Advancements in Cloud Technology
In the early days of the cloud, traditional media companies used cloud services for collaboration and transcoding purposes. However, they held back from utilizing the cloud in many areas of their operations for a number of reasons.
For one thing, the cloud hasn’t always had easily accessible media-specific solutions. Many companies also had concerns about availability, total cost of ownership (TCO), and inconsistent connectivity. Thus, many companies’ CTOs relegated the cloud to non-critical activities.
Also, traditional media was mainly hardware-driven and on-premise solutions were viewed as essential for business resilience. And most media organizations lacked adequate in-house talent with the necessary skills to take fuller advantage of cloud solutions.
Today, however, a lot of these obstacles no longer exist. Due to advances in cloud technology, core media processes are now easily accessible. Building reliable video workflows and creating live and on-demand content streams is now easier than ever before.
The flexibility of cloud solutions such as storage, compute, data, infrastructure, and AI have made cloud workflows more cost-effective. As a result of these advancements, Broadcast Operations Managers have become more confident in cloud solutions.
Changes in Consumer Behaviour
Due to the surge in popularity of over-the-top (OTT) media services such as Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube, consumers have come to expect a highly tailored and interactive experience when viewing content. Today, people expect to be able to watch their favorite content whenever they want and on whatever devices they choose.
These changes in consumer behavior are responsible for newer approaches in delivering content to consumers. Media organizations are transitioning away from traditional models of broadcasting towards digital distribution of media.
Traditional broadcasting’s hardware-based solutions are poorly suited to providing this amount of options and flexibility. Thus, media companies are having to turn to flexible cloud-based solutions to deliver the computing power needed for such large scale processing and distribution of content.
The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic
The unique circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic have also played a significant role in the recent upsurge in the migration to cloud solutions. During the lockdown restrictions, for example, media consumption grew rapidly but many media houses had to suspend production and post-production operations leading to a reduction in the supply of new programming. Media companies’ revenues were also affected by declining demand for advertising.
Media organizations also faced challenges in managing their on-site and remote workforce and had to deal with delays in launching new services and content. However, companies that had already invested in cloud solutions were able to go completely remote and continue operations during the shelter-in-place restrictions.
The challenges created by the pandemic resulted in an increased appreciation of the cloud among CTOs. Companies have begun to see more clearly the need to incorporate remote working into their operations and production systems. With operations becoming more and more distributed among remote teams, it has become imperative for media companies to facilitate collaboration and virtual interaction through cloud solutions.
In addition, media companies are quickly realizing the need to capitalize on industry trends by leveraging cloud services. Using these services, they can create intelligent supply chains that enable them to completely manage their content workflows. As a result, broadcasters are turning to cloud playout solutions for the flexibility and cost-efficiency they offer.
Benefits of Cloud Solutions
Cloud solutions for broadcasting are quickly growing in popularity due to the potential benefits media organizations stand to gain from utilizing them. Here are some of these advantages:
- Cloud solutions enable traditional media organizations to keep up with their OTT competitors and launch services much faster than with traditional in-house hardware solutions.
- Cloud solutions offer much greater flexibility and can scale effectively to handle spikes in content consumption such as during live events. Cloud playout solutions, for instance, are ideal for creating pop-up channels, which can be used to cover live events and major sports tournaments for their duration.
- Broadcasters are better able to meet consumers’ demands by delivering tailored content. Such custom content recommendations are enabled by the collection, storage, and analysis of shared consumer data in the cloud.
- Cloud solutions are more cost-effective than on-premise solutions for disaster recovery.
- Cloud-based workflows enable broadcasters to streamline their content delivery processes and simultaneously distribute programs to multiple outlets.
The Time to Move to the Cloud is Now
The media industry is on a transition to the cloud and it’s clear why. Media companies are seeing the need to embrace technology in order to survive in an industry disrupted by tech-driven OTT entrants. Cloud solutions are enabling media houses to revamp their operations and benefit from the flexibility and cost-efficiency of cloud-based workflows.
What’s more, the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic have impressed on the minds of media executives the need to leverage the cloud more fully. Modern cloud solutions for broadcasters are reliable and offer numerous advantages over traditional solutions. For many media organizations, the decision is simple: it’s time to move to the cloud.
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