyond boundaries by including remote participants in the absence of business travel.
These solutions keep audiences engaged and establish new multi-channel, customized connections, which are mobile-first and driven by sophisticated data analytics. This trend represents a perfect opportunity for the nimble media entities and their systems integration partners to step in and leverage the shifting demand patterns. Cashing in on opportunities and with the intent to win over their competitors, leading M&E companies are unleashing the power of the Cloud to bring scalability and agility into their businesses.
The adaptive nature of cloud offerings makes it a perfect choice for the M&E industry that is currently looking for ways to address the emerging global shifts in media and entertainment patterns. A recent EY research revealed that 50% of media & entertainment executives can no longer rely on traditional business models to drive future growth and are looking at strategic and operational reinvention. By offering an effective tool for revitalizing the economies of the business and by ensuring lower costs than the on-premise solutions, the adoption of a cloud-based ecosystem can help these companies find success in this dynamic technology landscape through greater customer engagement and a more optimized cost framework.
Benefits of Cloud Computing in the Media and Entertainment Industry
It's important to note that while M&E companies are not ultimately moving away from existing storage models, they are increasingly eyeing the cloud platform to achieve their production, distribution, and archiving goals. The Cloud delivers agility, unlimited scale, flexible consumption, privacy, security, and many other advantages to the M&E industry. Let's take a look at some of the benefits of deploying Cloud in M&E:
Speed to Market
The Cloud enables media companies to quickly roll out new services, which has become a critical competitive lever for industry players. Highly scalable and secure on-demand services aid in accelerating content production and reducing workflow intervals by processing large content files and formats in the Cloud. To manage hundreds of video file workflows end-to-end, including ingest, transcoding, and distribution, across Cloud and on-premises systems, Mediacorp, Singapore's largest media company, has recently gone through the digital transformation of its broadcast operations using Cloud solutions. It enabled Mediacorp to transfer digital assets quickly, providing workflow orchestration and a centralized view & control point to deliver content across its 35 brands for TV, radio, and OTT systems.
Through Cloud's capability, the Mediacorp broadcast operations team has delivered video and audio content more quickly, seamlessly, and efficiently to consumers across different platforms, including new mobile apps, interactive televisions, and other connected devices. Similarly, by deploying Google Cloud, Luma leveraged Compute Engine custom images and paired them with a high-performance ZFS file system to render shots in as little as 90 minutes—compared with the 7 or 8 hours without Cloud.
Why Media and Entertainment Firms Must Become Cloud-Native
Quicker Launch of Newer Monetization Revenues
In this constantly evolving field, which believes in the 'fail fast, fail cheap, and move on' spirit, the Cloud can significantly help media companies quickly roll out new services, a critical competitive lever for industry players. With a pay-as-you-go cost model strategy, cloud services eliminate the significant upfront capital expense, potentially freeing millions of dollars of OTT content providers.
For instance, cloud-based video services from AWS are programmed towards effortlessly integrating the tools and platforms that drive different OTT revenue models. For advertising-supported VOD (AVOD) services, integrations with 3rd party ad decision servers offer access to leading ad networks. Support for dynamic ad insertion allows OTT content providers to deliver targeted advertising for increased audience engagement and better returns from ad programs.
Why Media and Entertainment Firms Must Become Cloud-Native
The prevalence of enterprise services in the Cloud enables content providers to integrate their offerings with back-end services, such as subscription management and payment capture, to support subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) or transactional VOD (TVOD) services.
Powerful integrations with digital rights management (DRM) providers offer industry-standard protection for valuable live or on-demand content for any revenue model. To give you an instance, the oldest Norwegian football club Odds Ballklubb recently launched a new subscription-based streaming service – Gullpila, that delivers engaging live and on-demand HD video content to their fans and represents a new direct revenue stream for the club. Thanks to the cloud technology built upon, the service was launched in weeks rather than months.
Global Scalability and Reach
M&E companies must possess the ability to transmit their video content and other media assets seamlessly and cost-effectively across national and international boundaries. From the live broadcast of a sporting event to the postproduction of a feature film, the technology access has to be uniform and capable of meeting the change in customer demands. This can be ensured by leveraging cloud-based solutions, including intelligent cloud storage options, instantly enabling media access across geographies.
An instant ability to scale the shift in demand is another critical support cloud computing services providers provide to the M & M&E industry. These partners can ensure auto-scaling facilities for additional infrastructure when there is a fluctuation in demand, enabling an efficient balancing of load across the full provisioned capacity. An effective multi-tenancy framework enables this cost-effective accommodation of lower use periods while ensuring maximum availability during high-usage phases.
This ability to auto-scale and adopt the multi-tenancy operations model has enabled cloud service providers to optimize their cost-per-user. Therefore they are in a position to pass on these economies to their customers in the M&E domain. By sharing a unified cloud infrastructure between multiple customers, while ensuring that their respective data is always kept separate and encrypted, the Cloud offers a new-age solution for the requirements of the M&E companies.
Improved Workgroup Collaboration
Today's priority for media companies is data storage - raw footage, rough cuts, and the finished product in a highly secure and reliable environment. With the growing data demands and increasing real-time collaboration on workflows, M&E companies should centralize data depositories within super-fast cloud infrastructure to stay within schedules and budgets.
Premium Quality of Engagement
Resource-intensive activities have become seamless today, thanks to advancements in cloud technology, with all critical media-specific solutions now available as out-of-the-box functionalities. A case in point is AWS Media Services, which offers an easy way to create reliable, broadcast-quality video workflows in the Cloud, enhancing live and on-demand streaming qualities. Moreover, cloud-based, AI-powered metadata tagging and content discovery solutions deliver optimal and personalized viewer experience, helping consumers easy access to their preferred content.
M&E organizations are slowly transitioning towards the Cloud to reduce cost, increase scalability and agility, and foster collaboration. In a bid to build up the direct-to-consumer (D2C) strategy, media companies are leveraging cloud platforms to speedily pilot and roll out unique content services and engage with their consumers and ultimately drive revenues. A key enabler in this transition would be an effective partnership with a proven cloud services provider, with the ability to speed up the digital transformation journey for M&E companies on a global scale. After all, being cloud-native is the only way forward.
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