The cloud technology has gained popularity across industries, more so in that of media and entertainment
Cloud, CLOUD CONSENSUS, Cloud technology, Entertainment industries, Total Cost of Operations, MAM solutions, M&E industry, T Shobhana, Prime Focus Technologies


Cloud technology has been anchoring content operations since quite some time now – right from creation and transformation, to distribution and archival. It has empowered broadcasters, studios and service providers with unprecedented scalability and on-demand processing infrastructure. Latest to add value to this, are AI-enabled media ERP solutions, which facilitate easy content discovery from vast libraries, and reduce the time and effort involved in cataloguing content.

Isolated MAMs and technology silos are being replaced by automation across the entire content supply chain. “M&E organisations are building a connected ecosystem by adopting centralisation, and implementing one software across the enterprise. Affordable SaaS solutions powered by automation are now available to address the specific needs of content enterprises - such as OTT distribution, satellite and terrestrial distribution, promo operations and mastering, among others,” said T Shobhana, VP & global head, Marketing & Communications, Prime Focus Technologies.

Adopting cloud technology does not necessarily require a complete upheaval of a company’s existing technology systems. Advancements in this sector ensure interoperability, allowing companies to integrate their as-is systems into leveraging existing investments. Transcoding, archiving, auto QC, and file acceleration become easy due to these tools. “Users get a single software with media management capabilities across global sites, that integrates production, distribution, broadcasting and OTT related business activities. It helps content enterprises digitise media management processes (mastering, compliance etc.), handle clip-based workflows, distribute screeners, manage and version on-air promos, and collaborate seamlessly across with multiple stakeholders,” added Shobhana.

T Shobhana, VP & global head, Marketing & Communications, Prime Focus Technologies

All this, with cost benefits. By eliminating the need to purchase expensive hardware, cloud reduces capital expenditures, driving significant cost savings. “Further, the SaaS (Software as a Service) model follows a pay as you grow approach, enabling users to pay by transaction, per month, per quarter, per user – however they want. Companies no longer have to invest in multiple MAMs for each location and bear associated expenses like upgrade costs, system and software support costs, hosting, help desk, subject matter experts to manage and administer etc. This reduces the Total Cost of Operations (TCOP) drastically,” explained Shobhana.

According to her, hybrid cloud-enabled media ERP solutions make content ingest from multiple global locations easier and faster, enhancing efficiencies across production, post-production and distribution operations. They also help streamline metadata tagging and cataloguing operations, so that users can search and find assets of interest at lightning speed, which in turn helps increase monetisation. Such solutions bring all stakeholders including third party vendors on to the same system, facilitating seamless collaboration, and enabling faster time-to-market.  Most importantly, it can greatly reduce the hassles of logistics management, enabling M&E players to focus on what they do best – creating compelling content for viewers.

Security has always been considered the biggest challenge associated with the use of any technology. M&E enterprises, back then, were hesitant to use cloud technology as they feared the risk of piracy and misuse of their assets. However, the industry is witnessing a radical shift in this tradition. With the advent of cloud-enabled augmentations, which offer watertight security with a host of features including multi-factor authentication, integration with OKTA, secure streams, instream/forensic watermarking, Just-in-time access to content, secure desktop player and more, security is more of a reality than an expectation.

Endorsing the future scope of cloud technology, Shobhana iterated, “Cloud technology has already proven its mettle as a powerful game changer in the M&E domain, and the future holds endless possibilities. In particular, rapid advances in AI and Machine Learning are fast re-defining the capabilities, opening up concrete possibilities to help M&E players improve efficiencies, tap new revenue streams or simply gain insights for better, data-driven decision making.” Native media recognition AI platforms available that build Machine Wisdom from intelligence to deliver contextual, meaningful search results. Such platforms, integrated with cloud-based MAM solutions can be used to search digital media and easily extract relevant content for multiple use cases across the content lifecycle – right from creation and post production to distribution and marketing. “This is just one example of the myriad possibilities in store for the M&E industry in the future!” concluded Shobhana.

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